The Golden Burrs Events Committee members are pleased to bring you this 24th edition of the Class of 1958's Newsletter.  Each section will bring you information that we have gathered about West Catholic and other newsworthy events that have transpired in the past three months. 


 In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" is a report about Brother Richard Kestler receiving an award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA); a report about George Light who received a Service Award from West Catholic Prep; an announcement of the opening of a new Fitness Center at West Prep; the success stories of three recent grads of West Catholic, Jaelen Strong, Raymond Maples and Rob Hollomon; and the Calendar of Events for West Prep.


In the "News Features"  section there are reports on the Alumni Communion Breakfast, the 57th Anniversary Class Luncheon, and information about Frank McDonnell's autobiography.


Reporting on the history of our childhood parishes continues in this edition, featuring the Southwest Philadelphia parishes of St. Barnabas, St. Mary of Czestochowa and Our Lady of Loreto. 


Information about the three parishes were found in "Our Faith-Filled Heritage - The Church of Philadelphia - Bicentennial as a Diocese 1808-2008" - published in 2008; "The History of the Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo 1832-1943"; "The 1966 Blue and White Yearbook"; and the following publications which are available at the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC) located at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary: "Celebrating three quarters of a century serving the people of God, St. Barnabas Church 1919-1994."; History of St. Barnabas Parish, 1919-1969, by William J. Cusick"; and "25th Anniversary of Our Lady of Loreto Church, 1938-1963". 


The Fall 2015 edition will feature St. Clement, St. Raphael and St. Irenaeus Parishes.  Visitation B.V.M. will be reported on in the Winter edition, and the series of parish histories will conclude in the Spring of 2016 with the history of the first parish to be established

 in West Philadelphia, St. James the Greater.


Rich Buzza concludes the Summer Edition with another of his reflections entitled "Final Thought".






West Catholic Prep - Updated Main Entrance




 Excerpt from the West Catholic Preparatory School Website

Brother Richard Kestler, FSC, of West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia, PA, received the 2015 Educational Excellence Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for their dedication and commitment to excellence.        

The awardees chosen from the more than 100,000 educators who serve in the nation's Catholic secondary schools were recognized during the annual NCEA Convention & Expo that took place April 7-9 in Orlando, Fla.  The annual award honors Catholic secondary school educators who have made significant contributions in a variety of roles including administrators, faculty, staff, campus ministers, board leaders, and athletic/co-curricular advisors.          

Since his days attending Saint Martin of Tours parish school in the Oxford Circle section of Philadelphia, Brother Richard Kestler has always had a passion for education.

Even after graduating from high school, completing his undergraduate studies, and earning two master’s degrees, Brother Richard still spends every day in school.  As President of West Catholic Preparatory High School, he continues to share his passion for faith and learning with future generations of students.

Brother Richard always had an interest in teaching young students, but it wasn’t until he was strongly influenced by a handful of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Brothers of the Christian Schools that he decided to become a member of the Christian Brothers himself, – something he has enjoyed for every minute of the past 54 years.

“I am honored to receive this award and accept in the name of countless others who have worked so hard to continue the good work of their local Catholic school. The mission of all Catholic educators is simply to 'touch the hearts of their students' so that they might be open to the message and instructions of their Lord.  Effective teachers are instruments and He the conductor of a great orchestra” said Brother Richard. 



With excerpt from the Spring 2015 Edition of WEST NOTES



On June 3, 2015 George Light - West Catholic Class of 1958received the 2015 Bishop Joseph McFadden Service Award at the 14th Annual Cardinal O'Connor Golf Classic dinner.  George is a loyal son of West Catholic who began his service to the school over 60 years ago in 1954 as an incoming freshman, and continued to serve until his retirement in 2014 as Director of Alumni Relations.


He has assumed many roles, an athlete, a member of the alumni association, a staff member, and a true ambassador of his beloved alma mater.  George embodies the true spirit and charisma of a West Catholic alum. 


George's daughter Missy had the honor of introducing her Father at the Award's Dinner.  This is her tribute to George.


