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Department of Campus Ministry

Iona Preparatory Kairos Retreat

The Kairos Retreat aims to create an environment away, a moment in “God’s time”, in which participants may be awakened to the ever-present love of God. Each one of us is called to a fuller existence as a person and closer intimacy with God. Kairos seeks to proclaim and make real this relationship, as well as raise awareness of “God in all things”. Through peer ministry, participants experience Christian leadership, support, and community. They are invited to grow in understand of themselves and of how God “fits into” their lives. The retreat ends with a challenge to live Kairos on a daily basis. With the support of the community, each participant can more easily look inward and find true worth as a person and know the beauty of having deeper relationships with others and God.

 

Kairos Basic Information

  • A basic human need is to be apart, alone, at times. A retreat experience is such an opportunity. This is true for adults and teenagers, as well. Thus, it is recommended that the retreat be outside, away from one’s normal environment, to truly be a Kairos, a moment in “the Lord’s time”.
  • Kairos is basically a religious program grounded in Christian incarnational theology. It is an experience of Christian community, with a series of talks given by peers and adults. Prayer and the sacraments are an aspect of the experience, as well as the participants’ involvement in discussions and various exercises. The program lasts three and a half days, with a “fourth day” which strives to keep it alive indefinitely, as well as provide ongoing support for retreatants.
  • It is not a cure of itself, but a deepening experience in one’s Christian life. The retreatant will not necessarily leave the program with a lot of answers, but hopefully will have a greater awareness of himself, others, and the Lord.

 

Philosophy of Kairos

The purpose of Kairos is to allow the student to see the value of Christian faith lived and experienced in community. With the support of that community, the student can more easily look within and find their relationship with God and others.

 

Kairos Alum Reactions

Going on Kairos was the best thing I have done in my time at Iona. It was the perfect opportunity to grow my faith and fully experience the Iona brotherhood. ~Matthew Worth ‘18

This retreat really opened my eyes to God and helped me personally overcome obstacles. It allowed me to connect closer to my friends and make many new ones. Kairos is an amazing experience that allows you to experience God and allow him into your life. My mood before Kairos was very sad and skeptical but after Kairos it made me in a great mood and have realized many things that I could change in my life. ~Davis Crawford ‘18

Kairos is not just an experience but a lifestyle, a new way of life after going on it. You hold life to a higher standard after this retreat, not only on a spiritual level but as a community, a brotherhood; something as Iona men strive for each and every day at the Prep. This isn't just some retreat you go to, it's something you are a part of; something you live. This is what Iona is about and everyone should take part in this once in a life time experience. It will open your world on so many levels and this will be something you will not forget. The only thing you would regret is not going on this retreat. This is what makes us second to none to any other school. Being someone who had such high expectations for Kairos, I was blown away by all that was offered to me there. ~ Ryan Murphy ‘18

I was a leader this past Kairos, and having experienced the retreat twice now, I can say that you will get something unique and significant out of it every time. Kairos speaks to you wherever you are, and it is not designed for any specific group of people except those who come with an open mind and heart. ~Jack Kristensen ‘18   

You should go on Kairos so that you can truly understand the meaning of Brotherhood. You will make friends with other people from school that you never knew you would ever befriend. By the end of the retreat, there is a spoken and un-spoken sense of brotherhood, which will stick with you well after it ends. ~ Joe Kennedy, ‘20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

You should go to Kairos because it is an amazing experience. At first, I was skeptical, mostly because I had been questioning my faith at the time. One of the activities really enlightened me and helped me find my faith. I felt at that moment that I was speaking with my grandfather and I was finally getting the closure I needed about his death. I also connected with God and am trying to slowly but surely change my attitude in life. ~Adrian Djonbalaj, ‘19

I can’t imagine anyone regretting their Kairos trip. ~Christopher Wach ‘18

Kairos to me was an expansion. An expansion of my religious faith as well as my connection to my Iona brothers.  Thank you for a life-changing week!  ~Owen O'Meara ‘18

Thank you again for letting me be a part of this experience. It was truly life changing. Kairos helped show me what and who was important in my life. It also showed me that I needed to spend more time with God. ~AJ Rossi ‘18

Kairos truly exemplifies the meaning of Iona brotherhood. Kairos allows us to build a relationship with our peers, and more importantly a stronger relationship with God. ~Christopher Condon ‘18

I don't remember anything specific, just a feeling. That feeling is spirituality in its purest form. ~Tim Hagarty ‘18

I can honestly say that Kairos was one of the best experiences that I've had at Iona. It really challenged my belief of who I am. While I was exposed to the parts of myself that I'm not proud of, I was also exposed to qualities that I didn't even know I possessed. From the way I view myself and my relationship to God and others to the way I perceive others to view me, Kairos really challenged me to reevaluate the person that I currently am compared to the person who I want to become. And, as an added benefit, in the process, I truly felt the Iona Brotherhood. ~ Michael Bachmann, ‘20

Looking back on it now, Kairos was truly an eye-opening week for me. At a time when I entered with so many questions about my life, I have left with answers. At a time when I questioned my faith constantly, I have left with a much stronger relationship with God. Lastly, at a time when I entered with preconceived notions about my peers, I have left with brothers that I will cherish far beyond this experience. ~Peter Hoffman '18

The sense of community on this retreat is second to none. ~Ryan Kingston ‘18

Kairos for me was a distinctly Iona experience, which strengthened the brotherhood of those who came and I believe that it did strengthen my sense of brotherhood that Iona is known for. ~Matthew Holderman '18

 

Kairos changed my life because the students that were in my group listened. I have always had the need to push people away from me and I finally got the chance to open up about myself. I wasn't sure what to expect on this retreat, but I can safely say that I became a better man both spiritually and emotionally. ~ David Dowicz, ‘19

 

Kairos had a very positive impact on my son. He left stressed out worrying about college essays, the common app and AP classes and he returned home smiling and laughing. Shutting down from electronics may have been difficult at first but it provided time to be outdoors and get to know classmates he may not have had the opportunity to spend time with due to differing class schedules and sports. ~Mother of student in class of 2018​​​​​​​

Kairos XIV – October 15-18, 2019

Kairos XV – February 17-20, 2020