Kairos 133: uniting students in different ways

Kairos is a four-day retreat for juniors and seniors held at the Milford Spiritual Center where they all come together to dive deeper into their faith and share new things with a small group from their grade. The students that attend have kept many of the aspects secret to avoid students going into it with wrong expectations.  

The retreat has been a tradition in the Archdiocese for many schools but was introduced to McNicholas High School in 1994 by Fenwick High School. “In 1994, a small group of [McNicholas] students went on [a] retreat with Fenwick students,” Mrs. Mary Beth Sandmann, Theology Department Chair explained.  

Sandmann is the head of the planning committee for the Kairos retreat. She works on it throughout the year so that each retreat runs smoothly. Sandmann and other teachers come together to find what should go together, when they should go and with what adult team. “It really is a team/community effort,” Sandmann adds.  

Junior, Annie Yorn was one of the students who went on Kairos 133. She said the retreat was “life changing and unforgettable.” She explained how she came closer to God from all the praying and mediation she did. Yorn said she is also closer to people she never thought she would be close with from her retreat group.  

Mr. Jeff Hutchinson-Smyth explains the retreat is powerful and moving. McNicholas only offered it to seniors for years.  They would then hear how students wished they did it earlier in high school. They did some talking and moved it with this being the first retreat taken during the Junior year.    

Seniors can sign up to be leaders for the juniors that attend. When they are the leaders, they share stories about their life and help the juniors come closer to God like they experienced on their retreat 

Junior, Logan Schmidt (very right end) and her small group. Schmidt explained how she got closer with these friends during the retreat.  

Junior, Logan Schmidt also attended the retreat and said, “It [changed] the [outlook] of not being okay is okay and opening up helps a lot.” She explains how she’s been through tough times and how at the retreat she “saw [God] through other people and different things throughout.” Schmidt said she did get closer with many students, old and new ones, and that she is very happy to be closer to them.  

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