elder profile

Richard is a member of the Illuman Marketing and Communications Committee and of the Indiana/Michigan M.A.L.Es Council of Elders.

Read The Day After the Election: One Wisdom Elder's Response

about illuman 
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.


1. A message from Terry Symens-Bucher, incoming Illuman President

My name is Terry Symens-Bucher. I have the honor of serving as the incoming President of Illuman. This role has previously been ably, creatively, even courageously filled by Damien Faughnan and Steve Hicken, men who led Illuman to independent existence as an international movement of men who have been transformed by the work birthed and developed by Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC). I am grateful to Steve, Damien, and Richard for their roles in bringing forth this organization to support men's work. I think we have reached a new plateau in the movement. I use the word "movement" to acknowledge our reliance on the Spirit, which blows where it will and inspires our men's work.

A few weeks ago, we held our annual Soularize gathering in New Mexico and also co-sponsored with the CAC a weekend conference, "Drawing from a Deep Well." Our experience and work can never really be reduced to numbers; however, we celebrate that over 450 men attended from seven countries and 43 US states. Over half of these men had not previously gone through a Men's Rites of Passage (MROP). This is a gratifying sign that our decision-to move away from emphasizing the MROP as a "necessary" experience or prerequisite for engaging in our work to become authentic men-is bearing significant fruits. That does not mean MROPs are not powerful and meaningful experiences for helping men find their way and purpose in life. The MROP remains our premier experience for a man who seeks a deepening of his spiritual life and a strengthened connection to his soul's work in the world. For 2017, we have eight MROPs scheduled in three different countries and five states. It is particularly meaningful that the March MROP in Southern California is our first bilingual MROP.

We are an organization of men transforming men through a power greater than our own. We do this through our five touchstones: centering, gathering, connecting, releasing, and serving. Our foundational and transformational way of coming together is through Council. To do this work well, we welcome every man who is drawn to us. This is exemplified by our Welcome, the form of which was used at our gatherings in New Mexico and has now been accepted by the Illuman Board as our official message of welcome to men coming to us. That Welcome can be found below and on our website. Our hearts and our minds are open to welcome every man who seeks to be authentic and to find in that authenticity his own way to serve others, alongside us.


2. Illuman welcomes all men to our work
In November, the Illuman Board of Directors approved a message of Welcome for men who are interested in participating in our work. This message was used as the opening to both Soularize 2016 and Drawing from a Deep Well Retreat. To read our Welcome, we invite you to follow this link.
3. A Reflection on the Day after the Election by Belden Lane
As we prepare for the changing of governmental leadership in the United States, Belden Lane, an Illuman Weaver, offers a reflection in this month's Drumbeat.
4. Upcoming Men's Rites of Passage 2017
We are pleased to announce the Men's Rites of Passage scheduled for 2017.  Please follow the provided links to learn more about each opportunity.  We specifically want to highlight our first bilingual MROP in March in Southern California.

West Virginia/Washington, D.C. Men's Rites of Passage
October 4, 2017 - October 8, 2017, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Fr. Richard Rohr
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