With this SIXTH edition of the 1958 Class Newsletter we find ourselves in the midst of the Holiday Season, Christmas shopping, holiday parties and good cheer, but let us not forget the reason for the season...Remember to "Keep the Christ in Christmas." 


From the Editorial staff and all of the Golden Burrs Events Committee we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.




Left to right standing: John Staiber, Jim Prendergast, Jim Clark, Rich Buzza, Jim Lynch

Left to right seated:  Bill Marella, Frank Metzler, Frank Adolf, George Light


You will find in this newsletter a Graduation Report, Principal's Notebook by Sister Mary Bur, an update on the class of '58's contributions to the "Keep West Best" Campaign, a report on the Alumni Communion Breakfast, West Catholic High School's Events Calendar, comments received from classmates and friends

regarding the fall newsletter, West Football scores and  our feature section "REMEMBERING THE GOOD OLD DAYS" with an article by Jim Clark followed by an update on MBS artifacts.


We encourage you to let us know just what is happening in your life.  Anyone wishing to send information for the newsletter, i.e. requesting prayers for the sick, the deceased, information regarding family, birth of grandchildren, marriages, trips, retirement, etc., may contact Rich Buzza at, Frank Adolf at, or Frank Metzler at .


No information will be printed in the newsletter unless we receive the information from the class member himself.   







129 Graduates

110 Attending a 4 year school

  13 Attending a 2 year school

4 Unknown

1 Working

1 Military


College Attendance Rate

95% College Attendance Rate

85% 4 Year College Attendance

15% 2 Year College Attendance


Scholarship Awards

83 Seniors Awarded scholarships and grants

68% of the senior class was awarded scholarships

Total Scholarships for the Class of 2010 = $11,380,095.00


Why is it so important to keep West Catholic opened?

Principal’s Notebook by Sister Mary Bur

Copied from Fall 2010 Edition of West Notes


I know that West is not the school you attended any more than you are the same person who graduated from West those many years ago.  But do not let that fact influence your desire to help keep West alive.  The reasons for families to send their sons and daughters to West are really not that differ­ent from your day!

In your day it was an automatic choice to go from the parish grade school to West, an extension of the elementary school where family values were upheld.  Today parents look for a school whose values match theirs.  While all our students at WEST may not be Catholic a strong, positive Catholic base exemplifies all that we do.  For many of our students this high school experience fortifies their own Christian lives that they value.  The very fact that we are able to conduct our own RCIA program to bring new Catholics into the Church speaks volumes about the atmos­phere at 45th and Chestnut.  I believe that the presence of Faith on this corner of the city is the first reason we must fight to stay alive.

Secondly, our students come from families who want their sons and daughters to have a fighting chance in bettering their lives.  Last June I called to my office a young man who was playing foolishly with his life at West Catholic.  I told him that I was considering asking him to leave because he was wasting his time, our time, his parents' money and the money of anyone who had supported him with a grant.  This young tough began to cry openly.  He told me that if he didn't have West in his life, he had nothing and begged me to give him another chance.  Of course tears from a young man have great weight!  I relented and placed this lad on an academic and behavior contract.  This June he walked across the stage to accept his diploma with a pride and strength that thrilled me!  He will be attending Widen­er University in September and I suspect he may be the first in his family to attend college.

The statistics just for this year - 95% of our graduates will attend college and these young people were offered over 11 million dollars in grants and scholarships.  The long term benefits to society cannot be overlooked because from our young men and women who come back to visit we learn of doctors, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, teachers, trainers, nurses, EMTs, fashion designers, authors, veterinar­ians, Day Care owners, ... etc.

West Catholic gives her young men and women an extra boost that can hardly be attained in the local city high schools.  What a loss to future generations of young people who want a little better if WEST were to close.  Long ago when a grade school that I had worked very hard in was closed by the diocese, I was devastated.  My father told me that I should be proud of the children and the work that I did with them while the school was there.  But I cannot help but be saddened and depressed to think that if West closes there will be the hundreds of lives that will never be touched by the compassion and support of the WEST family.

We do not have much time to make the future of WEST, not a possibility, but a reality and the plea that we make now must be more than a finger in the dike!  It must be the beginning of a long-range promise to West Philadelphia and to all West Catholic Grads everywhere.

