MISSION AND MINISTRY | A group of LMU students escaped the bustle of life on the bluff earlier this month to spend time with God on the Kairos retreat. “Kairos,” a Greek word that appears in the Christian scriptures, refers to a moment in time full of potential for action. It is sometimes spoken of as “God’s time.”
Kairos is a weekend retreat, this year held in El Capitan Canyon just outside Santa Barbara, that invites students to consider what it means to live intentionally in God’s time. Students closely examine their relationships with God, themselves, and others. Kairos, in format and content, is a Catholic and specifically Ignatian retreat. But students from various religious traditions, as well as no religious tradition, find the retreat welcoming and meaningful as they reflect on momentous experiences in their own lives. Indeed, Kairos is one of Campus Ministry’s most popular retreats. More than 800 LMU students have attended Kairos over the years, and another 150 have led it.
During each retreat, a faculty or staff member attends as an adult leader and gives a talk to the students. As a leader on the most-recent retreat Amir Hussain, professor of theological studies, discovered the life-changing effects of the retreat, not only for students but for those who accompany them: “I’ve taught at LMU for over a dozen years, and Kairos was one of the two or three most transformative experiences for me as a teacher during that time. The students are open, honest, and vulnerable, sharing the poetry of their lives with each other. You gain a deep insight into their struggles, the ways in which they have been broken open, but more importantly how they have found comfort and healing. It is one of those rare occasions where I have seen the spirit of God move among the people of God.”
LMU student Kashi Hall has captured some of that spirit in a video he created about the Kairos experience, which can be viewed below: