Date: February 16-17, 2024
Location: Holley Family Village Residence at De Sales Center
$105.00 per person with a sliding scale price offered
“What is the focus of this retreat?”
This retreat will explore one of the most difficult lack of actions facing our culture and society. That being, self-awareness. In a culture focused on entertainment there is little time or felt need to stop and reflect on why we may be doing something, or how it may be affecting me and those around me.
There is also a tremendous temptation to trivialize significant meaning offering opportunities and efforts to “self-improve.” Although an overnight retreat cannot assume it will bring such an effort forward for any of us, it can give us time, support, and opportunity to see how we are doing regarding authentic self-awareness. It is hard work and often painful as well. That is why we gather as brothers to support and challenge one another.
What to expect:
As we face an ever more complicated world, where violence and confusion threaten to overwhelm the fragile framework of human societies, it is important that we stop now and then and take account of where we are in life at this moment. It is vital that we evaluate/self-reflect on both our gifts and broken places, in order that we are not an ongoing cause of suffering in the world. If you do decide to attend, bring a photo or picture of the MOST important thing/person in your life. Join us in this lifelong effort!
“Since English and American law could not countenance unfree human beings who had not broken the law, the Englishmen and Americans who wanted to own slaves had to divest their victims of humanity itself, to render them less than human in order to seize the slaves’ freedom and live morally and intellectually with themselves. This feat required the slave owner to look into the face of his slave and see no human.”
“Under Anglo-American law, the system could have been justified and lived with no other way, leaving white Americans today with what may be the most difficult psychological wounds human beings can suffer – the self-disfiguration that is the consequence of having denied the humanity of human beings.” (The Accommodation-The Politics of Race in an American City by Jim Shutze: p. 52-53).
“If white people have suffered less obviously from racism than black people, they have nevertheless suffered greatly; the cost has been greater perhaps than we can yet know. If the white man has inflicted the wound of racism upon black men, the cost has been that he would receive the mirror image of that wound into himself. As a member of the dominant race, he has felt little compulsion to acknowledge it or speak of it; the more painful it has grown the more deeply he has hidden it within himself. But the wound is there, and it is a profound disorder, as great a damage in his mind as it is in his society.
“This wound is in me, as complex and deep in my flesh as blood and nerves. I have borne it all my life, with varying degrees of consciousness, but always carefully, always with the most delicate consideration for the pain I would feel if I were somehow forced to acknowledge it . But now I am increasingly aware of the opposite compulsion. I want to know, as fully and exactly as I can, what the wound is and how much I am suffering from it. And I want to be cured; I want to be free of the wound myself, and I do not want to pass it on to my children.
“Perhaps this is only wishful thinking; perhaps such a thing is not to be done by one man, or in one generation. Surely a man would have to be almost dangerously proud to think himself capable of it. And so maybe I am really saying only that I feel an obligation to make the attempt, and that I know if I fail to make at least the attempt I forfeit any right to hope that the world will be better than it is now.”
(Wendell Berry, The Hidden Wound, pp. 3-4).
“But I want to tell you something. This pattern this ‘system’ that the white man created, of teaching Negroes to hide the truth from him behind a facade of grinning, ‘yessir-bossing,’ foot-shuffling and head-scratching–that system has done the American man more harm than an invading army would do to him.” (The Autobiography of Malcolm X).
“Grief is usually thought of as a product of losing something or someone. But what happens if parts of myself were tied off at the stump with the fine threads of White Culture, never allowed to develop in the first place? What is the absence of humanity inside of me created by Whiteness? And what would it mean to fully grieve that absence?” (Abraham Lateiner, “Grieving the White Void,” Medium, 3/24/2016).
“Understanding that your life is not about you is the connection point with everything else. It lowers the mountains and fills in the valley that we created, as we gradually recognize that the myriad forms of life in the universe are merely parts of the one life that most of us call God.” (p. 61, Adam’s Return. Richard Rohr)
“And though it all, each of us in our own private way has been brought face to face with the struggle that comes with every shift of social ground, every loosening of social certainties. The struggle between variables has become endemic. We find ourselves confronted with an experience of humanity, a sense of personal uprootedness that we have never known before.” (p.10, Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope, Joan D. Chittister)
“As a Wanderer, you apprentice to the unknown, to mystery. You long to be initiated into the fully embodied life of your soul, but you will have to wait. The fallow time of the Cocoon, the time between death and (re)birth, cannot be dodged. (p. 255, Nature and the Human Soul, Bill Plotkin)
“The life of contemplation in action and purity of heart is then, a life of great simplicity and inner liberty. One is not seeking anything special or demanding any particular satisfaction. One is content with what is.” (p. 66, The Inner Experience, Thomas Merton)
The retreat and ritual leader:
Mike Whitman –
Mike Whitman – Mike has been involved with the Illuman of Indiana-Michigan chapter in its earliest formation when it was still MALES of Indiana/Michigan. He has led retreats and been part of the leadership teams on other retreats in the chapter and in his many years working in faith formation and youth ministry. He chooses this retreat topic from his own spiritual journey experience and the recognition of its essential importance for a rich and meaningful life.
RITUAL ELDER: Mike Whitman will also function as the primary ritual elder for the retreat. He was designated the Ritual Elder for the chapter in its early formation.
WAY OF COUNCIL FACILITATORS: Elder Council participants