The annual Kairos Retreat resumes this week (October 20th) in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth and concludes when the boys return on Friday afternoon to join with their parents for the final ceremony in the Boys’ Chapel at 3:30pm.
This is the 17th year of the Kairos model, which originally took place in Clongowes during the first school break, but for the past five years has chosen St. Patrick’s College as its venue. Forty-three Poetry students and nine Rhetoric leaders are engaged in this worthwhile experience of Christian community, with a series of talks delivered by the Rhetoric students and adults. Prayer and the sacraments are an essential part, as are as the retreatants’ involvement in discussions and various exercises.
The purpose of the Kairos Retreat is to allow the students to see the value of their Christian faith as lived and experienced in a community; they can more easily look within themselves to find their true worth as a people; to reflect on their relationships with others and ultimately with God. The retreat is a three and a half day programme, which offers a challenge to continue it for as long as one possibly can. It assumes a follow-up programme (Fourth Day), which strives to keep it alive indefinitely, as well as provide a supportive community for the retreatants. (See below for more on Kairos)
We pray that the retreatants will see the value of their faith lived out through community, with the support of the team, their peers and the adults on board and that they will be able to fulfill their mission on this earth to the best of their ability.
Anne Marie Dolan Fr Michael Sheil SJ Ms Mary Maume
Pastoral Coordinator Director of Ethos School Counsellor
The Kairos Retreat
The Kairos Retreat is based in part on the First Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order. The retreat is a peer ministry model, which occurs in all the Jesuit Secondary schools: peers compliment the adult retreat team, by sharing their own personal history and theology. Nine Rhetoric students, will lead will lead the retreat, with a series of talks, group discussions and prayer. Fr. Rector Michael Sheil, S.J. will celebrate Mass for the students every day of the retreat and other staff members will facilitate in different ways, throughout the time.
Kairos is God’s time, as opposed to Chronos, which is clock time.
The talks on Kairos are centered on the revelation of God’s love in our lives, through all the persons and experiences of our days. ‘In accepting God’s love and life, we have the responsibility for service in the Lord’s name.’ During the days of Kairos, there is a growing self-awareness, through the boys’ engagement with the speakers; through their interacting with one another in their small groups, facilitated by their leaders and by their own desire to participate in Prayer and the Sacraments. To see the value of the students’ faith lived out through community, with the support of the team, their peers and adults, the students can more effectively look within themselves and find their true worth, as people in relationship with God, their family and their friends.
In Kairos, there is a genuine desire to understand one another; to accept one another more easily; to share their values and to build up a trusting relationship with people they may not have known very well.