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From: Kate Challis <>
Subject: [TGF] Catholics and Odd Fellows
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:40:49 -0500


Hey guys!

I was wondering if Catholics could historically be members of
free-Mason-like fraternities like Independent Order of Odd Fellows or
Knights of Pythias?

My understanding is that becoming a Mason requires a belief in God, but
beyond that almost no other religious qualifications, and if you were a
member, you probably would not know the religious affiliation of your
fellow Masons.

However, I also had read some online threads that discussed a historic
anti-fraternity sentiment (or perhaps an official decree?) that meant that
most of the time Catholics would not become members of them. Here's a link:
http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=004Sal

I really don't know if I trust that site. I definitely trust you guys more,
especially to lead me to where to search.

I'm doing some research for someone who thinks that her ancestors were
Catholic, but isn't sure. In the ancestor's obituary he is definitely
listed as being a member of I.O.O.F. (several times this is listed, with
several different lodge numbers etc.) and Knights of Pythias. These clues
make me wonder if he really wasn't Catholic.

Thanks!

Kate Challis

PS
I gave a presentation to my local chapter of the Czech Heritage Society
about how to research the online Czech repository for the Moravian-Silesian
region, hosted on vademecum.archives.cz. I posted my slides online for
anybody to view and use. I hope they are helpful to fellow Czech
researchers. You can find them here:
http://czechoutyourancestors.blogspot.com/2013/07/finding-czech-parish-records-moravian.html

I find the vademecum site very intuitive, and my slides don't really expand
on advanced search strategies, so they might not be interesting for this
crowd. But who knows, maybe they will be.


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