Most Kairos retreats are held at Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford, CT or Our Lady of Calvary Retreat Center in Farmington, CT. Retreats begin on Tuesday evenings with a bus departure from East Catholic at 6:30 p.m. and end on Friday at 6:00 p.m. with the bus arrival at East Catholic. The per student cost is $200 (which includes a $35 per student subsidy from the ECHS Parents Association). Scholarships are available.
In 1970 the Christian Awakening or Encounter (now Kairos) was brought from Brooklyn to St. Xavier High School in Louisville, KY. In 1975 the retreat was shared with Joliet Catholic High School in Illinois, then with Loyola Academy in Chicago and eventually made its way to St. Xavier High School, Cincinnati, OH in February of 1985. The Kairos retreat was shared extensively in the above mentioned schools and throughout the Jesuit Secondary Education Association. As a result, Kairos expanded quickly into Catholic high schools nationally in the early 1990s. The Kairos model is now commonly used on the college level as well.
Kairos at East Catholic has its roots in the Christian Encounter retreat that many East Catholic graduates experienced in the Archdiocese of Hartford with their colleagues from other Archdiocesan High Schools in the 1970s. It is no minor coincidence that Encounter was originally held at Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford, which is the current location of East Catholic's Eagle Kairos. Our own Sr. Peggy Evans, SND along with the Christian Brothers and the Congregation of the Passion (Passionists) offered Encounter to hundreds of first generation East Catholic students. The renewal of Kairos was initiated by Christian Cashman, former Principal & Chief Administrator. The first Eagle Kairos took place with a visiting group of eight peer ministry students and our adult team attending retreat in January of 2007 with Chaminade-Julienne High School (C-J) in Dayton, OH. C-J is the only co-sponsored Marianist/SND co-educational high school in the United States. Our own SND heritage spurred us to send our first eight students on the C-J Kairos.
What is Kairos?
Kairos is a Catholic retreat program grounded in Christian incarnational theology, which is our belief that God continues to be with us in our daily experience through the presence of Jesus Christ manifested to us in word, sacrament and community. Kairos is an intense, four day experience of Christian community where prayer, peer reflection, liturgy, sacraments and faith-sharing are the norm. The retreat is not meant to build exclusive groups but rather to lay the groundwork for continuing Christian formation and community, which is why the follow-up to the retreat is critically important. The program is a beginning and a deepening, not an end in itself. You can direct your questions about East Catholic Kairos to our Campus Ministry Department. Live the Fourth!
A $35 subsidy towards the cost of this retreat is provided by the East Catholic Parents Association. The East Catholic Community wholeheartedly thanks our Parents Association for their loving service in financially and prayerfully supporting our KAIROS mission.
What are East Catholic students saying about Kairos?
"The experience was life changing; it broke down the barriers of stereotypes and high school cliques. I was able to connect with people on a completely different level and everyone just seemed so human. I have grown throughout my entire high school career as a student and as a person. Kairos was just a capstone to it all. I wouldn't give this experience up for anything, and I am so glad I followed my intuition and gave it a shot... I have changed for the better and have become a friendly, outgoing person who is completely secure with myself. Overall, this experience showed me the ignorance of judging people and encouraged me to try to see God in everyone I meet and to give everyone a fair chance at being my friend." ~ An East Catholic Senior