Live Jesus in our hearts----forever.  Live Jesus at West---­forever!




submitted by:  GEORGE LIGHT and FRANK ADOLF

The total contributions from the Class of 1958 toward the "Keep West Best" Campaign is at $3,865.00.  West "Boys" donated $3,205.00 and the "Girls" donated $660.00.  It is not too late to make a donation to help achieve the class goal of $10,000.  Your check should be made payable to: Friends of West Catholic and mailed to West Catholic High School, 4501 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA  19139.  We thank you for considering this worthy cause. 



submitted by:  RICH BUZZA


More than 330 Loyal Alumni, friends and family gathered together on Sunday November 7, 2010 at the Springfield Country Club to celebrate the West Catholic Alumni Association's 90th Annual Communion Breakfast.  The celebration of Mass commenced at 9:00 AM with Father Edward J. Dixey O.S.A. (Class of 1947) as the Main Celebrant and Homilist, along with members of the 50 year Class of 1961 who presented the Gifts, lectured and lead the Prayer of the Faithful.  A beautiful musical program for the liturgy was performed by Cantor Sarah Agnew - Masters Program at Immaculata University, Violinists Robert Rossi '55, and Patti Georges on the piano. 


After a hearty breakfast our Master of Ceremonies Thomas DeFelice '64 proceeded to welcome one and all.  This year there were 9 Alumni Association Award Recipients...THOMAS M. DORRIAN '61 - 50th Anniversary Golden Burr Award...CAPTAIN KEVIN HODGES '77 - Brother Martin Strickroth Award...REV. MSGR. DANIEL KEHOE - Brother Edwin Anselm Award...BROTHER LEONARD RHODES F.S.C. - Bishop McCort Award...JAMES J. MADDEN '54 - Brother G. John Owens Award...JOSEPH R. MANFRE '61 - 50th Anniversary Golden Burr Award...JAMES J. RICHARDSON '37 - Brother D. Aloysius Award...THOMAS J. SIMPSON '47 - Golden Burr Award...STEPHEN A. TULLI '84 - William H. McGarvey Award.


The class of 1958 was well represented by: Frank Adolf, Joe Bradley, Rich Buzza, Brother Steve Casale, Jim Clark, Larry Doran, Anthony Evangelista, Ken Hemphill, Bill Kohlenberg, George Light, Jim Lynch, Bob Madden, Bill Marella, Frank Metzler, and Mike Wishing.


It is always a wonderful experience to gather with classmates and fellow alums at our Annual Communion Breakfast.  If you are new to the Alumni or an old timer who has drifted away, plan to attend next years Alumni Communion Breakfast, you will be warmly welcomed.           



For information contact George Light at 610-386-2244 Ext. 260


March 26, 2011 - Sports Hall of Fame Inductions


TBA - Spring Fest


May 11, 2011 - Cardinal John O'Connor Golf Outing


June 11, 2011 - Class of 2011 Graduation


July 17, 2011 - Burrs At The Beach



submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF


Mark your calendar for the 53rd Anniversary Luncheon which will be held on Thursday, May 12, 2011.

Location and time will be announced at a later date.





submitted by: RICH BUZZA


Since the editors felt that the Newsletter contained articles of interest not only to the Class of 1958 but to all of the Alumni, it was decided to ask the Alumni Association's Webmaster, Rich McCann, if they would like to publish the Newsletter on their Website.  Rich, who is returning to his duties after a hospital stay, graciously accepted our proposal and on October, 1, 2010 our summer and fall editions appeared on the site at:



submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF


Joe Gavaghan:  Hey Frank!  Welcome home from your cruise.  I was in Houston last weekend for a family wedding. The weather was brutal-95 & probably 95% humidity.  I came home to great weather though and a Phillies winning streak including last night where it was cool at the Cit.  I head to Atlanta, Monday the (September) 27th to visit my niece & nephew and their families. We have tix for the Phillies/Braves game on Friday, Oct. 1st.  Thank you & your "staff" for keeping us up on what's happening with our class..... They better keep that "palace" up around Pottstown packed for a lot of years to cover the cost, it has everything but the "kitchen sink" in amenities. (refers to the new Pope John Paul II High School).  I just don't know how much longer families can afford catholic school education.  Next year, one of my 8th graders joins her brother & sister at Ryan and they still have a 4th child at St. Charles.  That will be at least $20k in tuition alone.  That's scary.  cheers, Joe


