About Shriners International
Who are the Shriners?
Shriners International is A brotherhood of men, a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, truth and relief with a serious purpose.
Shriners are distinguished by an enjoyment of life and a commitment to philanthropy. They enjoy parades, trips, dances, dinners, sporting events and other social occasions. They support what has been called the “World’s Greatest Philanthropy,” Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 pediatric specialty hospitals, operated and maintained by the Shriners. All children, up to 18 years old, may be eligible for treatment at Shriners Hospitals if they, in the opinion of the hospital’s chief of staff, could benefit from the specialized care available at Shriners Hospitals. Eligibility is not based on financial need or relationship to a Shriner.
Every Shriner is Also a Freemason
In order to become a Shriner, a man must first be a Mason. The fraternity of Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternity in the world. It dates back hundreds of years to the time when stonemasons and other craftsmen gathered in shelter houses or lodges. Over the years, formal Masonic lodges emerged, with members bound together not by trade, but by their own desire to be fraternal brothers.
The basic unit of Masonry is the Blue Lodge, where members earn the first three Masonic Degrees known as the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. There is no higher degree than that of Master Mason (the Third Degree).
After he becomes a Master Mason, he can belong to many other organizations which have their roots in Masonry and which have Blue Lodge Masonry as a prerequisite. Only when a man has achieved the status of Master Mason can he petition to become a Noble of the Shrine of North America.
Other affiliated Masonic organizations include the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and the York Rite.
Throughout history both the Freemasons and Shriners have had a reputation for secrecy, but our mission is straightforward. Shriners are committed to:
- Being the premier fraternal organization for men of good character.
- Providing attractive, quality programs and services for its members, their families and their friends in a spirit of fun, fellowship and social camaraderie.
- Fostering self-improvement through leadership, education, the perpetuation of moral values and community involvement.
- Serving mankind through the resources of its philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The relationship between Shriners and Shriner’s Hospitals
In a unique interdependent relationship, the Shriners and Shriners Hospitals are separate but inseparable. The Shriners of North America supports Shriners Hospitals in many ways: Shrine Temples and clubs often help arrange and pay for transportation for children and parents to the hospitals, and thousands of Shriners spend many hours of their own time driving families to the hospitals and entertaining the patients. In addition, Shriners helps support the hospitals financially, with each Shriner paying an annual $5 hospital assessment. Temples and clubs also hold many fundraisers, some of which benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The Benefits of becoming a Shriner
- Membership in a well-known fraternal organization recognized for its social and philanthropic activities
- Opportunity to develop lasting friendships with others from all walks of life
- A variety of social activities available for the entire family and many special-interest groups to meet individual interests
- The privilege of being part of the “Worlds Greatest Philanthropy,” offering Shriners many opportunities to find personal fulfillment and satisfaction through supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children.
The Shriners Creed
Shriners believe in God and that He created man to serve His purposes, among which is service to others in His name.
We believe that care for the less fortunate, especially children who suffer from burns and crippling diseases, is our institutional calling.
We are patriots, each willing to serve his country with fidelity and courage. We cherish independence under law and freedom with responsibility.
We honor family. We respect our parents, wives and children. We should instill in our children the tenets of this creed, and the heritage from which it emanates.
As individuals we pledge ourselves to integrity, virtue and nobility of character. Our intentions will be honorable, our relations will be trustworthy and our spirits forgiving of each other.
As brothers we offer each other fraternal affection and respect. Together we will support each other in adherence to this creed, so that we and our communities will be the better because of our fraternity and its principles.
As Shriners we look beyond ourselves to serve the needs of others, especially children who cannot help themselves. We believe Shriners Hospitals to be the world’s greatest philanthropy, and we covenant with each other to support its “temples of mercy” with spirit, time, talent and means.