What is the Grotto?
Websters Encylopedia Dictionary gives the definition of GROTTO as follows: "a cave, a voult, natural recess of a cavity in the earth; an artificially constructed cavern." This is exactly what the GROTTO is not.
Certainly the definition Webster gives does not apply in this case to this Great Order.
The Mystic Order of Vailed Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, whose subordinate bodies are the Grotto's, is an organization by and for Master Masons. While in no way connected with Masonry proper, its membership is restricted absolutely and exclusively to Master Masons in good standing. Although it is an organization for good wholesome fun and frolic, it also has its serious side. Its slogan is "GOOD FELLOWSHIP" and in contact with our fellow man, this principal is exemplified to a marked degree.
We know why and where the GROTTO-MYSTIC ORDER OF THE VEILED PROPHETS OF THE ENCHANTED REALM OF NORTH AMERICA, was actually founded.
The chief moving spirit in the founding of this organization was LeRoy Fairchild. In the summer of 1889 a group of Master Masons, members of Hamilton Lodge #120 at Hamilton, New York, met to organize and hold informal meetings. What this group was seeking was fun and good fellowship.
The idea of the Order proved to be attractive and many distinguished Masons joined. The order could no longer be confined to any one locality and in response to imperative requests other groups were formed. On 13 June 1890, the Fairchild Committee duly established and formed the Supreme Council, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm.
Mr. Fairchild believed with all his heart that the beneficial influence of Masonry would be far greater if, along with the inculcation of cultivation of a greater spirit of cheerfulness and GOOD FELLOWSHIP amongst the members than was possible in the Blue Lodge.
What Grotto Membership means
The GROTTO is provided to the Master Mason as a place where he might join with his brothers in letting human instincts for fun, pleasure and amusement prevail.
The GROTTO was not and is not a place for Masons to exercise practices that would not be tolerated in the Masonic bodies, or which are taboo among gentlemen. The GROTTO stands for all of Masonry and wholesomeness in life. It stands for letting in the sunshine on discouragement, grief and woe and it stands for substituting hope for dispair at all times.
Membership in the GROTTO gives a man the right to wear its emblem and to participate in its good work, as well as enjoy all its pleasures.
What the Grotto Teaches
While it is as Prophets we open the portals of the Enchanted Realm to Master Masons, we are nontheless loyal to Masonry. We carry with us the solem lessons we have learned within the Lodge and we are guided by the precepts of Masonry while we revel in the good cheer of the prophets.
The Order of Veiled Prophets, while proclaiming the loyality of its members to Masonry, makes no pretense of being a Masonic Order, nor does it claim to confer a Masonic Degree. Its membership is exclusively Masonic and its purpose is to supply the element of play in such a way that work and play will be blended without marring the solid beauty of masonry. The Grotto is said to be essentially Masonic in character.
For a few years the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm had no offical emblem to wear. Word got around, the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets were permitted to wear an emblem that set them apart from others and a black Fez head covering was selected with a Mokanna Head in the center, giving the name of the Grotto.
The World's Greatest Philanthropy
At the Grotto's Supreme Council annual session in June 1949 held in Long Beach, California, the Supreme Council adopted as its national objective the cause of CEREBRAL PALSY and as of this day, has supported the research of this dreaded disease.
The Supreme Council has contributed over a half million dollers to the United Cerebral Research Foundation since the day this program was adapted. This money is used exclusively for research purposes.
In adopting the Cerebral Palsy program, the Supreme Council. Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, has taken its place among organizations with world wide objectives, justifying their existance.
The Humanitarian Foundation, founded in 1949, has two important projects. First they expend thousands of dollars annually through the United Palsy Research Foundation. This money is used for research for the Cerebral Palsy child. Second is dentistry for the handicapped program. This program provides the best dental care possible for the handicapped child. Any person who donates $50 to the Humanitarian Foundation receives an Enchanted Lantern Lapel pin and certificate. E-mail for additional information on the Enchanted Lantern program.
That the Grotto occupies legitimate place and is doing a wonderfull work cannot be denied. It extends the hand of Good Fellowship to all Master Masons, having a smile for all and a frown for none.
Dentistry for Special Children with Special Needs
Dentistry for the Handicapped program was adopted in 1970 by the Grotto's as its second humanitarian project. Helping the physically handicapped children in need of dental care is a great challenge the Grotto's of the world has accepted.
Our membership has diligently labored to provide the necessary funds toward improvement in the oral health status of these special children. For reasons beyond their control they are too often excluded from the mainstream of dental care.
The Grotto's of the world offer this service to the handicapped... Those afflicted with Cerebral Palsy, Myasthenia Gravis Muscular Dystrophy and Mental Retardation.
This service is rendered free of charge to any child who is 18 years of age and under, regardless of race, color or creed. The only prerequisite is that the child must be sponsored by a local Grotto.