Jim English:  Hi Frank,  After a really hot Summer at the Jersey shore, beautiful September is here at last.  I've been doing well with my phony leg and am getting out and about.  I can drive my truck, which has been adapted so I can drive it with my left foot.  I was able to go to Boy Scout camp for a week at the end of June: Good Time.  Off to Gettysburg for eight days starting October 5th, with my trailer.  Our Boy Scout Troop will be out for four days, over Columbus Day weekend, so i can play "Battlefield Guide".  Now that Summer is finally over, our Scout meetings have resumed.  We've chartered the "Starfish" for a four hour fishing trip on October 2nd.  All the kids and their families are invited (It's a big boat!).  After the Class of '58, there is no finer group of people to spend time with than the kids and parents of Boy Scout Troop 76.  So hello to everyone and you have my permission to share my contact information.  I'm also on facebook, Search: "James English".  Another great job on the News Letter.  Anyone who wants Jim's contact information should e-mail Frank Adolf at


Denny Brennan:  Thanks to you and everyone for the note and the news.  I really appreciate it.  We booked our usual New Years Eve dinner reservations.  I had the opportunity to go to an afternoon Phillies game a few weeks ago with a lot of friends from our 'old SW Philly neighborhood (St. Barnabas Schoolyard).  Jack Woods, Bob Madden, Tom Hughes and Tom McNeill were also there along with several dozen other former West, Bartram, etc. guys.  Matt Senior (West Grad) does a great job getting everyone together each year for a ball game.  Thanks again.


Ann Cahill '59:  RICH, Thanks.  I enjoy reading the news letter.  Hope all are well!  


Joe Murphy:  Frank: Nice job at keeping us up to date.  Regards  Joe 


John Kraft '57:  I want to thank you all for the publicity regarding the MBS fund raiser.  You guy's should be commended on your on-going interest in West Catholic.  I can remember when they closed our school at 49th and Chestnut Sts. and my thought was to disassociate myself from any WC activities in the future.  Well this thought lasted but a few day's because I realize that the building was made of bricks and stone, but the men who went there still live on and their spirit never dies.  Your class is the epitome of this manner of thinking.  Thank you all.  John


 Bob Dougherty:  Very nice stuff here.  A great read, thanx for your efforts.  By the way Philly's Best is a chain with about 15 locations in So Cal.  Sláinte Bobby Doc


Joe Grimley:  Great Job,  I look forward to receiving the news letter.  


Jim Lynch: All, a few lines to say newsletter is great keep up the good work.  Lynchie  


Dennis Young '60: Dear Frank: Thanks so much for the edition of the events committee.  I always look forward to receiving information on the class of '58.  I have always been closer to your class than mine because of you and John.  You are doing a great job.  I only wish the class of '60 would follow suit.  Hope you and Penny are well.  I will be going to China for a month in November to visit friends living there.  I may fly back thru Phila or NYC to visit with my son and will call.  Bring you some chopsticks or US $ since they have all of ours.

John Salvey:  Thanks for the update, it was well written and seeing the picture of Brother John being so well recognized, it brought back pleasant memories.  The comments on the Philly cheese steaks hit a familiar nerve, my wife and I drive around North Texas tasting all the Texas style Philly cheese steaks and Hoagies and we finally found a guy who opened a small shop about 6 years ago.  We kept going back as he was the only real example due to imported amoroso bread and tastykakes.  The guy is from Overbrook high and he now has 10 locations.  It caught on so well, lunch times are packed at all locations everyday.   Hope the Texas Rangers meet the PHILLIES in the world series. 


Andy Jaskolka:  Thanks for this and the Spring and Summer issues.  Retired though I am, I have postponed too long reading these.  It is always good to read of former classmates and our parishes.  Sad to hear of Transfiguration's Church demolition, but good to know that many of their artifacts are being re-used.  All the best to you, the Committee and fellow alumni.


Joe Stubblebine:  Hi Frank:  Just finished reading the Fall Edition and I enjoyed it very much.  First I would like to pass my best wishes and prayers to our classmates who have undergone surgery.  I hope all goes well for them. 

