Mt. Moriah Cemetery, located in Philadelphia, had a long history of interring the residents of the City of Brotherly Love. Along the way, however, the cemetery fell on hard times. The last remaining member of the cemetery’s governing board passed away in 2004. From that time, until 2011, a lone employee attempted to take care of the hallowed grounds. The community learned of the problems affecting the cemetery and formed a group to take action and to restore the memorials that had been left to nature’s wrath.
Many of the graves in the cemetery belong to Freemasons, long forgotten by their families, but not by their fraternity. The Masonic Districts in the Philadelphia area, hearing of the cemetery and its need, began volunteering their time and efforts to help restore dignity to the final resting place of so many. As early as 2003, Brothers began working in the cemetery to clear parts of the Circle of Saint John, also known as the Masonic Circle, knowing that the owners could not maintain the area.
The project has become near and dear to the hearts of many Brothers and attracted the attention of the Grand Lodge officers, hearing of the good work being completed. Recently, Bro. Raymond T. Dietz, Right Worshipful Grand Master, along with the other Grand Lodge officers, visited the cemetery to see for themselves just how much time and effort has been dedicated to this cause. Encouraged by what they saw, the Grand Lodge officers were pleased to make a generous donation from the Grand Lodge to the Friends of Mt. Moriah Association, the community organization that now works to save the cemetery. This donation is in addition to the monies raised by many Masonic lodges in the area and local Masonic Youth Groups. All of these gifts will be used to preserve the Circle of St. John for future generations and to honor those brothers who have found their final resting place at Mt. Moriah Cemetery.
In the attached photo, the officers of the Grand Lodge and several Brothers pose with the memorial to Bro. Thomas Kittera, who served as Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania from 1826 to 1828. More information on Bro. Kittera can be found here.
For more information on the cemetery, please visit www.friendsofmountmoriahcemetery.org.