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Despite pandemic 133rd annual Kairos retreat continues on

Spanning over a four-day period from Tuesday, Nov. 10, seniors participated in the 133rd Annual Kairos Retreat with the purpose of improving themselves as they move on to adulthood. 

Mr. Astran, who was one of the adult moderators, said, “Kairos as a retreat is special because it challenges students, especially seniors who are preparing to graduate, to think about the person they want to be beyond their life as Loyola.”

To accommodate the 44 seniors who were in attendance, planning for this year’s event was different because of COVID restrictions. The greatest difference was that the retreat was held outdoors. Students were required to wear masks and practice social distancing, and the participants, instead of sleeping over, were sent home each evening.

Director of Campus Ministry Matthew Schaeffer explained, “Each day concluded by about 8:30 P.M. and students went home each evening and came back each morning. Meals were served ‘grab and go’ and were provided by Zlicious when we were on campus, and by the retreat center when we were there.”

With respect to preserving the integrity of the retreat, adult navigators and students were asked not to disclose the activities that took place, but the event maintained its traditional format: reflections and speeches presented by the adults.

As one of the adult leaders, theology teacher John Ahearn said, “I would say getting to know students that I never had previously is something I really enjoyed doing during Kairos.”

Seniors were asked to reflect on their relationship with God and how their faith journey has effectively carried out their goals in life as they move beyond high school.

Senior Lucas Hunter stated, “This retreat helped me take a step back and engage in introspection. One way I plan to live out these changes is to listen to the stories of others before making hasty judgments. Kairos helped me improve in this sense because everyone had to share a lot about themselves, and what I learned helped me appreciate and understand others more.”

Ahearn stated, “Overall, I felt it was a positive experience for both me and the retreatants because it gave us all an opportunity to step away from our Zoom classes and interact face to face, something we haven’t been able to do since March.”


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