Grand Master’s Message – December 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason! 

I’m Proud of who we are!

I’m Proud of what we do!

My Brothers,

     The news continues to be outstanding as Wisconsin Freemasonry continues to raise more and more Master Masons than we have in many, many years!  There were nearly 60 new men raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason through the “Shriner” Masonic Day of Light! Remember that these men joined the Fraternity because of you. They want friends. They want mentors. They want Brothers.

     My message this month is, again, very direct.  “Close the door!”

     “Close the door!” The season is changing, and it brings back memories for me of my Father always reminding my brother and I to close the door. Whether it was at home, in the shed, or in the barn this weather required his reminding us consistently to close the doors.  For all of you, as we reach the end of a year, as we transition officers, I really hope that our focus is on closing the door. That being the back door of Freemasonry.  In other words, please do all you can to prevent amazing Brothers from leaving us, including yourself! Historically only about 1% of our membership leaves the Fraternity annually.  By itself this is a minuscule number, but at this point, with all the great things happening throughout Wisconsin Freemasonry, I have no idea why you would choose to leave this Fraternity.  First things first. Retain yourself! Have you been to a Lodge meeting lately?

     My challenge for you this month is to make sure that you’re reaching out to your Brothers.  More than just a dues notice in the mail but a call, holiday card or, more importantly, how about an invite to an event? My talking points for our leadership team over the last few weeks have been to encourage you to have an event to celebrate each other. Celebrate the Fraternity. Celebrate that which makes us very, very special. I’m taking this opportunity to remind you of Most Worshipful Gary Stang’s message, “Love ya Brother!” I said many times it was exactly the right message at exactly the right time. His message got us back to Lodge. It got us moving forward after the pandemic. Now let’s use this message to remind us why we’re Masons. Most of us would say the primary reason that we’re amazing is because we Love our Brothers. Host an event, probably not just for Brothers but also, for families. Installations should be a celebration for the new officers, but it also could be a social event for our entire Masonic family. What a great way to enjoy each other’s company and remind ourselves just how special this Fraternity is. It’s a great time of year to celebrate. Celebrate with our friends and family, with our brothers and fellows. “Close the door!” Remind all why they joined our Fraternity. Remind all the value of fellowship.

     For those of you that are finishing your term is Worshipful Master, you know the message, FINISH BIG! For those of you entering a term is Worshipful Master, BE READY! Planning ends once you’re installed. Is your calendar ready? Will your Brothers have a copy in hand by the Installation? I’ve got over 30 installations on my calendar, and I promise you I will be asking each Worshipful Master to be installed for a copy of his 2023 calendar of events prior to installation. Further, I will be bringing copies of your Lodge roster for your Stewards or Deacons. I will be asking them as they’re installed to commit to contacting every single member of the Lodge on a significant event like the Brother’s birthday or Masonic anniversary. Additionally, I will be bringing rosters for the 250+ newest Brothers that have joined our Fraternity this year and I will be asking them to reach out to every single member of their Lodge to introduce themselves.

     We are clearly experiencing a transition in Wisconsin Freemasonry. More men are seeking us out than have in decades. We take good men and make them better. I know that when you challenge a good man, they respond. I’m challenging you to close the back door. Reach out to all. Host events that celebrate the fellowship in our Fraternity. FINISH BIG! and BE PREPARED!

Finally, an ask . . .

     This month I am mailing my appeal letter to request support for our Acts of Kindness Program facilitated by the Wisconsin Masonic Foundation. 

     The Wisconsin Masonic Foundation Acts of Kindness (AOK) program is our tool to directly support our communities.  If you believe that the Freemasons of Wisconsin have the best interest of their respective communities at heart and if you want to support our local communities.  There is no better program. 

     The Acts of Kindness program thrives off your individual generosity.  Help us reach a new level of relevance in our communities.  

     Also, in case you haven’t heard, donations made to the Grand Master’s Appeal for the Acts of Kindness Program this year will be matched, by 4 generous Brothers, $1 for $1 up to $200,000!!!!!

I’m Proud to be a Freemason! 

I’m Proud of who we are!

I’m Proud of what we do!

Paul T. Tourville,

Grand Master of Wisconsin Freemasonry