Thanks to Phil Killian and his update on Transfiguration parish.  It is hard to believe how vibrant the parish was during the forties and fifties.  Every Sunday there were two well attended masses hourly from 6:00AM till 11:00AM.  I am glad I was part of it.

Back to the present - we are looking forward to a Phillies win tonight against the Nationals so we can wrap up the division.  The last month has been remarkable for them especially since I had the Phillies pitching staff on my fantasy baseball team.  Keep up the good work.


Charlie Donnley '69 - Rich Buzza received a very friendly phone call from Charlie who was interested in the MBS Luncheon benefiting St. Bede's Parish.  Thanks Charlie for the nice conversation about the old neighborhood.


Dave "Murphy" Crines - !Ahoy! Jim Prendergast:  Thank you for the Birthday note -  It was neat,

or should I say for us from the '50's > It was COOL.... 
Spent the day's lunch time at the  WC  'Class of 60' Luncheon.  I have a lot of friends in that Class from my Parish - St. Barnabas.  I was 71, But I told some of the guys at the Luncheon that I was '39'.
Catching on to my lie > There was some WC wisenhimmers that made remarks like: 

 "You don't even have a waist of '39',"  -and-  "Yea!! It's the 39th  anniversary of your 39th Birthday......" 
Thank you again, - Don't know your Birthday, but I wish you a very Happy Birthday.....  

Have a great Holiday.
                                                               ~Dave (Murphy) Crines~
"Let your voices soar up to the endless sky"


Tom W. Mullen:  Thanks (for the Birthday greeting).  I enjoyed my 70th in Paris, France.  My wife surprised me with the trip and my b/d dinner on the Eiffel Tower.  What a birthday, almost makes 70 not so bad.

Note:  The following responses received from two classmates concerning the health issues

experienced by Jim McGrath and Frank McCarthy are examples of the positive results of the newsletter.


FRANK & JIM,  You may remember seeing Ann & I at the 50th.  They had an OR table scheduled for me the week following the reunion.  They said I could go to the reunion, but no golfing, and definitely no jitterbugging....I asked how bout drinking, they said yeah that's actually good "get them to buy you doubles".
I had a quadruple and went home in three days taking only Advil for pain as there was none, and I gave up the Advil in a week.  I was very lucky in many ways.  The biggest was they caught it before a heart attack.  Ann & I are walkers and one day I couldn't go as far, so we jumped on the medical community and after many tests they discovered the blockage, with no damage to the heart.  The Drs were a no nonsense group and made me pledge a commitment to the rehab saying " we did great work in there don't screw it up".  The next best thing I did was to push myself during the rehab...seems like the rehab lasted for 10-12 weeks 3 x/wk

45 min - 1 hr and Ann came and worked out at the same time in another room.  I was able to return to every activity within 6 mos..we still walk 3 miles, I play golf, ski with the grand kids and still climb ladders and paint houses.  Oh yeah, I can now jitterbug.  The only vestige of the event is the great looking scar.  The grand kids love looking at it !!!!   Bob Dougherty.  Anyone who wants Bobby Doc's contact information should e-mail Frank Adolf at

After I retired from education I returned to school and received my Nursing degree.  I spent ten years in Cardiac Rehab as an RN and several months as a patient (Aortic valve replacement and RCA bypass)  If there are any questions I would be happy to help.  R. Malachy Ward

Anyone who wants Bob Malachy's contact information should e-mail Frank Adolf at


submitted by: JIM LYNCH


Continuing the report on West Catholic Football, after one win and two losses, the Burrs came on strong beating all of their opponents by wide margins in the regular season and then competed in the playoffs.  Below are the results of each game.


September 25th - West Catholic vs. Haverford School(submitted by Frank Adolf, as Jim Lynch didn't want to blow his own horn).

