What is YMROP?

The Young Men’s Rites of Passage (YMROP) is an experience that awakens men to the adventure and mystery of our own belovedness, our masculinity, our deep spirituality, our potential for leadership, and the process of transformation.

The YMROP attracts a diverse assembly of men, all united in our common pursuit of authenticity, vitality, and connection.

 

Over the course of five soulful days, you will embark on the classic
steps of male initiation, engaging in simple yet profound rituals and
receiving teachings within the large group. 
You’ll have plenty of time alone to wander and experience nature. You’ll have time to process your experiences and feelings in a small group setting with fellow brothers.

 

 

During this transformative journey, you will encounter men from around Ireland and beyond, representing diverse family backgrounds, spiritual beliefs, and faith traditions. The participants form a remarkable cross-section of society, drawn together by a shared desire for something more profound—to delve deeper and reach further. We are a community of men driven by a restless yearning, seeking more than what has been given to us.

YMROP builds on over two decades of wisdom and experience in male initiation

In the last 90’s, Father Richard Rohr, Stephen Gambill, and several others created a retreat experience in the wilderness that came to be known as the Men’s Rites of Passage (MROP). Tapping deeply into universal truths and practices, the MROP is now regularly offered in Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, The Czech Republic, all over the United States, and new countries are being added.

 

 

 

This initiation experience uses images and ritual from a variety of spiritual and religious traditions. While the Rites were developed from the Judeo-Christian heritage, the universal nature of initiation continually demonstrates that when something is true, it is true universally. The impact of this experience resonates in human hearts, literally all across the world.

 

 

Fr. Richard Rohr explained how primal societies have demonstrated that cultural survival is dependent on personal spirituality. Unfortunately, the proven way to lead males on this journey has been lost to the West for a thousand years. Fr. Richard addresses the reality that if men are not led through an inner journey of powerlessness, they will inevitably misunderstand and abuse power.

 

The YMROP uses age-old traditions that guide us into manhood. It’s about coming to trust that there is something much greater at work in our lives than we could ever imagine.

 

 

Drawing on poetry, stories, and wisdom teachings from cultures and faith traditions from all over the world. We access practices many cultures have used for thousands of years to prepare men to become better fathers, sons, elders, brothers, and lovers.

 

 

The Young Men’s Rites of Passage are especially appropriate for those who are spiritually searching, have a desire and readiness for a deep encounter with self, others and Transcendent Mystery as you perceive it.

 

We ask you to come not as an observer but with a willingness to participate from beginning to end. Trust that this process, which has served others so well, will also meet you wherever you are in life, and will help you broaden and deepen your understanding of yourself, who you are called to be, and what is yours to do as a mature, spiritually grounded, loving, nurturing and generative man.

 

We warmly invite you to consider joining this journey with us. We know we need each other because none of us can do this journey alone.

The YMROP is...

  • A personal discovery about the masculine journey, especially designed for those who are already in or entering the first half of life.

  • A time to experience and savor the awesome healing power of nature.

  • A process to identify, process, and address issues of loss, grief, and brokenness in a loving and supportive environment.

  • An opportunity to examine life’s priorities and muster the courage to ask questions about your next steps.

  • An invitation to listen to the quiet voice of God, by whatever name you know the transcendent mystery of the universe.

  • A chance to return to your life in the world with a renewed energy and commitment to sharing your gifts.

  • Open to all men.

The YMROP is not...

  • A traditional, lecture-based retreat.

  • An informational workshop about men’s spirituality.

  • A place where you’ll be asked to buy a bill of goods or change your beliefs.

  • A threatening process that requires participants to engage in anything unsafe, strange, secret, etc.

  • A test of physical stamina.

Is YMROP right for you?

Life is a journey. A wonderful and difficult journey. At times each of us can feel lost, unsure of which next step to take when we come to the inevitable fork in the road. These decision points can seem more prevalent — and daunting — during transitional times in our lives: the transition from youth to adolescence, and from adolescence to adulthood. Navigating these transitions during this time of rapid cultural, political, and technological change can seem downright bewildering, especially if you are trying to navigate them alone. 

 

 

But the good news is that you are not alone! Through the Young Men’s Rites of Passage, you have the opportunity to join a global brotherhood of men who lead and serve locally. And while manhood does not come with a manual, it does help immensely to share deeply with your peers and to learn lessons from mentors who are further along on their journeys. 

 

 

These questions may help you decide if you are ready for YMROP:

  • Has something been stirring in you?  Are you longing for a more meaningful life? 
  • Are you curious to know more about what it means to be a good man? Are you ready to more fully embody a mature presence in the world?
  • Do you desire positive mentoring and to be in the company of true elders who care?  Do you seek authentic sharing among other young men on life’s journey? 
  • Do you sense that past wounds may be inhibiting your relationships or limiting your ability to experience life more abundantly? 
  • Do you experience loneliness and a desire for community? 
  • Were you expecting more than your experiencing now?
  • Are you troubled by selfish and harmful examples of manhood and looking for a better way? 
  • Are you sensing a need for change?  Do you long for clearer purpose and direction?  

