Masculine Spirituality

FUNDAMENTALS

Wilderness Outreach is a Roman Catholic Lay Apostolate that challenges priests, seminarians and laymen to discover, embrace and develop thier God given manhood. God calls men to pursue a life of Adventure into His created universe. A universe filled with Mystery and Beauty. God has given men the skills and desires of Discovery, Creation and Battle so that he can navigate his way on this journey. By virtue of a man’s being, his body, muscle, bone, brain and nervous system, he is called to the role of provider and protector. Men are called to fulfill a Mission and Duty with thier lives which is to provide protect and evangelize God's people and build the Kingdom of God on the journey to the end of times. Men and boys must be properly formed to properly engage this work.

The Male must learn to be a Man: Boys and men must be formed into Manhood. Formation is a process of challenge on the Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual levels. True manhood embraces a journey of personal mastery in all three.

One of the fundamentals of Wilderness Outreach is understanding the Theology of the Body. The Theology of the Body teaches us many truths about creation of man and woman. By specifically looking at the function of man and his physiological being we are able to educate ourselves as to the divine design of human sexuality. For instance, The male determines the sex of all human beings male or female by the contribution of the y chromosome which is only passed on from one generation to the other by men, father to son. Differences between men and women need to be acknowledged and celebrated. We were created to be perfectly complimentary creations. 

“All told, men and women may differ by as much as 2 percent of their entire genetic the inheritance, greater than the hereditary gap between humankind and its closest relative, the chimpanzee. In essence, there is not one human genome, but two: male and female.”  
Huntington F. Willard, PhD. Director Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy
 
Wilderness Outreach: Provides men and boys with a formational and transformational experience where they are immersed into the masculine disciplines of Worship, Work, Asceticism, Leadership and Brotherhood in order to promote this formation. See how each pillar is important to the Wilderness Outreach experience: 

 

WORSHIP

“Then they took unhewn stones, as the law directs, and built a new Altar like the former one” Maccabees 4:47

The first mission upon striking the basecamp on a Wilderness Outreach Expedition is an act of Worship. The men scout out and set up the Sanctuary where the celebration of daily Mass occurs. In silence, the men build the Altar of Sacrifice...This experience and interaction sets the tone for the remainder of the week. Worship through work and prayer is implemented in many different ways throughout an expedition, and it is expected to be carried on beyond! Read more about Worship in the Field Journal...

 

WORK

The days during a Wilderness Outreach expedition are filled with rugged physical labor. In partnership with the United States Forest Service, the men of Wilderness Outreach build new hiking trails, and restore existing hiking trails. This work includes the removal of fallen trees, trail excavation and building, rock walls, rock steps and water drainage structures. All of the work is performed with hand tools. This tangible work is a reflection of the inner spiritual work of clearing the path toward God and developing a holier life. With Worship, Work becomes: Ora Et Labora. To date more than 100 miles of trails have been built and cleared.

 

ASCETICISM

“The Spirit immediately drove him out  into the wilderness.” Mark 1:12

 “Humility and ascetic hardship free a man from all sin, for the one cuts out the passions of the soul, the other those of  the body.”  St. Maximos the Confessor

A man needs the discipline of Asceticism in order to become the man God made him to be. True Asceticism will challenge a man physically, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. Through a simple and difficult life men can deepen their connection to God. The journey through Asceticism is the journey of the Cross.

On a Wilderness Outreach Expedition men are immersed in an environment of asceticism. All of the necessities of life, food and water, must be worked for. On an expedition a man is required to discover his inner reservoir of strength, becoming clearer in his thoughts emotions and prayers.

 

LEADERSHIP

 

“The act or process of arousing, engaging, and satisfying the needs and motives of  followers in an environment of conflict, competition, or achievement, which results in followers taking action            toward a mutually shared vision.” Catholic Leadership Institute

Men are called by the faith to be Priest, Prophet and King. To practice an authentic masculine spirituality men must challenge themselves to use their gifts to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By championing and challenging the principles of masculine leadership, Wilderness Outreach works to define and help men grow to be the leaders the Church needs. These principles provide a high level view of some themes that are often revealed to men after a Wilderness Outreach expedition.

  1. Know Thyself as a male creature created by God: The foundation of leadership.
  2. Leadership and followership: When to be a leader and when to be a follower.
  3. Personal responsibility for life; all thoughts, actions, emotions and outcomes. 
  4. Inner Integrity: Aligning our thoughts and actions with our beliefs
  5. Leadership models and processes. The science of leadership
  6. Mission and Duty: Engaging the masculine skills and desires for building authentic Catholic culture and providing for and protection God's people and His Church.

BROTHERHOOD

"Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" Proverbs 27:17 

Authentic fraternity is forged in the crucible of mutual  challenge, problem solving and competition.