The Sports Headline in the September 26, 2010 Delaware County Sunday Times read as follows:                   


West which scored twice on The Haverford School in the first half then gave up a touchdown early in the second half, regained control of the game with two second-half TD's.  When the West players headed off the field, DE Jim Lynch (6-4, 210) was carrying his helmet, and shoulder pads as well as the game ball.  Lynch helped West hold the Fords to an average of 3 yards on 55 plays from scrimmage.  Lynch began his football career at age 5 with the Collingdale AA midgets, then played for the St. Joseph (Collingdale) CYO Spartans before attending West.  Both his grandfathers (one is our own Jim Lynch) graduated from West.  West 27 - Haverford School 7

October 2nd - West Catholic vs. Archbishop Ryan - The Burrs traveled to Northeast H.S. for their game with Archbishop Ryan.  It now looks like the offense has regained control of things once again.  With a total  466 yards of offense in the game; 264 yards rushing and another 202 in the air, the score was 20-0 before Ryan was able to get on the board.  The next four games are with Division rivals.  West 40 - Archbishop Ryan 6


October 8th - West Catholic vs. Bishop McDevitt - This win gave Head Coach Brian Fluck his 100th career win at West.  McDevitt was thinking possible upset at the half as they were up 7-6, but West answered in the 2nd half with 29 points.  West 35 - Bishop McDevitt 14  


October 16th - West Catholic vs. Conwell-Egan Catholic - West moved the ball at will.  C-E had very little offense and very few players dressed for the game.  West had 416 yards rushing with all of their scoring on the ground.  Defensively, West held C-E to minus 16 yards on the ground.  West 49 - Conwell-Egan 0


October 23rd - West Catholic vs. Neumann-Goretti - The score after the 1st 4 minutes of play was West 14 - N-G 0.  West sprinted to a 41-6 half time score with the mercy rule coming into effect after 35 unanswered points.  This was accomplished with 283 rushing yards and 55 yards in the air after just 18 offensive plays.  The second half saw the clock continually running with West Catholic's 2nd offense and defense on the field the entire time.  West 41 - Neumann-Goretti 12


October 29th - West Catholic vs. Lansdale Catholic - First quarter was close, LC was up by 1 the score 13-12, but then West exploded.  Lansdale was not to score again.  On the ground West gained 475 yards in 37 plays backed up with 105 yards in the air.  A complete team effort with the defense holding LC to 235 total yards, just 49 yards in the 2nd half.  This game ended the regular season schedule.  West 45 - Lansdale Catholic 13





November 6th - West Catholic vs. Bishop McDevitt - West Catholic has done what no other school in the Catholic League has ever accomplished, that is to win five consecutive Catholic League Championships.  West Catholic did this with the resounding defeat of Bishop McDevitt to again become the Catholic League Champions.  The score at the half was West 34 - McDevitt 0.  At this point West had out gained McDevitt 385 yds. to their 76.  West 47 - Bishop McDevitt 7



November 13th - West Catholic vs. Delaware-Valley Charter - West completely dominated the game; score at the half was West 36 Del-Val 8.  Only the Burrs scored in the second half, compiling a game total of 478 offensive yards, with 164 yards in the air.  West 56 - Del-Val 8  



November 20th - West Catholic vs. Bok Vo-Tech - As usual for a day game the Burrs started off very sluggish.  Bok was actually ahead 6-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, but then the boys came alive scoring 6 in the 2nd, 14 in the 3rd and 14 in the 4th.  Total offense 369 yards, 71 of them in the air.  Once again defense was a big key in the game.  Bok in the waning seconds drove to the 5 yard line, then with 1st and goal the defense stopped them on four straight running plays.  A kneel down with 13 seconds left in the game was all that was needed.  The turnout of West fans (students, parents and alumni) completely filled the stands on our side of the field.  West 34 - Bok 6



December 3rd - West Catholic vs. Northern Lehigh -  NL's first offensive play of the game resulted in a turnover to WC on NL's 32 yd line; 5 plays later West was up 7-0.  WC's defense was very stingy; held NL's best RB to just 79 yards on 19 carries.  West had a combined 247 yards rushing before the halftime break; score at the half was 29-7.  Two WC running backs went over 100 yards on our way to 8 rushing TD's.  NL's defense could not stop West; the first down chains were constantly moving forward toward the end zone.

West 55 - Northern Lehigh 14   



December 11th - West Catholic vs. Lewisburg - West started off fast scoring on their first drive making the score 7-0; it took a few extra plays though with all the laundry on the field.  The half ended with the same score. 

