Palestine Masonic Lodge No. 189

Become a Mason

We’ve got a secret that we would rather not keep to ourselves.
Palestine Lodge has been part of the Catonsville Community for 125 years and have been located at the corner of Frederick Road and Newburg Avenue since the turn of last century.

But we are more than a building, we are part of the oldest fraternity in the world.

Fraternity Brings Together Men
Freemasonry, or Masonry as most people call it today, can trace its written history back to the 16th century and counts notable people ranging from George Washington to John Elway, W.E.B Dubois to Benito Juarez, Brad Paisley to Ben Franklin, Thurgood Marshall to Voltaire, your High School Science teacher to the GI in Iraq amongst its members. A more diverse group of men is hard to find.

The Fraternity brings together men from all walks of life and is focused on the inner man as opposed to station, religion, or race. As a strict rule and tradition Masons don’t talk about politics or religion in the lodge room, a tradition that originated in the beginnings of the Fraternity as there are no two topics more divisive.

But what is Masonry?
Masonry builds upon hundreds of years of tradition to impart a series of degrees to candidates that seek to teach a series of moral lessons through symbolism and allegory.

What Masonry is not is a religion, a political organization, or a social club.

What do Masons do?

  • We have regular meetings throughout the year where we conduct out business and pay our bills, perform degree work, have guest speakers, and enjoy each others company over a light meal.
  • We also have a full docket of activities outside of the lodge:
  • We are active in the community and sponsor a child ID event every year during the Catonsville Arts and Crafts Festival and smaller ID events throughout the year.
  • We have taken Group Tours of Camden Yards, Ravens Stadium, and will tour the Grand Lodge of PA.
  • We have an annual family picnic at the Patapsco State Park
  • We have family activities that have included:
    Masonic Movie Night, Dinner Events, Glass Blowing Tour, Orioles Baseball, Roller Derby, Hosting Sunday Services at the Masonic Home, Pint Night, and Grilling at the Lodge during Frederick Road Fridays.

The most gratifying part of the Fraternity is the friendships that you form along the way.

All that being said, we do have some secrets which are largely tied to the means of recognizing each other as Masons and members of the Fraternity, be it a handshake or password. These arose out of our beginnings as an actual guild of working Masons in the prior to the 16th century. One theory is based on the fact that literacy was a rare thing in those days, and skilled workmen needed to be able to identify themselves upon reaching a job site. You needed to be sure that the men responsible for constructing your castle, church, or palace knew what they were doing, hence the secret modes of recognition.
In college most fraternities had three letters, ours has one letter… and several million members world wide. We claim presidents, luminaries, and a good percentage of Grand Dads as members. If you are interested in an inclusive group with tradition, fun, and philosophy Masonry may be the place for you.

Interested in learning more, fill out the below form, we would be happy to contact you.

What is the Meaning of Freemasonry and it’s Expectations?
There have been a great number of definitions of Freemasonry. Perhaps the best, and certainly the simplest, is Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.
The idea of teaching by allegories and symbols is not new. All great teachers have, more or less, followed this method.
The system of morality, referred to as Freemasonry, is that which every Freemason is bound to profess and practice. If it includes principles with which he was familiar before his entrance into Freemasonry, he will nevertheless find these presented in new ways and in forms different from those with which he was previously familiar. If he finds in Masonic teachings nothing startlingly new, he must remember that, in some respects at least, there is nothing new under the sun and that the essence of morality is to be found in the utter simplicity (though not the ease) of its requirements.

The elementary principles of Freemasonry are exemplified in the three degrees worked in every regular masonic Lodge throughout the world.

Each Lodge has its own Officers, headed by a Master; its own Committees and, in many cases, its own building and property – such as Palestine Lodge.

On the other hand, each Lodge is subject to the authority of the Grand Lodge under which it holds its Charter.  For example Palestine Lodge is subject to the authority of the Maryland Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M.

In becoming a member of a Lodge under a particular Constitution, one becomes subject not only to the general customs and usages of the Craft, but also to the Laws and Regulations of that Grand Lodge, as well as to the By-Laws and Regulations of that Lodge which one joins.

However, Freemasonry will never require anything which might conflict with ones duty to God, his Country, his neighbor or his family.
In the progress through Freemasonry, one is initiated as an Entered Apprentice; passed to a Fellow Craft and raised as a Master Mason. These are ritualistic ceremonies of a most serious character appropriate to each stage of advancement. It may be noted that during the ceremonies, one will not be asked to promise anything which will conflict with ones religious, civil or other duties.

The first duty is to approach each ceremony calmly and solemnly, with mind and spirit attentive to the lessons which will be imparted.

