About Us

Men gather for the morning sit

About Illuman NorCal

Illuman NorCal is a nonprofit 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. Illuman NorCal was founded in 2007, by a small group of men who had the common experience of going through the Men's Rites of Passage (MROP). This began the first Illuman NorCal men's group and became the core monthly regional meeting for Illuman NorCal. Since then there have been other groups meeting, some weekly or monthly.

Our groups have a primary focus of building communities of men and providing men with an opportunity to do their ‘inner work’ in the company of other men. We use ritual, teaching and ways of communicating that allow men to create an environment where men can explore what matters to them most. We foster an environment where:

    • Men can speak without being judged or shamed
    • Men can both speak about their emotions and be emotional
    • Men can forge real and authentic relationships with other men
    • Men can discuss real life challenges of the different roles we play – husband/partner, father, grandfather, provider, businessman, worker etc.
    • Men who participate in our groups receive support as they journey through life and face some of life’s toughest challenges and transitions.

Our communities are a grace based healing environment centered in ritual experiences rather than in conceptual teachings.
Illuman NorCal creates opportunities, through groups, meetings and retreats, for men to experience transformation that they can’t find on their own or anywhere else.

    • We are men transforming men through a power greater than ourselves.
    • We are seeking a life changing spirituality.
    • Our primary concern is inner work that makes a difference in the world.
    • We are fed by the wisdom traditions of forgiveness and radical inclusivity.
    • Our work recovers traditional patterns of male initiation, affirms a masculine path to healing, reveals the true and false self and honors the path of descent.
    • We do this through the power of ritual, image, story and council.


Centering – we are men grounded in the power of the here and now.
Gathering – we are men who listen deeply to each others stories.
Connecting – we are men who choose another to walk with – shoulder to shoulder.
Releasing – We are men who let go of the ways that no longer serve us.
Serving – we are men who honor the earth and serve the whole human community .


Illuman NorCal is the Northern California Chapter of Illuman which emerged from the remarkable work of Men as Learners and Elders (M.A.L.Es) founded by Fr. Richard Rohr. In December 2012, Fr. Richard blessed Illuman as the organization approved to continue the work begun by M.A.L.Es, and the Men’s Rites of Passage.

Together we seek to form future generations of men who will restore these practices while serving to build a world that celebrates the beauty of all beings.

David Hecht

David Hecht

NorCal Council, Convener, President

Michael B

Michael Baclawski

NorCal Council, Treasurer Elect

Joe Gabaeff 2

Joseph Gabaeff

NorCal Council, Convener Emeritus

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Rich Gierak

NorCal Council, Web Servant


Craig Wilson

NorCal Council, Convener Elect


Phil Granchi

NorCal Council

Steve Conroy

Steve Conroy

NorCal Council, Illuman Ritual Elder, Illuman Wisdom Elder


Raymond Dougherty

NorCal Council

Michael Klinger

Michael Klinger

NorCal Council, Treasurer


Mike Anderer

NorCal Council, Illuman Board Co-vice Chair, Illuman Development and Fundraising, Illuman Futuring Council

Get in touch with Illuman NorCal.