I have the honor of standing up here tonight to speak on behalf of my family with the aim of presenting tonight’s guest of honor for the Bishop Joseph McFadden Service Award. 
One of West Catholic’s most loyal sons - George Light entered West Catholic’s doors in the fall of 1954 from St. Francis DeSales parish. He literally ran onto the scene earning his first varsity letter as a freshman competing on the cross- country squad.

He would continue to impact the running programs as he helped West Catholic track win three Catholic League Championships and two City Championships.
Senior year his attention turned towards the stage and the West Catholic boy’s senior play in the 1957-58 school year was Plain and Fancy with an appropriately entitled opening song of “You Can’t Miss It.” George Light, cast as lead Dan King, did not miss “it” as this experience at West would be life-changing. The show about life in Western Pennsylvania has a song early in the second set entitled “Follow your Heart” and George indeed did follow his heart as fellow Plain and Fancy cast member Barbara Fredd became Mrs. George Light in the fall of 1961. And yes, still to this day they can break into a rousing duet of “Take Your Time and Take Your Pick” at a moment’s notice.

Catholic Social teaching tells us that our family is our first “school” and that Parents are the "original and primary" educators of their children. Our parents took this role to heart as the four of us learned about all the important things:  the value of faith, family, friends and West Catholic (and Sea Isle and Philly Sports and Jimmy Buffett) at an early age. 

When people find out that I am George Light’s daughter, they often ask, so did you go to West too? No but my sisters and I were lucky enough to receive the benefits of a West Catholic education in a roundabout way ourselves as my parents’ faces would light up uniquely as they talked about their high school experience. West Catholic was an underlying current of life in the Light House — the tie that binds as you will as it seemed like everything could be traced back to West. “I took your mother from the Chorus Line to the Main Line” we heard once or twice in our house growing up. I could never forget the tears being shed by my dad and his friends as the tradition ended after 73 years when the doors closed on the boy’s school. Burrs at the Beach days from parades on Sea Isle’s boardwalk to the current celebrations in Wildwood were essentially treated like holidays in our house. And of course all the world’s best people went to West Catholic
for high school … right? As the answer to the question how do you know that guy/woman so well? more often that not seemed to be … he or she went to West Catholic.  And I ask you to take a minute right now to remember and say a silent thank you for those good guys and girls from West that are no longer with us but have primetime seating for this affair tonight from above.

While we were growing up my father commuted to New York on a daily basis.  He had physically left the halls of West in 1958 upon graduation, but he never really left in spirit and he kept “running”  as he would often be literally running to alumni meetings after a long work day.  He reveled in the opportunity to deepen his relationship with West through the years serving on the Alumni Board, and as the president of the Alumni Association.  After he retired from his career in sales a position opened up in the Development Office through the foresight of Brother Richard on his first tour of duty and Bob Devine and this would prove to be a fit like no other.  My Dad would now be able to spend hours talking about West Catholic and promoting the continued mission of the school on an official ambassador basis. While Thomas Wolfe once said, “you can’t go home again” George’s daily dedication to his job in the Development Office proved otherwise.

I was lucky enough to become a part of the fabric of West Catholic for a short time as the girl’s basketball coach while my Dad was a staff member and I remember asking at one point what we should put on the back of our practice pinnies? “Some teams just put family,” I was told which seemed fitting based on my prior knowledge of West where my parents’ high school friends were indeed family. This was right around this time that it looked like shuttered doors at 45th and Chestnut would become a reality and West needed to rely on the collective strength of its family more than ever.

It has been said that the “The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other." (Mario Puzo) and while there were some that didn’t want to fight in 2012 for West, George Light put his fingers in the holes of the dam and never stopped fighting — he remained steadfast in his belief in the mission of the school and continued to champion a future for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that included West being a beacon in West Philadelphia. As this real-life paschal mystery played out in front of all of our eyes, George Light never left the foot of the cross. In that same vein, I can remember like it was yesterday when he called me the day the Archbishop announced West and the other high schools would remain open. I don’t remember exactly what was said in that phone call but the joy in his voice in that moment of resurrection was palpable.

