On Sunday, November 26, Labre co-moderator Mr. Ed Nolan did some simple math: 780 divided by 52. He got 15 exactly. He re-did the math on a calculator to be certain that, yes, the Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless is officially 15 years old.
Two days later, a group of about 35 juniors, seven seniors and five adult companions departed campus for the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma to begin Kairos 200. The four-day retreat has been a staple of student faith formation at Saint Ignatius since 1986, when a group of six students learned how to lead the retreat from peers at Loyola Academy in Illinois.
Although these milestones are exciting and speak to the longevity of faith and service initiatives on campus, both Labre and Kairos were business as usual.
Three vans left St. Mary’s Chapel at about 6 p.m. Sunday to spend a few hours sharing friendship and food with men and women living on the streets of Cleveland. Labre has grown and evolved over the years, but faith and companionship with those on the margins remains unchanged.
On Kairos, the witness talks given by the senior leaders, the small group conversations, and the opportunities for perspective taking and faith-sharing continue to bring students into closer relationships with God.
The popularity of both offerings at Saint Ignatius suggests that each has a bright, long future ahead. Both experiences remain at the heart of an Ignatian education, giving students the tools to answering the question: What does God want from me?