The history and significance of Kairos at Elder


Myself, Carson Truitt, Jared Eckstein, Luke Vaughn, and Carson Truitt while on K146.

Kairos is the required senior retreat that Elder students take part in. It is a student-led retreat that was brough to Elder in 1994 by two faculty members, including the legendary Mr. Klusman. Kairos is one of the fundamental pieces of the Elder experience as it is required to graduate, and it is looked at as one of the final group events that the senior class partakes in together.

The “Christian Awakening” program began in 1965 where a team of priests, brothers, and laymen worked on the program for a year in the Diocese of Brooklyn. By 1968, KAIROS had been adopted by twelve different states. In 1970, this program was taken to St. Xavier High School in Louisville.

In December of 1984, six seniors from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati participated in a Loyola Academy Kairos, and these six seniors decided to form the team to introduce the retreat to their classmates at St. X. Then, Mr. Klusman and a coworker attended one of these Kairos’ in 1994 to observe. From their experience, they felt that the program should be introduced to Elder. In the fall of 1994, a total of two other faculty and fourteen Elder students took part in two of Saint Xavier’s Kairos. The enthusiasm and support for the idea lead to Elder’s first Kairos being offered to juniors during Holy week 1995.

Kairos is just one of the many great things that Mr. Klusman has provided for the Elder community. As the Klusman Day of Service (April twenty-second) approaches, it is not a bad idea to reflect upon and appreciate all of the things that Mr. Klusman has done.

What I like about Kairos is that it acted as an escape for me for a week. I went on mine in the fall of 2022, and then led the next one directly after, and I really enjoyed the experience. To be able to just enjoy my time with my peers without any electronics or distractions is what made my experience so memorable and enjoyable. People always told me that, “what you put into Kairos is what you get out of it.” After being a retreatant and a leader for it, I totally agree and can now see what they were talking about.


The well-known, wooden Kairos Cross.

Senior George Sundrup, has now attended his own Kairos and led two others as well. He tells me, “I like Kairos because of the reflection and shift of perspective it gives students when they seem to need it most. As we mature and experience new aspects of life, it is important that we stay true to ourselves and our values, and Kairos can be a major part in that journey. I think it is a perfect way to tie the entire Elder experience together, as students learn more about themselves and others. I believe it only strengthens the brotherhood which forms for 4 years at Elder, and it can be beneficial to all who give it their time and effort.”

For me, Kairos was the turning point of my senior year. It helped change my perspective with my future, my family, my friends, and my own mental health. I decided that before I went, I really wanted to get something out of it, so that’s what I did. I encourage all of you to put full effort into all of your future retreats, and LT4th!!

All information regarding the history of Kairos was provided to me by Mr. Kovacic.