By Michael Taszarek ’18
Kairos, the retreat juniors and seniors, should continue to not be required, but encouraged even more.
You may wonder why I am writing this article since Kairos is already not required, but there is an underlying sentiment among some retreatants that the retreat should become mandatory
The retreat lasts three nights and four full days, and for some serves as closure to the Brophy experience that begins with the Freshman Retreat.
From personal experience, I can say that this retreat exceeds high expectations, and that I am a different person now that I have experienced Kairos.
However, despite how formative the experience is, I think that Kairos should continue to be optional.
I came to this conclusion quite recently after a conversation with one of my teachers who leads a Kairos every year.
I went to my teacher’s classroom before class exclaiming how great the retreat experience was and how I thought it should be mandatory for every student.
My teacher responded by saying that although it should be highly encouraged, Kairos should still be optional, as Saint Ignatius of Loyola invites us to his spirituality; he doesn’t force us into it.
To be frank, at first I thought that this argument was a little silly. I still believed and held wholeheartedly that Kairos should be a required retreat, just like the Freshman Retreat, because it is arguably substantially more important than the Freshman Retreat.
However, I later came to change my opinion after thoughtful consideration.
As a second semester junior or senior, we as young men have matured and developed immensely since our initial Freshman Retreat. The retreat freshman year served as an introduction to our classmates and gave us our first taste of what the Brophy community is all about, and now, years later, it is our time to decide whether or not to continue to live this way.
Through the years prior to having the option to go on Kairos, students have had the opportunity to go on Magis, immersion trips, and participate in other community-building events. Many students take advantage of these opportunities that were first introduced to them through the Freshman Retreat.
By taking a part in these events and opportunities, we are living more fully, learning more about ourselves and becoming more responsible, well-rounded young men who embody the five “Grad at Grad” characteristics.
Kairos is the final opportunity to continue this growth.
Just like everything else after the Freshman Retreat, Kairos should remain optional, but highly encouraged and considered integral to the Brophy experience.