March 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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Brothers, now more than ever we are reminded that we live interconnected lives in one world. Illuman seeks to manifest our interconnection with brothers of all countries, cultures and languages. That goal is so important that I asked hermano Giovanni Perez to address you in the space in which I usually share some thoughts. I am deeply grateful for Gio’s efforts and the efforts of all men to help us realize our goal of “radical inclusivity.- Terry Symens-Bucher, Illuman President
Giovanni Perez
1. How Do You Say Illuman en Español? By Giovanni O. Perez-Campos, Illuman of SoCal
When I did my MROP, I felt completely uninhibited to the degree that, at one of the final rituals, I was chanting in Spanish: “ Cuando era niño, pensaba como niño; ahora que soy hombre, vivo como hombre” (1 Corinthians 13:11). I recall seeing a huge smile of delight across Richard Rohr’s face.

I knew then, as I know now, that such a lifelong journey needs to find its way among our Spanish-speaking brothers. Intentionality and support from Illuman have encouraged some of us to move in that direction. Illuman SoCal has provided the platform where concrete outreach in Spanish has taken place. We have created events with modest results in terms of numbers, but with profound and spirit-filled experiences for those who have participated.

Our first two gatherings were bilingual (drumming together—English/Spanish—then breaking into language-specific groups for teaching and Councils). The first topic was The Present Moment, then we decided to continue unfolding that year’s Soularize theme with What It Means to Be Generative Men .

As of 2017, we decided to have gatherings in Spanish only. That year, we presented The Wise Men's Journey. Based on the story of the Magi and the qualities of those characters, we found that Wise Men look at the cosmos, ask questions, seek a new birth, offer their gifts, and know when to disobey oppressive authority. In 2018, we unpacked the theme of The Divine Feminine , based on teachings of Sister Joan Chittister, OSB. Men were invited to read out loud, in ritual sacred space, some of the atrocities that men inflict on women. We explored how “exclusive masculine” images and concepts of God are oppressive to women and harmful to our souls. At the end, we were called to integrate the feminine and masculine within us. Our most recent gathering was themed Climbing Ladders, on the deconstruction of our "towers" based on the Rich Young Man's story found in chapter 18 of the Gospel of Luke.
In 2017 and 2019, we hosted UMBRALES/MROP in bilingual form—communal activities together and teachings and Councils language-specific. We have supported and resourced Jose Valencia in Nashville, TN, and have made attempts to form Spanish-speaking men’s circles. We have also been invited to share Masculine Spirituality , in both English and Spanish, in the diaconate formation program of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The archdiocesan Office of Religious Education has also given us the platform to offer presentations on male initiation.

Although we had to cancel our first all-Spanish Illuman retreat:  Our Wounds: Doors to the Sacred due to COVID-19, o ur dream—like yours, I'm sure—is to take our men's work to all the Spanish-speaking communities in the US and abroad.
2. Illuman Gatherings and COVID-19
Dear Friends of Illuman,

May this message find you and your loved ones receiving all you need to navigate this unstable and uncertain time with purpose and care. We want to give you our thoughts from Illuman’s perspective on this rapidly changing situation and how it affects our work together.

Illuman leadership—represented by the Board, Wisdom Elders,and Conveners—has already decided to cancel the in-person Oracle/Leadership gathering in Missouri that was scheduled for April 15–19 for 60 men. We are currently working on a “virtual Oracle” to be held during the same dates with the intention to address the current state of our organization, re-weaving Illuman, and future growth.

To read the rest of the letter, we invite you to click here.
3. Expanding our Capacity to Connect Brothers during the COVID-19 Crisis
In this time of crisis, we believe there are opportunities to promote inner work that makes a difference in the world. With Illuman’s focus on ritual, transformation, and grief our work is made for these times. We are ramping up our ability to keep men connected virtually and your support will help!
We ask you to support the work of Illuman by making a $25 gift by donating online , or whatever fits your budget.
Thank you for considering this request and for the many ways you embody the work of Illuman.
4. Men's Rites of Passage for 2020
In the US, we have multiple MROP locations with registration underway and reporting high numbers of sign-ups! However, we are putting safety first with the growing impacts from COVID-19. Our first MROP in April was cancelled by our Arizona Chapter out of an abundance of caution but they look forward to hosting Brothers again soon. Below is a list of remaining opportunities (subject to change).

We hope you will reach out to one of the host locations soon (see links below). We are also excited to recognize fraternal organizations around the world who are holding MROPs starting in June. In addition, we are continuing to hold the Initiator Program at each U.S. MROP. The Initiator Program allows an initiated man to revisit the MROP and continue his journey with other initiated Brothers while supporting a new group of initiates.

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 teachings. 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.

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
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