When you spot someone wearing a cross that looks a bit like a waffle, curiosity abounds. What is that, you ask? It’s a cross that is given to all of those who have participated on Campus Ministry’s Kairos retreat.
Kairos is one of our main weekend retreat experiences for students and is led by students and members of the faculty or staff here at Canisius. Each student leader is paired with a member of the faculty or staff to work as group leaders alongside 4 or 5 Kairos participants. The weekend is spent at Cradle Beach in Angola, NY and it is there that our students experience “Kairos.”
Kairos is a Greek word that is best translated as “the opportune time”, in this case, it’s an opportunity to be away from our usual routine on campus to spend intentional time in discussion with others about the meaning of our lives together, where we may be struggling, and what we think about God in our lives. In taking time away, we essentially free ourselves from our schedules and hand that time over to God. In doing so, we create a “Kairos” which a better translation may be “where time stands still.” We do this in order to create time outside of the usual space we find ourselves in most often, so that we can discover where God may be leading us, where beauty and our appreciation of others lies and what is truly important to us as we continue in our lives at Canisius.
Of course, there are a few surprises along the way that we keep secret from attendees. You need to go on Kairos in order to know what they are. But one need not worry or be preoccupied with these! As any attendee can tell you, these are amazingly moving surprises that many hold deep in their hearts for years to come.
How often do you get to spend time away from campus, where all your basic needs are cared for and where you can be off the grid for just a short time and simply breathe, relax and make new friends, some that may become your best friends ever? That’s Kairos.
Just a short while ago 26 students attended their first Kairos retreat, led by a staff of 12 students and faculty/staff. Kairos 55 was a rousing success and you might notice a bunch of people wearing the waffle cross more prominently around campus in these weeks ahead.
Director of Campus Ministry, Mike Hayes is the Kairos Retreat Supervisor and he can answer any questions you might have, but he’d much rather have you ask some of our attendees about their experience. Campus Ministry reminds you that one need not be Catholic, or even religious, to attend Kairos. However, we would also remind you that the retreat is based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, which are Catholic in nature, but certainly can be applied to all people.
Our next two Kairos Retreats are scheduled for the Spring Semester:
February 10-12 and our student Director will be Daphne Sietz assisted by Grace Horner, both class of ’18.
March 31- April 2 and Joe Lesh ’17 will Direct alongside Matt Pernick ’18.
You can register for these retreats on your portal or by clicking here.