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What are the Men's Rites of Passage?

Here's a quotation from Richard Rohr's book From Wild Man to Wise Man that, for me, distills much of what the MROP event is about. He makes no apology for his Judeao-Christian roots (he's a Franciscan Catholic priest) and, for me, because that is the setting in which I grew up, I make no apology either. In fact, to deny it and attempt to leave it all behind would be to throw the baby out with the bathwater, or perhaps to divorce from one's parents, or choose never to speak again in a mother tongue.

This is part of the rehabilitation of the Christian tradition that I have waited for for many years and which is characterised by radical individual authenticity on the one hand and recognition of the authentic parts of inheritance, community, context and tradition on the other. Here goes:

"A masculine spirituality would be one that encourages men to take the radical (gospel) journey from their own unique beginning point, in their own unique style, with their own unique goals - which is what we end up doing anyway, but now with no doubt or apology or need to imitate our sisters or even our fathers, for that matter. That takes immense courage and self-possession.

Such a man has life for others and knows it. He does not need to push, intimidate or play the power games common to other men because he possesses his power with surety and calm self-confidence. He is not opinionated , but he knows. He is not needy of status symbols because he draws his identity from God and from within. He does not need monogrammed briefcases and underwear; his identity is settled and secure. He possesses his soul and does not give it lightly to corporations, armies, nation-states or the acceptable collective thinking. He is beyond red state and blue state thinking.

Male saints are, quite simply, people who are whole....They are comfortable knowing, and they are comfortable not knowing. They can care and not care - without guilt or shame. They can act without success because they have named their fear of failure. They do not need to affirm or deny, judge or ignore. But they are free to do all of them with impunity. A saint is invincible."

This is not about religion, but about spirituality.  About age-old traditions that guide men into manhood.  About coming to trust that there is something much greater at work in your life than you could ever imagine. Taking you out of your comfort zones, but more deeply back into life. About cutting through the competition, backslapping and bullshit that characterises so much of male interactions much of the time and being honest at last.

During the 5 days of the rites, out in nature where you are no longer in control, you will be held by an experienced team of male elders, all of whom have been through the same process. As the elders take you through the rites you will experience drumming, ritual, fire, silence, small groups, wilderness, solo-time, teaching ... and more.
 
I undertook the rites in 2010, and it was a watershed moment. I highly recommend that you attend. There are events all around the world. The UK event takes place every year in Scotland - details are here:
More details of international events can be found here: