The Campus Ministry team is always trying to improve the opportunities we offer our students to grow spiritually, personally, and in brotherhood with one another. As we looked at our retreat program, we saw places that needed improvement, so we began to make some changes this year. The biggest improvements can be seen in our junior and senior retreats. Our senior Kairos retreat moved from a three-day retreat in Sierra Madre to a four-day retreat in Running Springs, up near Big Bear. There is something special about seeing our students off campus, especially in such a beautiful setting. A large number of them woke up early in the morning to go for a run in the woods with a couple teachers. During the breaks, some did indoor wall climbing, while others crossed the field on the zip line, while still others played soccer, football, or basketball. Even more remarkable, though, than watching the students thoroughly enjoy their free time, was watching the student leaders open up, sharing their life stories with their classmates, as well as being witness to students as they have emotional and spiritual breakthroughs. Kairos reminds us adults why we do what we do each day.
At the end of next month, we get to go up near Big Bear again; this time to Angelus Oaks for our first overnight retreat with the junior class. We are very excited to be able to take our students out of the “ordinary” for a sort of spiritual reboot. Though I can’t give an evaluation yet, as we have yet to make the retreat, I can tell you that I have high hopes and expectations for even further growth in relationship with God and with one another than we have seen in previous years. There is something special about going up a mountain and having a “mountain-top” spiritual experience. The challenge, though, is holding onto that growth and nurturing it, even after coming back down the mountain. Luckily, our boys are always up for a challenge!