In God’s time

Kairos is a life-changing spiritual experience for seniors.

Mia Ross, Staff Writer

This week, a group of seniors embark on Kairos #131 to spend four days at the Whispering Winds Catholic Conference Center in Julian, California, growing closer with their peers and with God. K131 is the second Kairos of the 2017-2018 school year, the first one being the summer Kairos in July.

Kairos is a four-day retreat exclusive to seniors, led by past attendees of Kairos and various teachers who volunteer to chaperone the retreat. Each day is filled with worship and bonding activities meant to strengthen each attendee’s personal relationship with Christ. However, most of Kairos’s activities are kept secret until each student gets to the camp and experiences it on their own, adding to the impact of the retreat for each individual.

Over the summer I was lucky enough to attend K130 with approximately 80 other SMCHS seniors. I continue to talk about my experience and encourage other seniors to attend because I can honestly say that Kairos changed my spiritual life for the better. I won’t spoil any of Kairos’ surprises, but I want to make note of how it personally impacted me in hopes that other students will consider signing up for Kairos.

Going to public school up until freshman year, I had little exposure to religion and never developed a meaningful relationship with God. I never thought about attending Kairos until a close friend of mine from the class of 2017 told me about how important it was in the development of her faith. I had a gut feeling that I should listen to her, so I signed up.

I hated it at first: I didn’t know anyone there; I forgot pajamas, shoes, and a pillow; and I thought the hours we spent worshipping were exhausting and pointless. It wasn’t until my small group leader, Renee Gentry from the class of 2017, encouraged my group to open up to one another that I felt the presence of God. On the third day of Kairos, Gentry got up and sang “Oceans” in front of all the retreaters. Standing together with my peers and singing along helped me break down the walls I subconsciously put up that kept God out. For the first time in my life, I felt the presence of God in the room with me. It may sound cliché or even crazy, but to this day, there is not a doubt in my mind that God loves me, as He loves all of His children.

Kairos had an unprecedented impact on me as an individual and I hope that the rest of the attendees of K130 and K131 felt the same way. Bonding with God is something I wish everyone could experience at some point in his or her life and, for some of us, Kairos is where that bridge is built.

I have a few words of advice for seniors considering attending one of the remaining two Kairos retreats. First, have no expectations: everyone experiences God on their own time and in their own way. Second, be open to bonding with new people: you’ll end up spending time with people you may have never met, and it’s a great way to begin new friendships bound by the love of Christ. Last, but not least: be open to God. God wants a relationship with all of His children and in order for us to have that relationship with Him, we need to take our spiritual walls down and allow Him to enter our souls. Taking those walls down can be difficult, but once the walls are gone, you’re on your way to developing a timeless relationship with our Heavenly Father. With all of this in mind, remember to have a great time and enjoy four days off the grid in communion with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you are considering attending or leading a Kairos retreat this year, please contact Mr. Brandon Tait or Mr. Francis Cabildo in Campus Ministry.