The popular religious weekend called Kairos is being reactivated in San Quentin after shutdowns due to the COVID pandemic.
The next event will be Presidents Day weekend in February. Another happening is scheduled for Labor Day weekend in September to complete the annual recruitment of new Kairos members.
Activities will include honoring the late Dan Takeuchi, outside leader of Kairos 51 and 52 for San Quentin’s Chapter of the Celebratory Christian ministry. Takeuchi passed away on July 11, 2022. He was 62 years old.
“Dan represented the love of Kairos like no other. He led quietly but enthusiastically and helped me heal tremendously,” said resident Kenny Rogers. “Dan and I were together since my Kairos class number 42.”
Rogers added, “Dan loved to sing with the choir.”
“Dan told people to do things then he’d sit back and laugh—just a jokester. It’s a bittersweet day, because he’s no longer with us. There’s no doubt he’s in heaven with the Father right now,” said Rogers.
“The best words describing Dan are love, family and Kairos. He is Kairos to many of us,” said San Quentin resident and Kairos member Lauren Mears.
Resident Steven Piscascio first met Takeuchi in Kairos group 39. “The brothers wanted to organize the weekend initiation this past Labor Day weekend, but administration here and the outside team decided to account for every active alumni here at the prison first. Currently we have 241 give back to this great community,” said Piscascio.
Piscascio, the incarcerated leader of Kairos, added the next couple of monthly reunions will allow all alumni who were touched by Dan an opportunity to say goodbye.
Before the next weekend, Kairos members inside and outside of San Quentin are requesting all graduates gather for the monthly reunions. “The number of men attending monthly reunions declined to embarrassingly low turnouts before the pandemic; outside men actually outnumbered the San Quentin participants,” said alum Armando Gonzalez. “We owe it to Dan and all 53 classes of past Kairos graduates that have been celebrated here over the past 25-plus years to attend.”
“Dan meant a lot to improving of our relationships with God,” said incarcerated Kairos member Kevin Fuqua. “Losing Kairos to COVID-19 and hearing of Dan’s loss was almost insurmountable. He taught everyone how a person should love. Today, my wife Stacie attends Kairos Outside to enhance our family’s relationship with God.”
Kairos is an interdenominational blend of spiritually trained teams — including men and women from Northern California. The initiation weekend is described by incarcerated persons as a life-changing, rejuvenating weekend of embracing Christianity.
Kairos was established through the Catholic Church, but now all prison chaplains will select the 45 residents who will attend.
Outside of prisons the weekend is known as Curcio. It includes rituals and celebrations for attendees throughout the world, with millions of Christians who pray at the same times throughout the weekend.
Kairos Outside is a weekend designed for wives, girlfriends, daughters and sisters of incarcerated men, allowing family members to get closer to God. It will not restart until San Quentin Kairos is rebooted.
Restarting Kairos means recruiting again. “It won’t be hard to get new members,” said Father Manny Chivara. “We just wanted to make sure our foundation was reset before we blessed others with the chance to participate.”
The Jesuit priest added, “Kairos can change your thinking about God and love. You may even see how to view this chaotic world a little differently.”
Survivors of Takeuchi include his sister Karen, his brother Darren and Darren’s wife Virginia, and his brother Michael and Michael’s wife Sheila. Other survivors include his nephew Lee, his niece Helena and her husband Dominic and daughter Josephine, and nieces Lies and Maelynn. Finally, he is survived by more than 400 Kairos members he helped get initiated at San Quentin.
If you are interested in joining Kairos in February talk to Kairos leaders as follows: in North Block; Steven Piscascio, Wyatt Mc Millian and Michael Adams; in South Block; Louis Figuera and Anthony Caravalho; and in West Block, Ray Smith.