If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, we invite you to learn more about Young Men’s Rites and to register below.

Who are we?

We (M.A.L.E.S Ireland) are a fellowship of men transforming men, through a power greater than ourselves. We support men who are seeking a life-long journey of spiritual transformation. 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.

 

Using the ancient tools of nature, ritual, image, storytelling, and council we help one another reclaim the soul’s wisdom and the gift of joy. Bearing gifts that often come straight from the wound itself, we then join sisters and brothers, as healing agents in a hurting world.

 

Who’s leading the Rites?

The Young Men’s Rites of Passage is led by a community of elders and initiated men who care deeply about the formation and initiation of our young brothers. Most are based in Ireland, although some of the men on the team will enthusiastically travel a great distance to be a part of this event.

 

We are storytellers, teachers, mentors, models and men on the journey ourselves toward greater wholeness and maturity. We’ve learned from both the hardships, failings, joys and celebrations of life and are eager to share from our wisdom and experience with those who come. We’re committed to help the initiates recognize that they in fact live within a sacred universe and that their lives matter for others and for the sake of the future of our planet.

JIM TAYLOR, WEAVER

Jim Taylor is a Weaver and Wisdom Elder with Illuman (M.A.L.E.S Ireland’s brother organisation in the States), where he conducts Men’s Rites of Passage and other events to strengthen the masculine spiritual journey. Jim also serves as pastor of Mosaic Community Church in Seguin, Texas. A dedicated spiritual guide, wilderness wanderer, and lover of the more-than-human world, Jim engages other men in deepening their capacity for elder wisdom and soul work through immersion into wild landscapes and nature-based retreats.

JASON DELANEY, COVENOR

Jason Delaney is the Convenor for the YMROP 2024. For a significant time in our society, the care of men’s health, particularly mental and spiritual health, has been somewhat overlooked and even devalued. It has taken me many years to settle into my own skin through a journey of personal healing work which includes attending Men’s Rite of Passage (MROP) in 2022. I sincerely wish that events like the Young Men’s Rites of Passage (YMROP) existed when I was in my twenties. 

 

If you’re wondering what it means to live the most authentic version of yourself and embark on a new beginning, setting out to orientate your life for your betterment, then do yourself a favour and sign up for the event—you won’t regret it!

 

I am from Dublin and have been happily married to a Galway woman for nearly 20 years. We are blessed with two daughters; one is in her early teens. The other, I had the honour of being her father and guardian during her brief stay in this world. Unfortunately, she passed away unexpectedly at 22 months old. Despite the heartbreak, I carry no grief—only gratitude and love for the precious experiences we shared.

 

As a young man, I grappled with confusion and uncertainty about my role and place in the world. Feeling distinctly out of place led me to turn to excesses in drugs, alcohol, and other activities in the pursuit of peak experiences and self-avoidance. Feelings of not belonging, of not being good enough or worthy plagued me for many years.

 

I have experienced depression at various times in my life. Feeling fearful, anxious, and very out of control, I even had an episode where I contemplated suicide. However, everything passes; it’s never that bad. I don’t believe any destructive stories in my head. I recognise that my thoughts fuel my feelings, and therefore, it’s up to me to change the narrative. I practice meditation of non-duality, Chi Kung, and develop awareness of the movements of my mind. I walk consciously in nature and connect with and express my emotions. All of these practices help me maintain a healthy state of body and mind.  Immersing myself in nature brings me a lot of joy. The sea holds a special place in my heart; I’ve spent many years windsurfing and engaging in competitive sailing.

 

In my earlier career years, I was quite driven and achieved a lot of success in various corporate roles, including finance, business development, and operations. Now in my early fifties, I am drawn to working on community-based projects that aim for a just, equitable, and fair society. I am particularly interested in working in training, facilitation, and coaching transformation. In helping people to help themselves I recognise that everyone has the power of transformation within themselves.

 

 

Michael Kelly, RECRUITER

Michael Kelly serves on the Recruiter and Hospitality Teams for YMROP 2024. With over 35 years of experience as a professional youth worker, he is dedicated to processes that authentically address the needs of young men. Researching Rites of Passage programs led him to discover the work of Richard Rohr and Illuman in the United States, and subsequently MALE’s Ireland.


In 2018, Michael took the leap, and attended the Rites in Scotland, an experience he describes as deeply moving and powerful, characterised by “a gathering of men dedicated to seeking the truths in life.” Since then, he has been actively involved with MALE’s Ireland, contributing as a Wilderness Elder, Hospitality Elder, and assisting in the Initiator Programme. 

 

In July 2022, he traveled to Minnesota to collaborate with the USA team on their YMROP, with the goal of bringing such a program to Ireland. He is delighted that this opportunity for young men is finally coming to fruition in the summer of 2024. “I would strongly recommend the YMROP for any young man who’s looking for a deeper connection to life and to others,” he said. “It is a 5-day experience that will resonate for many years afterward and provide inner strength and resilience in challenging times. It’s a worldwide brotherhood of anam caras (soul friends).”

 
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