A New Kind of Retreat

The senior retreat in the 1960s wasn’t much different from retreats of decades past. In the early 1970s, the retreats changed to reflect the Preamble and Vatican II. Teachers such as Frank Kavanagh and Charlie Dullea told stories from their lives of how they lived out Gospel values, and students had opportunities not only to reflect but also to share their reflections with teachers and friends. “We really got close to students during these retreats,” says Dullea. “We tried to do more than merely preach to students.” Those changes ultimately led to the Kairos retreat — encouraged by SI Principal Steven Nejasmich — which began at SI in 1999, modeled after a program pioneered at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in Chicago. The senior Kairos retreat now runs four days and is one of the watershed events for seniors at SI. The name comes from a Greek word meaning “decisive time,” and the campus ministry team has created a retreat that they believe is “filled with opportunity, that requires both discernment and bold action” and that offers high school students “the opportunity to examine, develop and deepen their commitment to the Lord.”3