Keep Your Friends Close

Keep Your Friends Close

Blog post by: Mrs. Wilson


Every Mass at BJAMS is special; we are so fortunate that local (and not-so-local) priests celebrate Mass each week with our students. Wednesday is such a great day for Mass, as it refuels us, giving us the grace to finish up the week before we fuel up again on Sunday.  I would like to share with you a portion of the homily Father Jay Haskin gave this past Wednesday.

Father Jay Haskin was a close and personal friend of Bishop John A. Marshall. He worked closely with him during his leadership here in Vermont as well as after Bishop Marshall moved back to Massachusetts (in fact, Father Haskin was with Bishop Marshall when a call from the Pro-Nuncio came in, letting him know that he was nominated to replace Bishop Maguire of Springfield).  Father Haskin relayed to the children how Bishop Marshall was a humble servant of the Lord.  He recalled how after Bishop Marshall’s episcopal ordination in 1972, Bishop Marshall moved into the large and ornate residence on South Williams Street (where the previous bishop lived).  He was not comfortable living in such a grand home and he sold that property and moved into two rooms at the remodeled diocesan office building (which was located on North Avenue and housed Burlington College until recently).

Father Haskin spoke to our students about the importance of friendship. How we have a responsibility to our friends: to care for them, to help them, and to spend time with them.  He continued, reminding us that our friends bring out the very best in us – and that we, in turn, bring out the best in our friends.  He said how he hoped to have done that for Bishop Marshall, because Bishop Marshall certainly did that for him.

Father Haskin circled back to Bishop Marshall’s residence and shared that Bishop Marshall had a personal chapel in his residence and that he kept a rocking chair, just to the right of the tabernacle in his chapel. It was in that rocking chair that Bishop Marshall spent time with his best friend: Jesus.  Father Haskin encouraged us to treat Jesus as we would a friend, to love Him, support Him, and to spend time with Him.  We know that Jesus is a good friend to us.  Are we a good friend to Jesus?

After Mass on Wednesday, I took the rocking chair from my office and put it to the right of the tabernacle in our school chapel. Every day, we work hard to follow in the footsteps of Bishop Marshall. He was a holy and hardworking man who loved to spend time with the Lord, no matter how busy he was.  Bishop Marshall’s spirit is in this school and we are proud to adopt his habits.  We are so grateful to Father Haskin for keeping us so closely connected to Bishop Marshall.  Thank you Father Haskin, for your friendship with Bishop Marshall, the person, and for your friendship with Bishop Marshall, the school.