In 2008 XHS added the option of a four-day retreat model for their juniors. This retreat is called Kairos.
Mission Statement of the Kairos Retreat
The Kairos Retreat aims to create an environment away, a moment in “God’s time”, in which participants may be awakened to the ever-present love of God. Each on of us is called to fullness as a person and closer intimacy with God. Kairos seeks to proclaim and make real this relationship, as well raise awareness of “God in all things”. Through peer ministry, participants experience Christian leadership, support, and community. They are invited to grow in understand of themselves and of how God “fits into” their lives. The retreat ends with a challenge to live Kairos on a daily basis. With the support of the community, each participant can more easily look inward and find true worth as a person and know the beauty of having deeper relationships with others and God.
Kairos Basic Information
- A basic human need is to be apart, alone, at times. A retreat experience is such an opportunity. This is true for adults and teenagers, as well. Thus, it is recommended that the retreat be outside, away from one’s normal environment, to truly be a Kairos, a moment in “the Lord’s time”.
- Kairos is basically a religious program grounded in Christian incarnation theology. It is an experience of Christian community, with a series of talks given by peers and adults. Prayer and the sacraments are an essential part, as well as the participants’ involvement in discussions and various exercises. The program lasts three and a half days, with a “fourth day” which strives to keep it alive indefinitely, as well as provide a supportive community for retreatants.
- It is not a cure of itself, but a deepening experience in one’s Christian life. The retreatant will not necessarily leave the program with a lot of answers, but hopefully will have a greater awareness of him/herself, others, and the Lord.
Theology of Kairos
God’s love is visible and enfleshed. It was so in Jesus, the Son of God. We find it so in one another. The talks on Kairos are centered around the revelation of God’s love to us, through all the people and experiences of our lives. In accepting God’s love for us, we are gifted by the Spirit to go forth and proclaim it. In this context, the experience of prayer and the sacraments allows the retreatant to see his/her faith in a meaningful and vibrant way.
Each person has a ‘theology’ or personal history of life through which the Lord is calling him/her to fullness as a person and to closer intimacy with God and others. Kairos tries to proclaim, make real, and raise awareness of the Kingdom for which Jesus died. Peers complement the adult team by sharing their personal history and theology. This has been strongly recommended by Vatican II: “Young persons themselves ought to become the prime and direct apostles of youth, exercising the apostolate among themselves and through themselves, and reckoning with the social environment in which they live”.
Philosophy of Kairos
The purpose of Kairos is to allow the student to see the value of Christian faith lived and experienced in community. With the support of that community, the student can more easily look within and find their relationship with God and others.
- To call the youth forth to life in faith; to be an active and vital member of the Church.
- To develop Christian leadership
- To help a student focus on where he/she is with himself/herself, others and God.
- To come to a personal understanding of how Christ fits into his/her life
- To afford the student the opportunity to experience both personal and communal prayer, the sacraments of the Eucharist, and Reconciliation.
- To enable the student to experience Christian community
- To have the student come to appreciate and value himself/herself as a young adult, as well as those people in his/her life, especially parents, relatives, friends who make life meaningful.
Psychology of Kairos
The purpose of Kairos is to allow the student to see the value of Christian faith lived and experienced in community. With the support of that community, the student can more easily look within and find their relationship with God and others.Peer pressure in the teenage years is extensive. Often young people feel pressured to do and say things they would not choose to do or say if not for the influence of ‘friends’. The retreat allows the student to examine life more freely, openly and honestly. We need to encounter each other. We need to share experience. The trusting atmosphere of the Christian community facilitates this need.
On Kairos, the following develop:
- There must be a willingness on the part of the retreatant to participate
- Because of the time together, a bond develops
- The retreatant becomes more receptive to other people, thus sharing more of who he/she is.
- He/she begins to share personal ideas
- Trusting, open relationships develop. This enhances a condition for positive change. Defense mechanisms break down. The retreatant can then explore himself/herself more freely.
- Community results as retreatants begin to listen to one another. They discover identification and self-affirmation, resulting in peace and joy.
Kairos dates for 2017-2018
- K-29 Oct 19-22
- K-30 Jan 18-21
- K-31 March 1-4