By Tim Hayes ‘22

Kairos has long been something I’ve known about, but never really knew what it was. I first learned about it when I was in fifth grade after my cousin went on it, and at the time I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward to high school; all I heard was how great it was and that it was a life-changing experience for everyone. But there was always a cloud of secrecy surrounding it, and no matter who or how many times you ask about Kairos, people never budged about what happened.

So out of curiosity and to be honest, the desire for my winter break to go a week longer, I attended Kairos 158 this January with no real expectations. I was anxious, a little scared, but also hopeful. In my head, I just thought that everyone else had a good experience, so will I.

Now being someone that has been a part of a Kairos experience, I’m sworn to the same secrecy that everyone who’s been one has. It’s an important part of being a part of Kairos to keep that secret so those who go on Kairos have the same experience I did.

What I can say is that Kairos is as good as everyone will tell you. And don’t just take my word for it; these are the words of people that shared this experience with me on Kairos 158:

Danny Veal ’22: “ At first, I was hesitant to go on Kairos. I didn’t know what to expect, but I went anyway. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Not only did I get closer with other kids in my grade, but I got closer with myself. Kairos helped me find myself and my ideals.”

Antonio Franco ’23: “ My Kairos experience was amazing. When I went on this retreat, I went for two reasons, the first being that my parents wanted me to go and the second was because I wanted to see what the “you have to go on it” was about. It really changed the way I look at things and at other people. I felt like I had power in the world and made me feel welcome by my peers.”

Billy Reardon ’23: “My experience on K-158 was fantastic! I learned how to open up and express my faith to others. I met many friends that I am lucky enough to call my Kaironian brothers. I was super nervous at the beginning of the retreat, not knowing what to expect, but soon after Day 1, I have never felt any better in my life. I can’t tell you what we did on this retreat, but all I can say is that this was the best experience of my life and I encourage every student at Brother Rice to take part in this special opportunity! Live the Fourth!”

I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am to have been able to go through this experience not only with these three, but with all the other people in the photo above. I will never forget what I went through with them, and they will always be my brothers. They helped me realize things I never thought I would. I realized that even though we are all unique, we share the same struggles. High school is a challenging time and we all go through our battles, but when we open up and talk to each other, we become stronger together and overcome our problems.

Kairos helped me repair my relationship with God. It helped me realize that the church and God aren’t one in the same, and that I don’t need to be the most vocal supporter of the church to still be a follower of God. And most importantly, I learned that I am loveable and that I have a crowd full of people that will always be there for me. If you’re a Rice kid reading this, I strongly encourage you to attend Kairos as it truly is as good as they advertise it.

Live the Fourth. Now and Always.