Retreatants thrive at Kairos

On the last morning of K13, the sunrise makes a beautiful scenic picture behind the crucifix hanging over Mount Claret Retreat Center. The retreatants are about to arrive and enjoy their last day of Kairos activities before they go back into the real world.

Noelle Peterson, XPress Staff

On the last morning of K13, the sunrise makes a beautiful scenic picture behind the crucifix hanging over Mount Claret Retreat Center. The retreatants are about to arrive and enjoy their last day of Kairos activities before they go back into the real world.

Noelle Peterson, Staff Writer

Kairos is a religious retreat that Xavier College Preparatory and other Catholic and Christian schools worldwide participate in. Because Kairos in Greek means “God’s Time,” the retreatants are unaware of what time it is while at the retreat and they are expected rather to focus upon God and His word. 

Kairos also means “the right time.” Knowing one is there at the right time in life allows retreatants to be ready and prepared to find their connection with friends and God at the present time. As Lila Freeland ‘23 says,“Trust that God has a plan for you. He put this retreat in your life for a reason.” 

Although Kairos is a retreat for seniors only, ten juniors are asked to participate in the last one of the year in order to prepare for leading the first retreat of the following year. There are four retreats each school year, with approximately 50 girls at each retreat. 

Every senior is encouraged to go on the retreat so that she can have the experience at least once in life. After attending Kairos once, however, girls can apply to lead a future retreat for their senior class. 

Each person has a different experience on the retreat. Retreatant and leader, Freeland, says her favorite part was “bonding with girls I never would’ve thought I related to and building a personal relationship with God.” She further said, “I loved watching myself surpass my own expectations and surprising myself.” 

Before attending Kairos, retreatants know nothing about what they are going to experience for the next four days. This makes it nerve-racking but exciting at the same time. 

“If you go into the experience with an open mind, those four days will teach you more about yourself and others than you can even imagine, and it is so beyond worth it,” says senior retreatant and leader Summer McCann ‘23.

Everything said and done on Kairos remains confidential and safe within the large group, or at times with your small group of five to six girls. This allows the girls to open up and share things about themselves. 

The openness and comfort created on Kairos is what bonds the girls and allows everyone to feel a connection to each other and to God. “You will never look into the eyes of someone God doesn’t love” is a favorite quote McCann heard on Kairos.

If one is chosen to lead Kairos by theology teacher and coordinator of Kairos retreats Danielle Burr, she will then spend approximately 50 hours outside of school, planning and preparing for the week. 

One struggle with gathering Kairos leaders was trying to get all 10 to meet after school.“The new Kairos class opening next year is great because it will give the opportunity for girls who have after-school commitments to become leaders,” says Freeland.

This new class is for those interested in being leaders. A student will be able to work with others in order to get ready for a specific retreat.

Having a class will definitely help future leaders feel less overwhelmed by everything that goes into it,” says McCann.