A defining aspect of a student’s senior year at Jesuit is the opportunity to participate in many different retreats that allow seniors to step away from the sometimes stressful tribulations of academics, athletics, and extracurriculars. One of these retreats in particular strikes a chord with many Jesuit seniors: the Kairos retreat. Although underclassmen may simply see the Kairos Retreat as a time when their teachers are gone from class, the retreat holds great significance for the seniors.
Similar to most Jesuit retreats, the primary purpose of the Kairos is to assist students and faculty in developing their relationship with God, and learning how to respond to others with generosity that is beyond the ordinary and commonplace. “Kairos” comes from the Greek word meaning “the right time,” as the students who are ready for the retreat are at a point in their lives when their hearts and minds are open to God’s voice, speaking to them through their own experiences and the experiences of others. Kairos is considered an intense experience, open to those students who wish to deepen their faith. Primarily led by seniors who have already undergone the retreat, this retreat not only provides students and faculty a way to build stronger bonds with God and others around them, but also opens new opportunities for seniors to hone leadership skills.
From January 28th to the 30th, 8 leaders, 10 faculty members, and 39 seniors embarked on the Kairos retreat. Along with support from Campus Ministry, faculty leaders and other faculty members, student leaders such as Roman Kimbrell, William Janicki, and Matt Slovak were able to lead small groups through spiritual reflection and discussion.
Mrs. Segal, who also participated in the January retreat, appreciated many things about the retreat. She says, “Even though there’s the Examen and prayer services, I’m often busy thinking about other things and I’m not really engaged in those activities as I should be. At Kairos, you don’t have your phone with you, and there’s nothing to do except reflect on your relationship with God. It’s rare to get the opportunity to remove yourself like that.” When asked about what she felt the most important aspect of the retreat was, she continued, “It’s a nice reminder for me to be open with my students and peers, to listen a little more and not judge them as much. It really is a reality check that I don’t have all the answers, and I should be open to those answers.”