Apple Picking for a Cause | PHOTO GALLERY

On September 20th a group of Hilbert students went apple picking as part of a Student Life activity. Students were able to pick all different tastes of apples from Cortland and Liberty to McIntosh. The apples that were picked were donated to Cornerstone Manor which benefits women and mothers in need in the Buffalo area. Students were also able to pick their own apples to bring home. After trying a few during picking you didn’t have a chance to go empty handed!

Out of The Darkness Awareness Walk | PHOTO GALLERY

Hilbert students and staff walked in support of suicide prevention this past Saturday, November 2. The walk was held through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and consisted of two laps around the school. After the walk, all were welcomed to Fran Hall to talk about the topic of suicide. This event goes hand in hand with this year’s Hilbert Reads book, What Made Maddy Run, the heartbreaking story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose life and death by suicide reveal the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today.

If you are struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, you are not alone. Call (716) 834-3131 [Crisis Services 24/7 Hotline] or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) [National Suicide Prevention Lifeline] or Text: HOME to 741741 [Crisis Text Line].

Wellness Fair | PHOTO GALLERY

Hilbert students, faculty, and staff attended the annual Wellness Fair on campus. Local organizations, groups, and vendors shared information about living a healthy lifestyle. Popular stops included the mini-farmer’s market and a visit from a therapy dog at the Paws for Love table.

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Dr. Brophy’s Franciscan Pilgrimage: The Sistine Chapel

This was not my first visit to the Sistine Chapel. On previous visits, however, I had hurried through the Chapel due to the crush of tourists. This time I committed to taking whatever time I needed to better appreciate the Chapel’s artwork, perhaps the most famous in humanity.

I rented an audio tour guide and made my way though many galleries before arriving at the Chapel, once again crowded. I followed the directions on the guide and settled into my own personal space for an hour. This was not easy as many tourists moved quickly in and out of the Chapel, many doing what I had done before. A quick look up to the ceiling to see Michelangelo’s masterpiece. God creating humankind in his image and then off to the next Rome destination.

I was about a third of the way through my audio tour when there was a loud “Silenzio” and then a “Shhhhhhhh” ringing throughout the Chapel. A security staff member’s amplified message quickly quieted down the international sounds and admonishments coming from the assembled.

It was quiet for a minute before chattering sounds came back like birdsong at sunrise. Many visitors were talking. Others were texting or playing with their phones. Some were quickly taking contraband photos. And, of course, many were finding creative ways to eat and drink forbidden food. I went back to my audio tour for the rest of the appreciation, standing with neck straining up to see all the detail of the frescoed ceiling.

Near the end of the audio tour, there was another round of “Silenzio’s,” but this time they were said by a priest who then blessed all of us. When he finished the blessing, he offered to hear confessions from any of those gathered.

This was interesting. In a very chaotic and public setting, the Church was offering the sacrament of reconciliation. The priest stood waiting by the side of the altar. Since no privacy was offered, I couldn’t imagine anyone taking him up on his offer and want back to my tour.

When I was finished the tour and looked down from the ceiling, I was surprised to see that a gentleman had come forward and was offering his confession the priest. There, just below The Final Judgment mural, was one of the faithful offering his vulnerability and most personal reflections to the Church.

It was a reminder to me about the work we do in a faith-based educational setting. We work hard to establish environments for learning that are filled with artifacts of humanity’s most significant achievements. Settings and faculty are carefully put together in such a way as to inspire our students, but the hustle and bustle of modern living can be so distracting.

When we compete for our students’ attention, with all that the modern world presents to them during their waking hours, what do we do to make a deep and personal connection with them? How do we make sure that they know they can let down their defenses and reflect on their learning and character development in our educational setting?

One would think being in the presence of greatness of thought should be enough, but when Michelangelo competes against an iPhone for our students’ attention we are reminded of the need of going the extra step to assure them that they can come forward to give expression to their innermost thoughts and reflections. This is noble work, for sure.

Dr. Brophy’s Franciscan Pilgrimage

Hilbert President Dr. Brophy is currently traveling abroad on a Franciscan pilgrimage sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Joseph. Join us as he chronicles his journey!

I write from Rome where my first Franciscan pilgrimage begins. Sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Saint Joseph, I am looking forward to better understanding their charism and the work our campus community needs to focus on as we commence the implementation of our Strategic Plan, Hilbert 2025.

Our first day here in Rome happened to be Saint John Paul II’s feast day. We celebrated Mass in what is known as the Polish chapel at the Vatican, and the entire complex was busy celebrating his legacy. A great energy to begin the pilgrimage.

I will write along the way in hopes that my personal journey over the next two weeks resonates with others who are working to sustain the Franciscan way.



Fall Open House | PHOTO GALLERY

Hilbert held their second Open House on October 19. Students were able to take a tour of the campus, learn about programs, and meet faculty. Then students and their families were welcomed to Fran Hall to have lunch and talk to current students, clubs, and athletics.

Another Hilbert Reads is in the Books (Pun Intended) | PHOTO GALLERY

Swan Auditorium seats were filled last night, Tuesday, October 22, for Hilbert’s seventh annual Hilbert Reads. All were invited to hear author Kate Fagan talk about her New York Times best-selling book on the sports list in 2017. Her book What Made Maddy Run shares the story of Madison Holleran, who struggles with the transition to college, especially with balancing school and sports, and makes the heartbreaking decision to commit suicide. Fagan discussed her book and its connection to important issues including anxiety, depression, and suicide in the perfectionist, social-media driven society we live in today. After speaking, students were invited to ask questions they had or share their own stories of struggle. Fagan then signed books and took photos with students and a reception followed in the West Herr Atrium. Thank you to all who attended and to Kate Fagan for visiting and sparking a conversation.

Farmers Market

On Friday October 4th, after attending the Blessing of the Pets, everyone was invited to attend the Farmer’s market held inside of Fran Hall. Homemade/grown goodies were available for purchase including jam, cookies, honey, veggies, flowers, and fall decorations. The market was a perfect way to start the weekend and get into the Fall spirit!

Hawks Take Flight

On October 3rd, Res Life took students to the Dipson Movie theater to watch Mean Girls. Res Life rented out a whole theater for Hilbert Students to enjoy the movie. Students were encouraged to wear pink or wear pj’s. Popcorn and snacks were provided.

“On October 3rd, he asked me what day it was.” – Quote from the Movie

Blessing of the Pets

On Friday October 4th, Hilbert held their annual Blessing of the Pets event. Here you could have your pets blessed for good health and overall joy in their life. Attendants didn’t have to bring their pet if they were unable bring them – blessings could be provided to the pet via a photo. Even pets that have passed were able to receive a prayer to let them know how much their owners love them and miss them. Every pet was blessed on this special occasion.