We can all take appropriate pride in the great and good work of Masonic philanthropy.

Every now and then, you read something which manages to sum up an important truth in a few words. Recently, I read such a phrase: “The most important things we can give our children are roots and wings.” What a powerful statement! And how very appropriate it is to our Order and its flagship philanthropy, the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Program.

Roots and wings--reaching deeply into who we are for strength and support; reaching past the clouds for hope, freedom, and success--surely these are the most important gifts given to us as Masons to share with others.

Our forefathers in Masonry bequeathed deep roots to us, roots which tap the profound wellsprings of faith and honor and dignity and intellectual integrity. These roots connect us in our daily lives to the world’s great moral philosophies and faith traditions. Our Masonic forefathers also bequeathed us wings, ideals which inspire the human spirit to soar above the routine of daily life and seek the great Light of Truth.

Deep roots and strong wings--these are the gifts our Order offers every Scottish Rite Mason. In turn, these lead us to one of the great missions of Freemasonry: philanthropy. As this special issue of the Scottish Rite Journal points out, Masonic charity is desperately needed by many people today, especially by children. It is the exception today, not the rule, for a child to grow up in a two-parent, unbroken home. The sense of roots, of permanence, which we took for granted when we were young, is unknown to a majority of young people today. The quiet sense of permanence and support we gained from parents and grandparents just by knowing they were going to be there for us, no matter what, is too often gone for many children. We all need deep roots, just as a plant or tree does, if we are to survive the challenges life brings to every person. Roots are the difference between the oak and the tumbleweed. Far too many of our children are rootless, tossed about due to circumstances beyond their control.

The Scottish Rite is concerned with that need for roots. We are developing programs to strengthen the family, to help it survive and prosper. We are also helping children acquire the sound values and abilities which protect against the wrenching shifts of life. We care what happens, and we help those who need special assistance. I hope you have seen our videotape On the Wings of Words. The title was well chosen. Words are a child’s wings. Books guide children in life’s journey and prepare them to conquer obstacles along the way. Our expanding network of 127 Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinics, Centers, and Programs is bringing hope to thousands of children each year, thus assuring their success in school and in life. It is a great and good work in which we can all take pride.

Roots and wings--strength today and the ability to build a better tomorrow--these are our Order’s greatest gifts to Freemasons and to the children or others we serve. Welcome to this special issue of the Scottish Rite Journal. Its focus on Masonic and, in particular, Scottish Rite philanthropy reveals how Brethren today are contributing significantly to their neighbors, communities, and nation. My hearty and warmest congratulations to all who have made this modern Masonic mission such a success. May this record inspire yet greater accomplishments in 1998 and into the next millennium!

Visitors Welcome
It is always a pleasure to welcome visitors to the House of the Temple, 1733 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009-3103. Located on Sixteenth Street between R and S Streets, seven blocks NE of the Dupont Circle Metro stop, Red Line, the Temple is open to Brothers, guests, and the general public for tours from 8 am to 2 pm on weekdays. The Temple is also open on weekends and holidays for groups of 25 or more provided special arrangements are made in advance with the Grand Executive Director's office (202)232-3579. Visitors are requested to register at the door.