A Poem by Michael Whitman (Written at Soularize 2017 and the “Do I Matter” retreat 2017) The man: “Who are...
About Michael Whitman
My name is Mike Whitman. Born in 1947, in the now internationally famous city of Flint, MI. - first born of ten children. Received my BA in English/History from St. Meinrad College, which now no longer exists. In 2011, I was awarded my MA in Spirituality, with an emphasis on male spirituality, from Loyola University in Chicago. I am a Roman Catholic, my foundational spirituality is from the Carmelite Tradition. I have had a lifelong contemplative practice that has many influences in and outside of Christianity and from vivid encounters with other human beings and nature. In 2004 I was certified as a spiritual director through the training program developed by the Dominican Center in Grand Rapids, MI. Most of my adult life has been spent working with teenagers and young adults. For a short time I was also the chaplain of a local hospice. In my old age, I now mostly do spiritual direction. In 2008 I had a life changing encounter through the Men’s Rite of Passage developed by Richard Rohr. An event that has surprised me with how it continues to expand me and to inform every aspect of my spiritual journey. This led me to join IN/MI MALEs. Another surprise since the rites had revealed how much men need each other if we are to grow and deepen inwardly. Surprised because for the most part I had seen other men as a threat or competitors. Being on the chapter leadership team I have been blessed to be thrown among elder council members who keep my edges hot and exposed to men who attend our activities that challenge and affirm me. Learning to be vulnerable and self-honest has been hard work but made easier because of these men who also put themselves lovingly out there in honest and vulnerable ways.
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