Exodus 90: A ninety-day spiritual exercise for men.
Let’s Start With Why
Exodus 90 is all about freedom. Why? Because without freedom, we cannot love as we ought. It’s about our wives, children, parishes and friends who suffer when we’re not at our best. The goal is to achieve the freedom necessary to fully engage the love of God and the love of neighbor. Exodus 90 is based on a challenging 90-day period of purification, a dying to self, which is supported by a fraternity of like-minded men for greater interior freedom and, eventually, a more purified and selfless love.
The experience is designed for men, and is particularly effective for:
- Men discerning a vocation
- Men preparing for marriage
- A step toward recovery for men struggling with an addiction
Most importantly Exodus 90 is for men who have difficulty finding God and desire to radically unite themselves to their Heavenly Father. Exodus 90 is not a program of penance and self-abasement. It is a program for men who seek, together, to strive for a more-perfect freedom. This is the cornerstone of the exercise and much will be lost if that is forgotten.
“And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his EXODUS, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem [where he was to suffer]” (Luke 9:30-31)
What Can I Expect to Give Up During Exodus 90?
Exodus 90 has four pillars: 90 days, prayer, asceticism, and fraternity. All four taken together lead to freedom. This isn’t a “secret formula” or something new. This is the tradition of the Church, and in a particular way, the spirit of the Desert Fathers of the 3rd and 4th centuries. In fact, there’s really nothing flashy about this; all that’s been done is to re-present the Catholic tradition to men who are often unaware of the rich heritage they have received. And that’s why it’s working! Let’s take the pillars one by one:
I) 90 Days: The 90-day benchmark is not an arbitrary number; it is essential for freedom. That’s the period it takes to re-learn the joy and satisfaction of self-mastery and freedom. Most men consider the 90-day period of purification a manly challenge, something that may have been missing in their lives for a long time. In addition, researchers have found that it takes about 90 days – the length of many rehabilitation models, including AA – for the brain to “reset” itself. Interestingly enough, people in recovery have known this saying forever “90 meetings in 90 days” because when the brain is engaged in a habit for 90 days it becomes easier to do.
II) Prayer: Each man is to commit to a holy hour each day. Minimum: 20 minutes. Where possible this is to take place with the other brothers of the Exodus 90 fraternity. The ninety scriptures from the book of Exodus and the corresponding meditations and action items are meant to guide a man’s prayer throughout the 90 days of Exodus. That said, the presence of our Lady in the Rosary is imperative.
III) Asceticism: cold-lukewarm/short showers; no alcohol; no desserts & sweets; no eating between meals; no soda or sweetened drinks; no television or movies (without permission of group); only music that lifts the soul to God; no televised sports (without permission of group); computer for work/school only; regular and intense exercise; group holy hour & meetings; no major material purchases (beyond toiletries, etc., without permission of group); and seven hours of sleep each night is essential.
IV) Fraternity: The Exodus 90 fraternity consists of 5-7 men and a spiritual director. These fraternities are flesh-and-blood fraternities; not online. We do not connect you with other men. Invite men from the parish, work, or neighborhood to make this journey with you. There’s no better way to revive your Knights of Columbus chapter or your TMIY group as going through this spiritual exercise. And if you do not have a fraternity already, it’s time to be a protagonist and form one. Men are isolated today, and your invitation could be life-changing to someone near you. Also, ask a priest, a man who has already made his Exodus, or another wise man to guide your fraternity. These fraternities are to meet 3 times/week for no more than 30 minutes. Minimum: 1 meeting/week. These meetings are an opportunity for the men to give a self-report for accountability, to receive encouragement from the brotherhood, and wisdom from the mentor.
Where Did Exodus 90 Come From?
Exodus 90 is not just another parish program. It has a powerful and authentic story, and one that’s worth telling. Exodus 90 arose in response to a profound need: the formation of young priests. It was developed by Father Brian Doerr and seminarians at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD) who, having been raised in a society enslaved to sin, longed for a more perfect personal freedom as they anticipated service in the Church. These were good men, men who had already decided that, in response to God’s call, they would give themselves entirely to the work and ministry of the Church.
Exodus 90 was piloted by ten different groups of seminarians from 2013-2015. Having experienced similar successes, year after year, we launched Exodus 90 to bishops, priests and laymen across America (and the world!). Since that time, more than 15,000 men have registered in Exodus 90 fraternities across the country and are experiencing their freedom as sons of God.
Who’s Doing Exodus 90?
Religious Affiliation: 95% – Catholic / 3% – Protestant / 2% – Orthodox
State in Life: 60% – Married / 30% – Single / 10% – Priests & Religious
Age: 60% – 20-39 / 30% – 40-59 / 5% – 60+ / 5% – 19 and under
Geography: Every state of the U.S.A. / Canada / Mexico, Brazil / England, France, Ireland, Slovakia
When should I start Exodus 90?
The protagonist of this program is you. Find your brothers and start today if your fraternity is ready.
As a program that emerged from the Catholic Church, most men make their Exodus in conjunction with the liturgical calendar. Here are a few start dates for the upcoming year:
- Easter 2020 – Start Monday, January 13, 2020 to end on Easter Sunday (April 12, 2020).
- Ash Wednesday – Start February 26, 2020.
- Pentecost – Start March 1, 2020 to end on Pentecost Sunday (May 31, 2020).