St Joes is proud to offer retreat opportunities for juniors and seniors. Modeled off the Ignatian Kairos model, Kairos Retreats are student-led retreats that helps participants understand their relationship to God, themselves, and others on a deeper level through:
- Senior Peer Minister witness talks;
- Faculty witness talks; and
- Small group discussions.
Our two-night, three-day model is arranged to provide students with a real “retreat” from their routines and immerse them in a program that is student planned and executed. This retreat is open to anyone who is in their junior or senior year at St Joes.
Next Retreat Date:
- March 1-3, 2019
- Wisdom House Retreat Center, 229 East Litchfield Road, Litchfield, CT, (860) 567-3163
Permission Slip/Medical Authorization:
- All students are required to submit a permission form to Mr Smith.
- Click here to download and print the permission form.
- Note: Due to contractual arrangements with the retreat facility, we cannot release you from financial responsibility for the deposit or final cost of your Kairos spot unless another eligible student can be found to take your student's place on the retreat.
- If it is not possible for you to pay the full cost, please inquire with Mr Smith about the availability of financial assistance. Retreats—like any travel or activities we choose to undertake—necessarily involve a financial commitment. Still, we would like to help any student unable to afford the whole cost. We want to make this retreat do-able for every student who wishes to attend, so please do not hesitate to ask if you have a need.
- Any students who have academic difficulties before Kairos occurs may risk not being allowed to attend the retreat and the possibility of losing retreat payments—school administration will decide whether or not any such student may attend on a case-by-case basis.
- When you arrive to school on the day of our departure for Kairos, bring your “luggage” to the Student Commons, where it will be stored for the day.
Meals, Snacks, and Beverages:
- Three very hearty meals are served each day of the retreat. Each family is asked to send some nut free snacks and beverages to be shared among students at the break times each day. Such snacks and beverages should be brought to the Student Commons with the student’s baggage the morning of the retreat, and will be brought with the luggage and retreat supplies.
While Kairos is not a silent retreat, it is very important that a student’s Kairos be respected as a “retreat” from his or her normal daily routine. Families and friends are therefore kindly asked to refrain from calling or texting students while they are away. But certainly, if an emergency should arise during the retreat, you may reach Mr Smith twenty-four hours a day at the retreat by using the app: WeChat. Mr Smith's WeChatID is MrSmithSJ.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Jordan Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 378-9378 x313.
It is hard to describe the sense of community and incredible love for one another that thrives on Kairos. For three days we prayed as a community, shared stories and took time to actually listen to each other. We watched our students embrace one another in moments of affirmation that showed us all just how real our SJ “family” is.
-Jordan Smith, Director of Campus Ministry
- Toiletries and prescription medications (you must inform Mr Smith if you take prescription medication)
- A favorite writing instrument (favorite pen, etc.)
- Leisure clothes (shirts, jeans, sweatpants, sweatshirts)
- Warm jacket, hat, and gloves (you’ll definitely need them)
- Underwear and socks for three days
- Sneakers and flip flops
- Nut-free snacks and beverages for sharing
Bring These If You Wish:
- Pillow (if you’re the kind of person who likes to have your own from home)
- Recreational athletic equipment (eg – football, frisbee, etc.)
- Musical instruments
Do Not Bring:
- Alcohol, tobacco, or illicit substances of any kind. If you do so, your parents will have to come to get you.
How To Pack:
- The luggage and supplies for students and faculty must fit on the bus. “Soft luggage” (ie – backpacks, duffle bags) makes this much more “do-able” than “hard luggage” (ie – suitcases). As students occasionally ‘forget’ a bag upon our return to SJ, it’s helpful if all bags are labeled.
Where to Bring Your Belongings:
- When you arrive to school on the morning of the retreat, bring your bags—and all snacks and beverages for sharing—to the Student Commons. During the day, we’ll transfer some supplies to the car that will precede us to Wisdom House, so that the bus will have proper seating for all of us.
Review of the Fall Kairos Retreat:
St Joe’s first Kairos Retreat succeeded in connecting its student and faculty participants to important relationships in their lives. Rooted in Ignatian spirituality, Kairos examines the self, others and God through personal testimony, reflection and conversation. Seniors in Peer Ministry have been trained to facilitate small groups, which are mixed by both gender and grade level. Their leadership, coupled with the brave and honest personal reflections of their classmates, provides the platform for spiritual growth and faith formation on retreat. Kairos is uninhibited by retreat games and activities, and instead provides a real-life application of faith and friendship that is so crucial in today’s world.
Student reaction was overwhelmingly positive, as the following reactions demonstrate:
"I feel now that something is different - something definitely has changed for me. I’m not as tired in the mornings anymore and I feel a lot happier throughout the day. I feel a lot closer to my friends and to God”.
“Kairos is verbally indescribable, a truly life changing and faith deepening experience. It is something that will remain with me throughout my life”.
“I absolutely had an amazing time on Kairos this past weekend. It was one of the best weekends of my life. I think it was so special because although I have been on retreats before this one focused on strengthening your relationship with yourself and finding comfort in the family you create while being there. Kairos created a support system of people I now consider family, because we all opened up to each other and took down our barriers. In less than a week my outlook on life and attitude towards the world has changed and I believe it’s from getting the chance to take a step back and evaluate what's going on in my life. Being on Kairos allowed me to confide in a group of friends and teachers who I got the chance to know on a deeper and more personal level. The talks and interactions between each person on the retreat pushed me further to give up my burdens to God and let go. Each step forward I took, there was a constant flow of love and encouragement that created a deep trust in others.”
“My experience on Kairos was truly amazing and there aren’t any words to describe how wonderful of an experience it was. I was able to connect better to others and to better myself and, along the way, strengthened my relationship with God. I encourage everyone to go on Kairos if that is something you are interested in!!”
“The day-to-day routine of high school runs the risk of a sort of malaise, wherein which days start to blend together, classes start to blend together, and even experiences and moments seem to be the same. Kairos was that opportunity to step out of the ordinary routine of high school to encounter each other and God in a way unlike any other; I met and really experienced for the first time, so many others who I would not have had the opportunity to really see without this retreat.”