West went on to score in the 3rd quarter making it 14-0; but a bad snap over the QBs head enabled

 Lewisburg to recover and score.  Nail biting time, score 14-7 they had some life but the defense came to the rescue once again holding back Lewisburg.  With 3:51 left to play in the game West scored on a spectacular sideline run of 65 yards.

West Catholic's defense held Lewisburg to just 91 offensive yards.  Our offense tallied 346 yards on the ground with 14 in the air.  Going back to laundry, West was called for 11 penalties for a total of 97 yards, that is more yards than Lewisburg's total yardage for the game.  Oh, well !!!  Ancient history, now on to the State Championship December 18, 2010 at Hersheypark Stadium.  Go Burrs !!!  West 21 - Lewisburg 7 



December 18th - West Catholic (District 12) vs. South Fayette (District 7) -







South Fayette






West Catholic







- SF: Challingsworth 8 pass from Brumbaugh (Lee kick)

- WC: Williams 81 run (kickfailed)

- WC: Strong-Rankin 75 pass from Reid (Kent run)

- WC: Reid 7 run (kick failed)

- SF: Challingsworth 20 pass from Brumbaugh (Lee kick)

- WC: Hollomon 16 run (Lynch pass from Reid)

- WC: Strong-Rankin 25 pass from Reid (Kent run)

- WC: Williams 4 run (Mathis run)

- WC: Mathis 26 run (kick failed)


West Catholic finished the game with 531 yards of offense and 23 first downs.  In the air 3 for 6 for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

In the words of Coach Brian Fluck the theme for this game was atonement.


 West Catholic 50 - South Fayette 14












submitted by:  JIM CLARK



I can remember my 1st Baseball game with my Dad.  It was 1948, the Summer after 2nd grade at MBS.  My Dad was a car & truck salesman for Thornton Fuller Dodge & Plymouth.  They had a contest for the salesmen with many prizes to win from a catalog.  Dad won a new living room set for Mom, Bunk beds for my Brother Danny & I, and a brand new car for himself.  It was the 4th of July weekend, and Dad took me to my 1st ballgame at Shibe Park.  The game was between the Philadelphia A's & the Boston Red Sox.  The biggest player on the field was a Red Sox, who had just returned to baseball in 1946 after serving in World War II as a U. S. Marine Corps Fighter Pilot.  His name was Ted Williams (the Splendid Splinter) and the fastest guy on the field too.  My Dad was rooting for the A's, but I liked this guy Williams.  In the last inning with the game tied up, Williams came up to bat.  Now the right field wall was 40 some feet high; and down the right field foul line was a yellow foul pole on top of the wall that extended up to & attached to the roof of the bleachers and then some, with a little flag at the top.  Ted Williams hit a homerun that went right past that little flag and the ball was still going up to win the game for the Red Sox.  What a powerful Guy he was, ending up with 521 homeruns while missing three full seasons during WWII and almost two seasons during the Korean Conflict.



submitted by: FRANK METZLER


In the September 23rd issue of The Catholic Standard and Times, freelance journalist Elizabeth Fisher reported that when the renovations at St. Bede The Venerable Church in Holland, PA are completed sometime next year, John Kraft (West '57) will feel right at home.  That's because many of the religious artifacts that adorned his home parish - Most Blessed Sacrament in Southwest Philadelphia--will find places of honor at St. Bede's.

A side altar which was an original artifact of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Southwest Philadelphia is now part of St. Bede's in Holland, PA.


Ms. Fisher continued in the article that Kraft graduated from MBS in 1953 and from West Catholic in 1957, and until he moved away, he attended MBS Church.  In 2008, after 117 years of service, Most Blessed Sacrament closed its doors.


Fisher stated that St. Bede's had a luncheon last winter to show former MBS parishioners a film on how the artifacts would be used.  John Kraft and his wife attended, and were deeply moved by the warmth and acceptance he and his wife received by the St. Bede's members and their Pastor, Msgr. John Marine.  Because of that welcome, John and is wife now attend St. Bede's and are looking forward to seeing the items he took for granted at his old parish.




WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those in our lives who are ill, and for all our family, friends, classmates, and former teachers, who have gone to their eternal reward, especially Jack Sheridan, WC Class of 1958, who passed away on September 24, 2010.  


St. John Baptist De LaSalle, pray for us! 

Live Jesus in our hearts.  Forever!