Masonic Service Bureau
979 Bay Road
Webster, NY 14580-1736
You are on the Masonic Service Bureau’s Website. MSB is the charitable arm of the Masonic Fraternity in the Monroe County area. We are supported by all local Lodges, and assist Lodges as needed in eight counties surrounding Rochester, New York.
Freemasonry is NOT a faith; it is NOT a religion. It is a Fraternal organization, an idea. Freemasonry proposes to take men of good character and help make them better citizens, husbands and fathers. Members do profess a belief in a Supreme Being, but which one is the choice of each individual.
In the Monroe District there are 12 Masonic Lodges, chartered by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the State of New York and its Jurisdictions. All of these Lodges are in Towns surrounding the City of Rochester. There is only one Lodge in Rochester, and it is affiliated with Prince Hall Masonry. Prince Hall Masonry is predominantly a Black organization; the former is predominantly white. Both groups accept anyone!
Do a Google search for Freemasonry or Freemason and you will come up with millions of hits. The problem is to sort out the correct information from naysayers and those individuals with an axe to grind. If you wish to contact us, select the link at the bottom of the page and send your question(s) via email. Someone will respond shortly.
Candidates for membership in New York State must be 21 years of age. The basic procedure is to obtain and file an application, which we call a Petition, that you have filled out in your own handwriting, with a Masonic Lodge, along with the required Initiation Fee, or portion thereof. Each Lodge is able to determine its own fee structure.
Once submitted, your Petition will be read at a regular Lodge meeting and passed to an Interviewing Committee. The Committee will contact references you have named on the Petition. When the referenced individuals have responded, the Committee will arrange to meet with you. Assuming a favorable response to all queries and the meeting, your Petition would be voted upon at another Lodge meeting. If approved, you would be notified of dates to appear for your Degrees. If you paid a partial fee for Initiation, the balance would be due at your appearance for the First Degree. The above procedures can take up to several months to complete.
At the conclusion of your First Degree, you will be given some material to memorize. You will have to prove to the Lodge Brothers that you are proficient in that material before they will confer the Second Degree upon you. When you complete the Second Degree there is additional memorization and proficiency required to take the Third Degree. At the conclusion of the Third Degree, you are a Master Mason - a full-fledged member of the Craft.
Each Lodge has Annual Dues. Again, these vary according to their own By-Laws. There are also Family events, dinners and other functions you may wish to attend and there could be fees associated with those programs.
There are, in addition to Masonic Lodges, other Affiliated or Concordant Bodies you would be able to join - the Shriners, the Scottish Rite and the York Rite Bodies, amongst others. These give an individual an opportunity to study and learn more Masonic information, but they are voluntary and optional. They require you to be a Master Mason and would have additional time and money commitments, should you decide to participate in them.
Three pieces of information that would be helpful to us, if you wish to pursue membership are: 1) where you live; 2) where do you work (location); and 3) what night of the week might be best for you. We would use your answers to put you in touch with a Lodge either near where you live or where you work, if possible, to minimize any travel concerns you might have in our potentially inclement Winter weather. Our assumption is you would desire to be an active member, so we don’t want to send you to a Lodge that meets on a night when you have other commitments that would prevent regular attendance.
Again, use the link in the blue bar below to send us your information, so we may invite you to join the Craft.