November 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. 

1. Let's "Make It So"
by Steve Hicken, Illuman Chair
I want to recognize Terry Symens-Bucher and, before Terry, Damien Faughnan, for their dedication to serving Illuman since 2012 in their roles of President/Chair of the Illuman Board. Alongside Terry and Damien, I offer gratitude to all of our men, our brothers who have served our common mission in Chapters and Regions as well as in nationwide Illuman work. Our work is also sustained and supported by brothers working in so many countries around the world in ever-expanding circles to reestablish a worldwide masculine path which unites, sustains, and heals. In this year of 2020, this need has never been more self-evident.

I'd like to introduce myself as your incoming Chair of the Illuman Board. You see my wife of 40 years, Mary, in the picture with me. In 1993, my oldest son, Chris, who at the time was in sixth grade, in his own way expressed interest in experiencing a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood. In 1995, along with several men of our family, we organized a family-based rite of passage for him. Following that, we held an additional six similar rites of passage for my nephews and three other sons. In the late 1990s, I connected with the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) and Richard Rohr's work, attending my own MROP in 2001. I remained connected with M.A.L.Es work, as CAC called it at the time, and in 2010 joined a team convened by Richard to design what ultimately became Illuman. I served for a short time as Illuman's President until the initial Board and Wisdom Elders undertook the task of really establishing our organization (that we sometimes call an organism).

My own life service has included a total of nine years living and working in Venezuela and Mexico with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners in social justice service work. In each of those locations, my family and I lived through tense and violent political and economic strife, similar in cause to the divisions in which we live right now in the USA.

As I assume the office of Chair, I want to recognize and hold up the service of Chris de Lastic and Mike Anderer, who have graciously agreed to serve as Vice-Chairs. You will be hearing directly from Chris and Mike and—I hope—others too, in upcoming Drumbeat issues.

Here are my aspirations for Illuman:

1) That every man who connects with Illuman experiences deep healing and support through what Illuman offers, and most especially through the healing touch of the masculine heart.

2) That Illuman continues to expand and deepen to include and incorporate the life experience of men—those who identify as male, of all cultures, races, economic classes, formal educational levels, ages, geographies, religious traditions, or none. All belong.

3) That each man wholeheartedly undertakes that which is his to do in the world—And Soon. We contend with patriarchy, racism, and climate emergency. Now, perhaps more than at any point in the history of our species, we need men to step forward, investing every shred of our knowledge, wisdom, strength, and courage to serve LIFE!

4) That our society comes to know Illuman as a community of tender men and, at the same time, steeled and courageous men, dedicating our lives for the well-being of the planet, of our society, of our communities, families, and faith communities—and especially in service to those most vulnerable in the human and more-than-human world.

Brothers, it will be a very good day when all of these are as true as we can make them. In the office of Chair of the Board, I dedicate my best energies to draw upon your best energies, insights, and leadership to "Make It So"!
2.  Illuman Virtual Events Coming Soon!
We are excited to announce three, new Illuman Virtual Programs below. They are open to ALL men.
Men & Humility – An Unlikely Pair, a Force of Power
Saturday, November 28, 2020 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Hosted by Illuman of Minnesota

Genuine humility can be hard to find in our current culture. Yet, when sought and accepted, especially among men, this virtue will rock our world. In this retreat, we'll explore together what true humility looks like and how it changes us for the good. Our facilitator, Jim Smith, has led retreats for over 30 years in both religious and non-religious settings. He currently serves as Director of Mission Integration for Benedictine Health System, encouraging employees to bring their best and truest selves to work. In his role, he is immersing himself in the rich trove of Benedictine spirituality. Join us!
Elders at the Gate
January 8–10, 2021
Hosted by the Northern California Chapter of Illuman

Elders at the Gate is a three-day virtual experience, January 8–10, 2021, built from the ground up on the collective wisdom and work of the men of Illuman. Hosted by the NorCal chapter and focused heavily in the power of story and Council, this event is an invitation into deeper brotherhood for all men, initiated and uninitiated (any initiate signed up for a cancelled 2020 MROP may attend for free). All involved will hold space for and work deeply around the question, "What is mine to do?" The elders are waiting to receive your story. Join us!
Of Sound Mind and Heart
January 8-9, 2021
Hosted by Ohio Illuman

Writing is one of the most powerful forms of communication, and surprisingly enough, the person who gets the most out of the writing is often the author. If we are going to be Of Sound Mind and Heart, we have to know what matters to us.

Join the Ohio Chapter of Illuman for our 2021 Virtual Writing Retreat. Men with all levels of writing experience are welcome. The retreat will take place via Zoom. It will include a variety of engaging sessions and writing styles, although poetry will be its main focus. This is a pencil-to-paper event, not a teaching course. Join us!
4.  Soularize 2020 Videos Coming SOON to the Illuman YouTube Channel!
Brothers (& Sisters), we’re editing our Soularize 2020: The Masculine Path to Healing videos to prepare them for wider publication on our Illuman YouTube Channel. We’ll be announcing their release and highlighting many of the sessions and breakout videos in future editions of the Drumbeat. In the meantime, we invite you to visit the Illuman YouTube Channel to browse our library of nearly forty videos, including past Soularize sessions and conversations with Fr. Richard Rohr.
We hope that you know about the many videos we offer at our Illuman YouTube Channel. And we invite you not only to watch and reflect upon this growing library of videos, but also to share them with the men and women in your community. We believe the content in these videos not only informs and inspires the individual but can help all of us to enlarge our circles as we venture out into the world, seeking and instigating deep spiritual transformation.
5. Illuman Shop - Check out our online store!
Be sure to visit Illuman's online shop where you can order t-shirts, hats and other Illuman logo items. Every purchase helps support our work!
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.

Please also remember Illuman in your Estate Planning. Contact us at for more information.


Without us God will not,
but without God, we cannot.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr ~