February 2020
Click here to watch a video of men expressing their gratitude for Virtual Council. 
Illuman  is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose vision is to see men transforming men and, through them, families and communities for generations to come. Our mission is to engage those seeking a life-long journey of spiritual transformation. 

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1. A Celebration of Illuman’s Efforts in 2019   by Terry Symens-Bucher,  Illuman President
Last month, my thoughts focused on the turn of the decade, a new year, and what appears to be a challenging (if not downright alarming) future. This month, I want to pause to reflect on what we’ve done that can be celebrated.

During 2019, Illuman supported the work of our Chapters and their programs by:

  • Providing funding for the faculty and leaders for the Men’s Rites of Passage and Initiator programs;

  • Providing funding for the development and delivery of a new Elder Rites of Passage program, UMBRALES bilingual rites, and Gender Equity and Reconciliation work;

  • Providing scholarship funding for 26 Soularize 2019 attendees (10% of attendees);

  • Funding travel for Illuman representation at EuroSoul 2019 in Germany; and

  • Providing an annual Leadership Retreat to develop and nurture Illuman’s Wisdom Elders, Chapter Conveners, Directors, and Eldering Cohorts.
Beyond quantification are the countless hours brothers contributed to Illuman directly and to their local Chapters and events. We are grateful for this generosity. We know that it takes all of us to build a learning and eldering community.

Now, more than ever, we need such a male learning and eldering community. Peggy Orenstein, author of the recently published book Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity , has interviewed hundreds of young men. She says, “When I asked my subjects, as I always did, what they liked about being a boy, most of them drew a blank.” One college sophomore answered, “That’s interesting. I never really thought about that. You hear a lot more about what is wrong with guys.” (Read her article in The Atlantic here .)
Our young men need to hear more about what is good and inspiring and wonderful about being a man. I think Illuman can provide that message. When I think of the men I have met and worked with in Illuman and worldwide, I am filled with awe and inspiration. They are men who like being men, who show up fully, compassionately, open-hearted and open-minded. They’ve walked their walk as well as their talk. I know that the young men who meet those men have seen something that can redeem all they have heard about what is wrong with men.

We are men transforming men through a power greater than our own. We depend on men giving time, money, and love. We have four MROPs scheduled across the U.S. this year—consider working on one of them, or return as an Initiator or Returning Initiated Man. Worldwide, there are eight MROPs scheduled for 2020. Show up and share about the MROP with a man you know. In addition, we have partnership events with Gender Equity and Reconciliation and with Animas Valley Institute. In addition, five MROPs have been approved for 2021, including two UMBRALES.

All this programming relies on men just like you. Thank you.
2. Men's Rites of Passage for 2020
REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY! We are receiving reports that registration is off and running for our Men’s Rites of Passage (MROP) retreats for 2020. In the U.S., we have multiple locations that are already reporting more than 25 men and the first one is still over two months away! If you haven’t yet participated, we hope you will reach out to one of the locations soon. Our goal is to offer MROPs across the U.S. and highlight fraternal organizations around the world who are holding MROPs at different times of the year so everyone who would like to participate in an MROP has the opportunity to do so. Also, you do not have to attend an MROP in your country! We would love to see more men choose to engage with Brothers across the globe.

The MROP experience is not a “regular” retreat but a five-day / four-night, deeply prayerful and soulful experience that builds on the classic patterns of male initiation through simple and moving rituals and teaching. Each day includes participating in group prayer, major teachings on central masculine spirituality themes, quiet time for reflection, and sharing in the context of a small Council circle. 

To learn more about Illuman’s Men’s Rites of Passage and the need for male initiation rites, please click here . To learn more about specific opportunities in 2020, please click the links below.

April 22 – 26, 2020

June 10 – 14, 2020

June 10 – 14, 2020

July 22 – 26, 2020

August 11 – 15, 2020

August 12 – 16, 2020

September 9 – 13, 2020

November 4 – 8, 2020
3.  Opportunities to Stay Connected through Illuman Virtual Council
Last weekend, our Illuman Brothers in the northeastern U.S. opened a new Virtual Council session on Saturday, February 15. This marks the EIGHTH Virtual Council opportunity that is now open to all men and we are hoping to add more. This is a great way to stay connected with Brothers on the Journey of Illumination.
In addition, we continue to hold Council Training Sessions on the first Saturday of the month from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Eastern Time/8:00 am - 9:30 am Pacific Time. 

If you would like to be added to the Virtual Council email reminder list, please contact Brad Pickel at administrator@illuman.org . Stay tuned for more news and please visit our Virtual Council webpage for current information.
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Your  support  in all forms, including prayer, service, and money, is met with gratitude and a commitment to honor your gifts by using them to support men on their spiritual journey.
We are ILLUMAN: 
"Without us God will not,
but without God, we cannot." 
Fr. Richard Rohr