The West Catholic Alumni Association Directory is a virtual Who’s Who of top-notch people But I propose, though I might be biased, there has been no person more loyal to the West Catholic family over recent years than George Light. Through good times and bad, closings and rebirths, my dad has remained a "loyal son — in essence a servant — who has loved to spread her fame." Inducted as a member of the School’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, recipient of the William McGarvey Award for service in 2007 and inducted into the School’s Hall of Fame in 2008, my dad has never been about the plaques and fanfare but all about being a caretaker of the spirit of "West being best."

I took my Molly to get her nails done yesterday and when she was telling the worker about her exciting week to come which includes Kindergarten graduation— it got my attention as Molly in her almost six-year old world view said to the worker well I am graduating and …there was this place where my Pop worked and he “graduated” too and they are saying thank you. 

Upon reflection, it got me thinking how while the ending wasn’t picturesque, you can take the guy out of West Catholic but you can’t take West Catholic out of him. In a year that seemed to have an eternal winter on several fronts, our dad still found his way to the football sidelines to cheer … he still poured over West’s box scores during basketball season … he was still a fixture on the Communion Breakfast circuit and at his class luncheons (how great is that class of 1958 by the way). And other than maybe Brian and Mary I am not sure how many other people made it a point to stay up to watch the NFL Draft in anticipation of where Jaelen Strong would be selected. It is easy to see that George Light remains proud to be a Burr … no matter what … and all of us that truly “know him” know that will never change.

Finally, many of you know that our dad would often grab the mike during his bartending career at the Springfield Inn in Sea Isle. Those that really know him well know that the song that was his claim to fame with the Rage Band was entitled “Congratulate me.” “Congratulate me … step right up and shake my hand … my baby told me that she loves me” he would croon night after night. Well in conclusion, I think tonight, his wife, kids and grandkids, sisters, classmates, fellow alumni and close friends, joined by 100s in Sea Isle, Narberth, Bala Cynwyd, Merion, Havertown, Delco and the extended West Catholic community that couldn’t be with us,  tonight we become the singers … “Congratulate us … step right up and shake our hands… we know George Light.”

With great love and pride we offer congratulations to our father, a loyal son of West, and the 2015 winner of the Bishop Joseph McFadden Service Award, Mr. George Light.

Three cheers for our own George Light.




Excerpt from the Spring 2015 Edition of WEST NOTES



A new state-of-the-art Fitness Center was recently opened at West Catholic Prep.  The facility was a gift to the school from Principal and Co-Founder Craig "Sab" Sabatino of Intech Construction.  Mr. Sabatino understands and appreciates the mission of West Catholic Prep and the value of Catholic education in this part of the city. 


The facility will benefit the athletic programs as well as the overall wellness of the entire school community.



       submitted by: FRANK METZLER AND FRANK ADOLF


As a junior at West Catholic, Jaelen Strong caught 24 passes for 385 yards with four touchdowns. He was a wide receiver on the 2010 West Catholic State Championship AA Division Team. 

West Catholic   6 30  8  6 -- 50
South Fayette   7  7   0  0 -- 14

In his senior year, Strong had 17 receptions for 318 yards and four touchdowns.

Strong had scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan, Villanova and VMI before opting for Pierce College.

2012:  At Pierce he had 67 receptions for 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns in 10 games. 

In track & field, Strong posted personal-bests of 6.42 meters (20-11.5) in the long jump and 12.42 meters (40-6.5) in the triple jump. 

2013:  After two years at Pierce College, Strong transferred to Arizona State University In his first season at Arizona State, he had 75 receptions for 1,122 yards and seven touchdowns, becoming one of the best receivers in the country. 

After his junior season, Strong entered the 2015 NFL Draft.

2014:  In a crowded wide receiver class, Strong, at 6 foot-3 and 215 pounds, finished with 82 catches for 1,165 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

2015:  Strong was picked up by the Houston Texans as a wide-receiver in the third round of the NFL draft on May 1st.  Houston gave up 3 picks to the New York Jets to move up in the draft to pick Jaelen.  

