Director’s Message – January, 2016

Director’s Message — January, 2016

Greetings Sacred Path Community,

I hope that you and your family have enjoyed the holidays and have enjoyed the spirit of peace and love that are the true essence of why we celebrate.  As we look forward to the New Year there are changes ahead.  First and foremost, MCLA/Sacred Path is bidding adieu to Steve Branker who has decided to take a hiatus.  Whether it winds up being a sabbatical or a retirement remains to be seen, but at least for now he is stepping back from his role as Associate Director and his participation on the Wisdom Council in order to pursue some other avenues of exploration on his own personal journey.  This news was announced at our December Wisdom Council meeting.


Steve has been with MCLA/SP for 26 years and has held a variety of positions for several years including serving as Associate Director for many of those years.  It will not be easy to fill his shoes.  His support of our organization including his loyalty, dedication and friendship to all of us and me personally, has been exemplary.  He will certainly be missed and I hope that he’ll rejoin us at whatever point serves him best.



Due to Steve’s decision, prompting a need to reorganize and restructure our organization, a core group of us considered that in order to allow for transition to take place, without unnecessary pressure, we would be best served to forego the April retreat this year.  I spoke with John Bard at Hillside Camp who was very understanding and will calendar us for October, 2016 and April, 2017. It was decided that holding some one-day events in lieu of the retreat to introduce our work to new men and build momentum for a successful October retreat was the way to go for now. 

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The first event to mark on your calendar is a special pre-Valentine’s Day MCLA fundraiser sponsored by one of our very talented men, Jeffery Passero.  The benefit performance of Jeff’s cabaret act “My Night To Howl” will take place at 7 pm on the evening of Saturday, February 13th at: Hollywood Piano, 323 South Front Street, Burbank, CA 91502. Reservations can be made at: 818-506-8400 or via email to  The show is about an hour and 15 minutes which works easily into an evening that could include a romantic dinner with your Valentine.  All proceeds will go to our scholarship fund.  Click here for details.


We are planning some one-day events interspersed over the months between now and the October retreat.  We will likely schedule something for March as we are looking for the right venue in which to hold it.  We’ll let you know more once we confirm the date and location.


In the interim, on behalf of the Wisdom Council staff, I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.  I also want to thank you for your support of our programs over the years.  It’s as a result of your participation that we been able to maintain high quality programs for the past 29 years.  We feel that there is still a vital need for programs tailored to supporting men to be mindful in the many roles that they take on. 


Many blessings for 2016,


Stephen J. Johnson Ph.D., LMFT
Executive Director




o – o – o – O – o – o – o



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Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director
of the Men’s Center Los Angeles. He is also the author of
an amazing how-to book for men who want to become better
men . . .  AND for the women who care about them.
Click here for additional info.

No Comments

  1. Sterling M on January 1, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Happy New Year gentlemen.

  2. Hank Landau on January 1, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Dear Stephen, Steve, the wisdom council and men of the Sacred Path,

    Thank you Steve for so fully taking the ball of the Men Center and stewarding it for so long. May your days be many and full of love, in part by knowing that you have impacted and made a meaningful difference in so many lives.

    I remember some 10+ years ago I was at a MCLA retreat (I actually think it was the one with Robert Bly and a South American “Shaman” who many of us gave them both a very hard time)… Respect was not just handed out – it was recognized in others and developed in ourselves. I imagine it is the same now. As I recall, toward the beginning of this retreat, I was uncomfortable in the “clan” I chose/was assigned to. I wanted/needed to have a deep experience in my “clan” time. I wasn’t sure if I “should” stay in the uncomfortable experience or move (which was never done – to my knowledge) to a different clan. Was it my ego, authentic discernment, unfair judgment of others, courage or lack of courage, or desire to be with Steve, Zorn, and Alf’s clan where I believed/knew I could have a “more” intense, loving and fun experience, what would the members of the clan I was leaving think. All of the above were true and tormenting me. I shared all of them with Steve Branker who was at that time just a participant like myself. He smiled an understanding smile (as if to say/embody “I understand that torment”). He said, why don’t you come and join us. He noted my discomfort and invited me to freedom.

    I image Steve has continued to do that over the years , providing along with Stephen a safe, powerful place for men to freely evolve.

    I have so full benefited from my time with the Men’s Center. From attending retreats to individual therapy with Stephen as well as participating in Stephen’s men’s group. I also grew from my departure from those activities. My life truly would not be the same without MCLA. It was my temple and beacon of hope during some very dark times and now is apart of the illumination of my heart and psyche. Many of the valuable and developmental choices I have made came from the support I received from my time with the MCLA.
    I also met my wife through Stephen via his and Mariangela’s “Bridge to Common Ground” gatherings.

    I understand that time changes all things.

    Often value is measured via the positive impact on others and ourselves.
    I stand with gratitude as a testament to the priceless value of my time with the MCLA and I wish it and its leaders and participants well in the unfolding future.
    With much love,
    Hank Landau

  3. Eli on December 4, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    I enjoyed reading thiis

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