What it is Not.
So that one may not have a mistaken idea of what Freemasonry is, it may be well to point out some of the things which Freemasonry is not, and which it has never claimed to be.
Those that would have you believe otherwise are either ignorant of the fraternity, or are lying to you for motives known only to themselves.
1. Freemasonry is not a religion nor is it a substitute for religion. It requires a belief in a “Supreme Being” which it does not name as its members include men from all religions. It urges men to follow the teaching of and to regularly attend their choice of a church. It has a philosophy of its own which it believes to be compatible with the teachings of religious institutions. The teachings of Freemasonry transcend all denominational and sectarian divisions. In the field of human conduct, it is complementary to religion, but religious topics are not discussed in Lodge.
2. Contrary to the opinion held by many, Freemasonry is not a charitable institution, as such. It is true that one of the fundamental principles of Freemasonry is the practice of relief, and a Freemason will necessarily minister to the widows and fatherless in their affliction. But these and other similar modes of conduct, must proceed from that purity of life and conduct which is one of the great objectives of all Masonic teachings.
3. Freemasonry does not insure its members against the vicissitudes of old age; provides no sick benefits as such; issues no insurance policies on the lives of its members and pays no death benefits of any kind. Not that Freemasonry disbelieves in these and other means by which modern civilisation undertakes to reduce suffering and privation-quite the contrary. But it confines the matter of individual relief to those cases where such relief becomes necessary, inspite of all the efforts of a Brother or his family to maintain their economic independence. The Masons part in this work is far more likely to be that of a contributor than a beneficiary, except in the larger sense, in which every man benefits from the fact that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
4. Freemasonry does not lend itself to the promoting of selfish or mercenary interests. Any underlying purpose of such a nature in one’s mind will eventually become apparent to the other Brethren resulting in the inevitable loss of one’s respect.
5. Freemasonry is not connected in any way with a political creed. A Freemason’s political views are his own and a Lodge may well have members belonging to many different political parties. For that reason, no discussion of political matters is permitted in a Lodge.
Who May Become A Freemason.
Not every man can fulfill the requirements that Freemasonry asks of it’s aspirants.

The primary requirement, is of course, a sound moral character. One whose reputation in the Community is in any way questionable, cannot expect to become a Mason.

  • But there are other requirements which the petitioner must have, such as:
  • He must be a believer in God, The Supreme Being.
  • He must be a loyal citizen, willing to discharge his duties to God, to his neighbor and to himself.
  • He must be at least eighteen years of age in the Grand Jurisdiction of Maryland.
  • He must be in such financial circumstances that he can maintain himself as a Member of his Lodge, meeting the monetary obligations imposed by being a member, without detriment to his family or himself.

A potential Freemason, like Masons in all ages before, comes of his own accord to knock at the door of the Craft.

Two Brethren are requested to recommend; indeed they have to vouch for the prospects character and sincerity of motives. In a very real sense they are Masonic sponsors and have the responsibility of seeing that they and others who have accepted their assurances will not be disappointed.

What Freemasonry Expects of You.
The privileges of Freemasonry are no greater than the responsibilities of its members. The obligations will not conflict with those already assumed by virtue of ones membership in modern society.On the contrary, Freemasonry reiterates, reinforces and re-emphasises them.

Thus, in asking Freemasonry to share its past, its present and its future and all the privileges of its Brotherhood, one must bear in mind the fact that the relationship is a reciprocal one and that certain things are expected of the prospect.

Remember always:

  • The calling of a Freemason is a high one and one should never suffer oneself to depart from it.
  • Loyalty to home, to country and to the Craft is expected at all times.
  • Patriotism is a bounden duty and one must not countenance disloyalty or rebellion.
  • Freemasonry recognizes that all men, whether Masons or not, are Brothers by birth, endowed with the same nature, and sharing the same hopes.
  • That Freemasonry champions the cause of the widow, the fatherless, the weak, and the distressed.

That the time-honoured virtues cherished by our forefathers are to be observed among Masons and that humanity, patience, charity and gentleness are among the hallmarks of purity and integrity of character.

Notable Masons

George Washington

First US President

Paul Revere

American Patriot


Harry Truman

US President

Gerald Ford

US President

John Glenn

US Astronaut

Buzz Aldrin

US Astronaut

Thurgood Marshall

Supreme Court Justice

J.C. Penny


Arnold Palmer

Golf Legend

John Elway

NFL Quarterback

Brad Paisley

American Country Music Artist

Ben Franklin

US Founding Father

Will Rogers

American Humorist

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens

American Writer

Nat King Cole

American Singer

Membership appeals to men (at least 18 years of age) of every race, religion, nationality, or opinion, who must meet three basic qualifications:

  1. Good Moral an Social Character
  2. A Belief in a Supreme Being
  3. Maryland Residency
When you are interested in seeking membership at Palestine Lodge, just contact us.  Please complete the membership inquiry form below.
We look forward to speaking with you.  We will provide information concerning the Lodge and answer any questions you may have.  If you like, we will arrange a mutually convenient time to meet and introduce you to several members of the Lodge.  This phase is very important as every lodge has a personality and you want to ensure you are a good fit.  Members of Palestine pride themselves in offering an open and welcoming atmosphere.

Interested in learning more? We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Us

125 Years of Brotherhood in the Heart of Catonsville, Maryland