Fall Reflections

October 4, 2023

Dear Hill-Murray Community,

On Sunday, the sisters celebrated the Blessing of Animals at the Monastery. It was a gathering of people and furry friends that included a blessing in the spirit of St. Francis, whose feast day is October 4. He is the patron saint of the environment and animals because he loved all creatures, some even say he preached to the birds. Saint Francis of Assisi has a special place in my heart, his love and care for God’s creation being one of the many reasons. 

One of my favorite quotes from him is, “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”  I see this quote in action at Hill-Murray. Sometimes, the impossible happens when a teacher is chatting with a student struggling to find their way.  A simple conversation provides the guidance and support that makes the difference in their day, their week and potentially their life. I was at the 1973 Hill-Murray High School reunion, and some of the alums told me stories of how the teachers positively impacted their lives, something they remember 50 years later. One alum commented, “The teachers were good to me, even when I didn’t necessarily deserve it.”   

Saint Francis of Assisi gave so much to so many but was known to take time away – even as he was so generous in giving himself to others. The concept of taking time for reflection and contemplation is common among many religious orders, even in our own Benedictine and Lasallian traditions. Pausing amidst the buzz of activities is a testament to the enduring spirit woven into the fabric of our Hill-Murray community. Last week, Brothers Larry Schatz and Juan Manuel shared invaluable insights with our high school students, emphasizing the significance of discernment and encouraging them to reflect on the path God may be calling them.  The Brothers encouraged our students to be attentive to God’s voice in their lives and embrace the call to “listen with the ear of our hearts”, which is part of the Prologue of the Rule of St Benedict.     

Fall also holds a particular excitement for Hill-Murray as it is the season in which we open our doors to introduce prospective families and students to experience Hill-Murray for themselves firsthand at our Fall Open House. As valued members of our community and our most influential advocates, I encourage you to extend invitations to neighbors, friends, and family who would benefit from the exceptional experience of attending Hill-Murray School.



Melissa Dan

Hill-Murray President