Welcome to the Internet Home of
Braden  Lodge  #168
Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of Minnesota

5149  Bloomington  Ave  S
Minneapolis  MN  55417

Seeking Light in Masonry

Socrates' Café

The Socrates' Café is where you will find food for the mind. It is a moderated group discussion topic on a subject that focuses on how Masons interact with the world at large. Topics can range from practical discussions, such as how to maintain privacy on Facebook, to more esoteric topics, like what are the working tools of your own profession and what allegorical lessons can you derive from them? Socrates' Café is held at 8:30pm during designated Fellowship Nights (see Calendar or Trestle Board for scheduled dates.) It is a good event to come to if you wish to get a true sense of the flavor of Braden Lodge.

Part of becoming a better man through Masonry is gaining a better understanding of the world around us.  While every Thursday in which we do not have a stated meeting is a Fellowship Night starting at 7:30, we also dedicate some time twice a month, starting at 8:30, for discussion groups.

Fellowship at Braden Lodge


Contributed by Brian Silverain, Senior Deacon  -  March, 2016


We like each other and enjoy being in each other’s company.

We find comfort and solace in our weekly bonding.  We gather in the simple hope of some fellowship with our peers.  There is a high probability of good conversation and a possibility of attaining a nugget of enlightenment.

We, as men, differ in many ways yet strive to gather in harmony.  We gather for our monthly Socrates’ Café & Franklin's Academy discussions (see below).  These are usually focused on incorporating some facet of Masonic Lore into our daily lives.  (Socrates’ is an open discussion while Euclid’s is for Masons only) We gather around one large table.  We try and minimize side conversations and hold to “one” conversation.  There are a few of us blowhards that think we know most everything - pontificating at length and interrupting each other with minutia but, I believe, the quiet ones get the most out of our discussions.

We gather every week, be it a stated meeting, a discussion night, or just hanging out.  We bond over foosball, pool, going over the work, the prove-ups and the floor-work.  We fall into smaller cliques as are wont to happen but we tend to flow from one to another.  Sports not your thing? Then circumambulate the room and fall in with a bit of esoteric obscurity.  If that is too far-out, continue on your journey towards enlightenment and stop in with movie lore or heavy metal debates.  Still not settled?  Try the brewers and imbibers.  They always have great stories.  But many times we stay gathered around the big table and the talk rambles from one topic to another, coming back around again in a few hours. 

We, as men of Braden, are an eclectic bunch. For the most part we are oddball introverts seeking solace in the company of peers. Once we as individuals embrace our own oddity, we can more readily accept someone else’s unique eccentricities.

It is difficult to develop real friends with other men! When compared to the buddies we had in childhood.  Free from responsibility and limited to the neighborhood, there were only hours to spend.  Time together bonds men.  Time together with a focus changes the world.  We strive to shine Light into our dark places, knowing that our Brothers have our backs and steadfastly hold up the mirrors that show us our inner uncomfortable recesses.  We support each other in simple ways and are the stronger for it.  By just being there every week, we all know and feel the bond of brotherly love and affection. 


Dinner is served at most Fellowship Nights starting at 7:30pm -- but don't be dissuaded from coming if you're running late, we can heat something up for you! A $5.00 donation is requested to help defray food costs, which includes coffee or water. Soft drinks are available from the cooler in the Fellowship Hall for $1.00. A vegetarian option is made available on request.