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Kairos 5 Reflections

February 20, 2014

The 5th Dominican Kairos Retreat was held at the Cabrini Retreat Center February 7-9th. At the closing of the retreat, University Minister Ann Hillman challenged the retreatants to share their experience with others. The following individuals are sharing the fruits of their contemplation with us. Thank you to each of you for allowing us to walk the Kairos journey with you.

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What did you gain from your Kairos experience?

Image“Live the fourth” is a phrase often used to remind Kairos retreatants to continuously renew within themselves the experiences they had at Kairos. For me, “live the fourth” means remembering that Kairos wasn’t just a weekend in February, it was the beginning of something new, a refreshing in my life. I learned what it truly meant to love, be loved and that love has various shapes and doesn’t have to have barriers. I was reminded that everyone has a story of struggles and triumphs and that you don’t need a deep relationship with each individual to understand that. Supporting one another through life and life’s various struggles by talking, listening, forgiving and accepting – or just hugging and smiling – and celebrating the triumphs, regardless of how seemingly trivial, is one way to keep Kairos alive and to share it with those around me. For me, living the fourth means living a life full of love by showing this love first to myself then to others.

– Ammie Egwu, Class of 2014

What was your favorite part about Kairos?

ImageIn our normal everyday lives, individuals are so quick to judge others because they think someone acts “weird” or doesn’t fit in with what they view as “normal”. At Kairos, that judgment doesn’t exist. Students, some of which are complete strangers to each other, come together, putting their pre-conceived notions about others aside which allows them to get to know others for who they truly are. Everyone comes together and forms a close-knit, judgment free, and supportive family, not just for the short, fast-paced weekend, but even when the retreat is over and we return back to our hectic lives. That is what is so amazing about Kairos- people come together and love each other for who they truly are.

– Kaitlyn Kanakes, Class of 2016

What did you learn about yourself at Kairos?

ImageWhen I first walked into Kairos I really wasn’t expecting much. I only knew two things 1). I was going to cry 2). I was going to leave. The ride to the retreat seemed like a movie that you would catch in the middle of summer. People in the front were singing popular songs from movies and television, and the people in the back made side chatter. When we finally got to the retreat center I felt like I was in an entirely different world. There was a big statue of Jesus Christ that seemed to watch us all as we walked into the main room. There was a brief introduction that was followed by ice breakers, when we did the ice breakers I thought to myself “What have I gotten myself into?” As the days rolled on I began to understand things about myself and others that changed my perspective. What I learned from Kairos is that I am truly loved and I should love myself more. When I came back to school I was still on a “Kai high” and I am still on a “Kai high” now, but even when this fades what I discovered will remain. I learned that I have a mission on this earth that I must achieve because it is something that my heart and soul tells me to do.​ The gift of Kairos is that I was given time to think about this calling and share it with others.

– Eric Smith, Class of 2017

How do you plan to “live the fourth”?

ImageAfter coming back from the peaceful and reflective K-5 Retreat, I wanted to take my knowledge and gifts received from my experience and share them among my peers. Kairos has taught me that everyone has a story to tell. We’re all different but it’s our uniqueness that makes this world so great. Even though many of us have come from different backgrounds and cultures, we need to try our best to not argue our case, but rather appreciate a variety of beliefs and values. Once we do this as a global community, we will be taking the first step towards acceptance of others – creating a more just world. In the past, I would catch myself always trying to fix people; however, they don’t need to be changed. Rather than striving to change someone for who they are, I realized it’s my responsibility to help show respect and embrace other peoples’ perspectives. This is something that I will take with me as I continue to “live the fourth”.

– Sean Korbes, Class of 2017

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