March 2019
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.  ¡UMBRALES! On the Threshold!   by Terry Symens-Bucher,  Illuman President
From May 29 to June 2, 2019, the men of Illuman SoCal will host the second UMBRALES MROP—a bilingual rites of passage in Spanish and English. The first UMBRALES MROP was held in 2017 and opened the rites of passage to Spanish-speaking men. The experience was exhilarating for the men involved and the team found the bilingual experience enhanced the rites.

UMBRALES means thresholds and this program brings Illuman to several thresholds. Let me mention a couple. I believe deeply that so long as Illuman continues to serve a primarily white, middle-class, hetero-normative constituency it will be serving a profound and much-needed purpose—but it will also be missing, not just the opportunity, but the necessity to expand our imaginations and experiences in order to truly serve the world. As I learned from my living-systems teacher, Joanna Macy, diversity is one of the signs of a healthy system. To my mind, diversity of experience, language, culture, and manifestation of masculinity can only strengthen our claim to transform men and to learn the wisdom teachings of forgiveness and radical inclusivity.

Another threshold we are invited into concerns sharing resources and helping brothers to experience the “inner work that makes a difference in the world.” As we move away from the middle class, access to MROPs declines accordingly. Sometimes that constraint is financial only: Men cannot afford to take time off from work and cannot afford the cost of attending. This is liminal space for those of us who are challenged by this fact. We can revert to the “rugged individualism” that supports men to “find their own way,” or we can move into a new way of being.

I want to hold up a man who moved into a new way of being. Here, in the words of Stephen Caudana, the SoCal Convener, is what has happened:

I want you to know the beautiful and profound message that this story carries for me. I believe this story is really the Illuman story. It’s how Men’s Work changes our lives through that power greater than us. Jose Valencia, the first UMBRALES-initiated man, is a member of our team. Jose lives in Nashville, and is bringing five new men, all the way across the country, to our MROP/UMBRALES in May. These brothers are in Jose’s Men’s Group. They're workers in the construction, restaurant, and service industries.

Together with Illuman brothers from across the country, we are working to find a way to get them here.
The Nashville brothers have raised $1,400.00 on their own, with a fundraising raffle.

Jose’s Spanish-speaking men met with an Anglo men’s group, across town in Nashville, and taught them The Way of Council. The Anglo brothers are returning the gift with a contribution. An Illuman SoCal elder is meeting them in Nashville, in two weeks, and underwriting scholarships [50% of the registration fee] for each of them.

Jose told me tonight that he still needs another $2,000–$2,500 to help with the travel expense [they’re driving, in a van].  

My own chapter, NorCalMALES, has committed $1,000 to this effort. I invite you and your regions to consider the same opportunity to support these men who need financial help to attend the MROP. You can contact Stephen at for information on how to help. I commit myself to work at the national level to create a fund for men who dearly need financial support to attend Illuman events. I am moved to end with these words from a wise man: A tree is known by its fruit. I see Illuman on the threshold of bearing much more fruit for men in today’s world.
2.  Illuman en Español Is Here! by Illuman SoCal Chapter
At Soularize 2017 , we had the joy of introducing José Valencia (participant in SoCal 2017 UMBRALES ) to Richard Rohr. We told Richard that Jose was among the first brothers to experience the Men’s Rites of Passage in Spanish ( UMBRALES ). Richard, without missing a beat and with a huge smile, greeted Jose by saying, “Well it only took 20 years!!”

We are happy to share that we have produced a video (click logo below) to introduce the work of Illuman in Spanish. Part of the video is dedicated to reflecting on UMBRALES , which is the Men’s Rites of Passage in Spanish. The UMBRAL is one of many thresholds men must cross over to fully embrace the authentic self. The wonderful footage of brothers and Richard Rohr, which communicates this important message, is the culmination of the work of many, including the video team of the CAC, who provided the footage created in New Mexico.

We are grateful to many for the hours of work that went into this film. Among the brothers are: Giovanni Pérez (SoCal), Néstor Rodríguez (SoCal), José Valencia (TN), Ted Zaragoza (SoCal), Adolfo Anchondo (NM), Geno Gallegos (NM), Samuel Pérez (SoCal), Juan Macías (SoCal), Manuel de Jesús Sandoval (SoCal), and Bob Juárez (SoCal).  
3. Men's Rites of Passage for 2019
Will you be joining us in for a 2019 Men’s Rites of Passage (MROP)?  We have plenty of opportunities in the U.S. and around the world. O ur first offerings are fast approaching in Washington and Southern California. 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 “home group.” Make plans to join us now!

To learn more about Illuman’s Men’s Rites of Pa ssage and the need for male initiation rites, please click here . To learn more about specific opportunities in 2019, please click the links below.

May 15 – 19, 2019

May 29 – June 2, 2019
This is the Men's Rites of Passage experience, with teaching sessions and key parts in your own language, English or Spanish, coming together for common rituals and celebrations.

June 19 – 23, 2019

June 26 – 30, 2019

July 24 – 28, 2019

August 20 – 24, 2019

September 11 – 15, 2019

September 11 – 15, 2019

October 2 – 6, 2019
4. " Soularize 2018: A Conversation with Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM " featuring Fr. Richard Rohr & Fr. Jim Clarke
During an evening session of Soularize 2018,
Fr. Richard Rohr responded to questions from Fr. Jim Clarke, offering some very candid and personal answers informed by his own life experiences of joy and suffering.
(Video length approx. 47 min.)

Illuman is a global not-for-profit organization committed to supporting men who are seeking to deepen their spiritual lives. We are an organization that is open to all men based on the simple belief that we are all brothers. When Illuman was founded in 2012, it emerged as the organization approved to continue the work begun by M.A.L.Es and the Men's Rites of Passage. 

You can find this and many more Illuman videos focused on male spirituality at our  YouTube Channel .
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