What is the Men's Rites of Passage?

Men's Rites of Passage

The Men’s Rites of Passage (MROP) is not just another Catholic/Christian men’s retreat, but five days of formal male initiation. These teachings on the “mysteries” and the accompanying rituals of Passover have been met with a very strong response in recent years. Over 6,000 men have now been initiated through these rites of male initiation since they were begun in 1996.

Unfortunately, the proven way to lead males on a journey of initiation has been lost to the West for a thousand years. Only recently, Franciscan priest Fr. Richard Rohr has begun to reclaim the ancient patterns of rites of passage by designing a modern day retreat for welcoming men into the male spiritual community. Fr. Richard’s work in this area addresses the reality that if men are not led through an inner journey of powerlessness, they will inevitably misunderstand and abuse power.

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, the creator of the MROP and of MALEs (Men as Learners and Elders - now Illuman) has trained teams of men in many parts of the world to offer the Men's Rites of Passage.

The Men's Rites of Passage are best for those who have already done some men’s work and who are also on a serious spiritual journey. It is also recommended to make this experience as a lone seeker. Fathers and sons are normally not initiated together, nor is it a buddy experience. You may come with friends, but expect to be assigned to a home group where you will be anonymous and start from zero together.


  • A personal discovery about masculine spirituality and "the Holy Mystery." 
  • A time to savor the healing and awesome power of nature. 
  • A process to address issues of loss, grief, and relationships with our father, other men, as well as others.
  • An opportunity to examine life’s priorities and ask courageous questions about your "next step."
  • An invitation to listen to the "quiet voice of God." 
  • A chance to return to life with a renewed commitment to your gifts. 


  • A traditional lecture-based retreat. 
  • An informational workshop about men’s spirituality. 
  • A sensitivity training or deprivation experience. 
  • A threatening process that requires participants to engage in anything strange or unsafe.
  • A test of physical stamina. 

Many men who are now active in Ohio Illuman have attended an MROP and would like our brothers in this work to know about the rites and the opportunity to go deeper spiritually. We are here to support you in your effort and to address your questions and concerns. And we know that once you too have made the journey through initiation, you too will want to share the experience with your fathers, brothers, sons, and all of the men in your lives.

The nearest (to Ohio) Men's Rites of Passage offered by Illuman is coming up August 8-12, 2018 at Pilgrim Park in Illinois. This biennial rites has been offered by our fraternal chapter the Illinois Midwest MALEs for a decade. If you have an interest, please contact Bob Colaresi, the Illinois Convener, or me for further information.

Illinois Men’s Rites of Passage
August 8 - 12, 2018
Pilgrim Park, Illinois
ContactBob Colaresi

Also, don't forget the Crossings Ohio, our Young Men's Rites of Passage being held July 26-29, 2018 and open to all men ages 18-30. You'll find more information about this event below.

Thank you and please stay in touch!

Chuck RihmConvener
Ohio Chapter of Illuman