Philip Gross, A True Spiritual Warrior

Philip Gross, A True Spiritual Warrior

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

I recall the day I was packing up in my room at the end of one of our retreats in 1997 when Hector Escarcega, who was on the Sacred Path Wisdom Council at the time, brought one of the participants to meet me.  Hector suggested that Phil Gross, AKA “Coach” Phil would be a valued member of our Council.

Phil expressed how much he enjoyed the retreat and declared that he would very much like to get involved with our organization. He was encouraged to attend 3 retreats in a row, which was our policy, and if he still felt the passion, he would be invited to participate in a Wisdom Council meeting so that he could learn more about the inner workings of The Men’s Center/Sacred Path.

Phil followed through with the protocol and did indeed join the staff and commenced what would become a 20-year tenure in our organization. He served as a Tribe Leader, managed our bookstore, and then stepped up his game by suggesting that we return MCLA once again to a 501c3 non-profit organization. It had been a non-profit for at least the first 10 years of the 30+ years that it has been in existence. Phil did the work and paid for the fees to recreate the corporate entity. He also purchased, out of his own money, handsomely embossed mugs as retreat takeaways, and monogrammed shirts to commemorate MCLA’s 25th Anniversary. He was a frequent contributor to our scholarship fund.

Phil had a special place in his very spacious heart for our Call to Adventure Rites of Passage program for fathers and sons, boys and mentors. He always brought his “A” game sharing his multifaceted background with all of the skills, talents and gifts he so generously offered to each and every member of our community from the younger ones to the older men.

Phil loved who we are and what we do. He was truly one of the most decent, kind, caring and generous men who has been involved with MCLA over the years. We have lost not only a really good man, but also a key player within our organization. He served in so many capacities and yet was so understated that it would at times be tempting to not fully appreciate who he was and the gifts that he gave. He deserved all of the acknowledgement that he was afforded, and more.

I was lifted up by his belief in me and my vision for the Sacred Path Community. He was fully in support of the mission of MCLA. In addition to everything that he offered, he also gifted me a full year of weekly coaching as I was writing my first book. That provided me with a very personal experience of Phil’s coaching prowess.

I know that Phil was also very engaged with his LandMark Forum community and as an instructor with the L.A. Unified School System. He was also involved in the administrative and policy making part of academia. We shared a bond in being fellow Trojans. We would text each other around our football games and the traditions and spirit of being a member of the USC family.

Perhaps the most telling example of his generosity was demonstrated via his relationship with someone he befriended at the Inside Edge Mastery organization.  Nick Rath was a true mentor, having supported hundreds of Foster children and providing parenting education within the L.A. Unified School System. Phil realized that Nick’s life was on the line, and would be drastically shortened if he did not receive a donated kidney.  Phil volunteered to determine if he was a match, and he was.  The surgery was scheduled and successful.   Phil and Nick became blood brothers from that point forward.  It was such a pleasure to witness their bond at our retreats.

 

To sum it up, Phil’s passion for serving others became one of the cornerstones of the foundation for our SP/MCLA work in the world. He is missed and will be missed. Each member of our community who has passed has left an indelible mark on the history of what we stand for and what we have endeavored to do. Phil’s mark will stand out for many years to come.

Thank you Phil for being you and for leaving us with memories of the mindful man that you shared with us . . .

Rest In Peace,

Stephen

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

 

 

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Dr. Stephen Johnson is founder and executive director of the Men's Center Los Angeles and leader/wayshower of the Sacred Path men's retreats for the past 30 years. He is a gifted therapist and master facilitator for the experiential journey that unfolds during his counseling sessions and workshops. Dr. J is a skilled and seasoned psychotherapist who has the sensibilities of a wisdom teacher. He provides a safe space for freedom of expression in accessing one’s pain while fostering transformation, personal expansion and spiritual growth. Click here to visit www.DrStephenJohnson.com

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Philip Henry Gross Memorial Celebration
-- Sunday, September 24 --

 

PHIL GROSS
MEMORIAL CELEBRATION

A Memorial Celebration honoring the life of our very own Philip Henry Gross was held Sunday, September 24:

LEDLOW
400 S Main Street
Los Angeles 90013
1:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Contact Susan Hornik
(323) 447-8154

Click here for event details on facebook:  PHIL GROSS MEMORIAL CELEBRATION

 

Click here for OBITUARY PHILIP HENRY GROSS
January 21, 1954 ~ September 4, 2017
(age 63)

 

 

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memorial celebration obituary page
Philip Henry Gross  
 
January 21, 1954 ~ September 4, 2017
(age 63)