By Colin Condon ‘20
Three days, no connection to the outside world, and those three days must be kept secret.
Year after year, Brother Rice sends different groups of upperclassmen to endure a three-day “life-changing retreat,” called Kairos.
Every student is encouraged to go on Kairos by most of the Brother Rice faculty and peers because of its “lifelong effects.”
For those that go on Kairos, they seem to really enjoy the retreat. But for those that do not, they seem to not see the point of missing three days of class, talking about their feelings, and strengthening their already strong relationship with the lord.
“Kairos enabled me to learn more about myself and make new friends. At the same time, I grew closer to Christ,” said senior Bill O’Connell.
For someone that has a strong relationship with God and a lot of friends, going on Kairos just seems like a chance to miss school for three days, while at the same time, losing $300.
Not only are upperclassmen engulfed with schoolwork, missing three days for a retreat will only put a student deeper in the hole. Also, a Kairos member must remain quiet about their Kairos experience.
James Littleton, member of K148 and K150, said, “Missing school for Kairos was an easy decision. I knew older people that went on a previous Kairos, and immediately I wanted to gain a group of brothers the way that they did.”
“Remaining silent about our experience makes the brotherhood that we formed even stronger,” said Littleton.
For those that do not plan on going on Kairos, they have strong opinions about it. Senior Grant Gierhahn said, “I feel like God and i have a pretty solid relationship as it is. I do not need to pay $300 and miss days of school to strengthen our relationship.”
“Also, I have a great group of friends that I would already call brothers. I don’t need three days of soft talk to earn new brothers,” continued Gierhahn.
The brotherhood formed in the halls is obviously a big reason why many students are proud to call themselves a Crusader. Senior Kevin Phelan said that he felt a need to grow closer to the people that have shared the same “home” that he has for the past four years.
Phelan said, “Kairos helps get rid of the daily distractions of school and allows you to focus on the people around you. Growing closer with your classmates and friends is what makes Brother Rice have such an awesome brotherhood.”
Being a Crusader means a lot to the students that roam the halls. To some upperclassman, being a Kaironian is a greater honor.
The viewpoints are split at Brother Rice. Many students really value Kairos and many other students do not. Regardless of their viewpoints, there is no denying the brotherhood formed at Brother Rice, whether it is built through Kairos or through other activities.
Kairos is good, Kairos is great, I encourage Colin to participate in Kairos!!!
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I have to disagree. My name is Tyler Colander. I went on Kairos 147 during my junior year of high school. While missing three days of school can be tough on some, most teachers are more than understanding to help you catch up. The reason so many of us advocate for Kairos so much is because we really enjoyed it. It allows you to learn things about other people that you wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t gone on Kairos. Also, Kairos is secretive for a very good reason. If everyone knew what it was about, they would probably judge it and not go. The mystery surrounding Kairos is what makes it such a fantastic and new experience. It goes with the repetitive phrase, “Don’t anticipate, participate.” Seize the day. Don’t be distracted by “what if’s.” Allow yourself to grow closer to God and your classmates. I met people that I never would have spoken to had I not gone on Kairos, and I deeply strengthened the bond I had with my K-147 brothers. Not only did I grow closer with those on K-147, I grew closer with others who went on different Kairos trips. Kairos reaches farther than just those you go with. You can’t judge Kairos if you haven’t gone on it. You don’t reallize how truly deep your relationship with God and your relationship with your peers can be. Kairos unlocks the true depth of these relationships. As someone who struggled a lot in my life, Kairos helped me at my most vulnerable, and it allowed me to be stronger. I learned many things about myself that I wouldn’t have taken to heart had I not learned them during the experience of Kairos. Everyone should experience Kairos
It helps in more ways than anyone realizes, even more than I realize. In my opinion, Kairos is worth much more than what you pay for. If I had had the money, knowing what i know now, I would pay triple the cost for the experience of Kairos. I wouldn’t trade it for a million dollars.
Thank you, Colin Condon, for this article. I really like how it shows the ups and downs of the Kairos experience and how different students of the school view the retreat. As someone who has attended Kairos twice before (148 and 151), I would like to say that I heavily recommend anyone to attend. While already having a strong group of friends and a strong relationship with God is extremely good, there is always more that can be gained in life. Feeling content with how your life is rather than striving for improvement is when people stop developing into better versions of themselves. Kairos teaches students to be proud of who they are and the experiences they have had (positive or negative). While the school work is an issue, the teachers are mostly considerate to not assign too much work during the retreat I’ve noticed. Both times I went, I was able to get all my work done by the time the weekend I got back was over. Kairos also serves as a good way for students to reflect on themselves and their lives. This allows them to appreciate the qualities about themselves they view as positive and work on improving those they consider negative. No person is perfect, which is why self-improvement in life is so important. Kairos will never be forced on anyone since it defeats the purpose, but most people who attend will tell you how worth it the experience is, regardless of how they viewed themselves and their relationships before going on the retreat. Kairos will always have my recommendation and a spot in my heart, and I highly encourage anyone who is indecisive to attend. I promise you won’t regret it, go Crusaders!