For many in the Erie community, the recent passing of Fr. John Hilbert was shocking and sad. "Tex" as he was known (as was his father before him) was active in the Erie Cursillo movement, the Erie CALL program, and was chaplain at Mercyhurst Erie for nearly 20 years. At the time of his death, he was chaplain to Mercyhurst North East.
Tex was a friend to my family since 1970 and I worked with him personally for the past five years. He was a great man with a great spiritual presence. His funeral at St. Peter's Cathedral on Tuesday was standing room only. Clearly, he touched many lives.
Tex and I used to have long conversations at MNE concerning politics (he did not care for the Bush administration and its rush to war) and spirituality (he believed that all of us are God's childrem, regardless of color or gender or belief system). I will miss those conversations and I will miss seeing him in the hallways of MNE.
If you have not yet see his obit on GoErie, you might want to take a look to see how many people loved Tex. It's very moving.
A great light has been taken from us, and he will be impossible to replace. We can only thank God that Tex was able to spend his entire life helping the people of Erie, PA. We need more people like him.