Jaelen Strong - Houston Texan


Raymond Maples earned All Catholic League honors as a running back and safety at West Catholic, served as a team captain and helped  the school to reach 3 consecutive championships.  That earned him a scholarship to West Point, where he became the University's sixth all time running back with 2,489 running yards.  

2010: Appeared in 10 games ... garnered one starting assignment ... one of seven rookies to earn varsity letter ..

2011: Started 10 of the 11 games he played in ... ran for 1,066 yards and four touchdowns ... just third Army sophomore to reach 1,000-yard mark ... 

2012: Maples was one of seven Black Knights to start all 12 game...ran for 1,215 yards, the fifth-best total in Academy history.

2013: December 19, 2014, Maples graduated from the U.S. Military University at West Point, NY .  He is one of the few Philadelphians and the first WEST CATHOLIC alumnus to have graduated from the prestigious university. 

2014: In the third game of the season against Stanford, Maples suffered a rare tendon avulsion in his right leg. 

Philadelphia's City Council honored Lieutenant Maples, passing a resolution recognizing his achievements and successes.  

Raymond Maples (center) with Councilman Ed Neilson and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwellco-sponsors of the citation that was presented behalf of the Philadelphia City Council.  

Maples has been granted administrative leave by his commanding officer at Fort Benning, Ga., to attend team activities should he be drafted or signed by an NFL team. 

May 2015: Maples was among 25 players participating in the Green Bay Packers' three-day rookie orientation camp.  He was among 16 "undrafted free agent" players selected by the Packers'.


While at West Catholic Rob Hollomon played football, rushing for 1,923 yards as a senior to earn First Team All-State, CN8 Player of the Year and First Team All-Catholic League honors...Set school records for touchdowns and rushing touchdowns as he guided his team to three straight league titles...Selected for the Big 33 All-Star Game in 2008.  

Hollomon went on to college at Kent State and then transferred to Central Connecticut State University.  

2012: Hollomon started all 10 games as running back for the Blue Devils…Became the ninth player in CCSU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season…His 1,104 rushing yards are the sixth best single-season total in program history…Averaged a NEC best 110.4 rushing yards/game and posted a 5.2 yards/carry average…Scored five rushing touchdowns.

2013: Hollomon was named to The Sports Network Preseason All-America Third Team Offense as the all-purpose player…Named to the 2013 College Football Performance Awards All-Purpose Performer of the Year watch list.

2014: Selected to the preseason Walter Payton Award watch list.  Enters the season third on CCSU's career rushing list with 2,556 career yards.

 May 2015: Hollomon was one of 13 "undrafted free agent" players selected by the New Orleans Saints.

Rob Hollomon




Burrs at the Beach - Westy's Irish Pub, North Wildwood, NJ - 1:00 PM, Sunday, June 28, 2015


For tickets to B@B contact George Light at 610-996-2015






submitted by: FRANK ADOLF


The 94th Annual Communion Breakfast and Awards Ceremony of the West Catholic Alumni Association was held on Sunday, April 19th, at the Springfield Country Club.  It was a beautiful morning with bright sunlight and comfortable temperature. 


The Reverend Gerald P. Casey,'85 was the celebrant of the Mass and Rev. Mr. Joel Ziff '50 served as Deacon .  Members of the Golden Anniversary Class of 1965 and the Silver Anniversary Class of 1990 assisted at the Mass.  


Breakfast was served after the Mass and the Awards Ceremony once again provided all with the opportunity to honor the many accomplishments of fellow grads of West Catholic.   Attendance was approximately 380 which included loyal alums, wives, husbands, children, grandchildren and friends of the award recipients. 


The class of 1958 was well represented by the following members:  Frank Adolf, Joe Bradley, Rich Buzza, Larry Doran, Bob Dowd, Joe Gavaghan, Charlie W. Johnson, George Light, Bill Marella and Frank Metzler.  


Fran Crowley '77 was the Master of Ceremonies.  Fran introduced Brother Richard Kestler, President of West Catholic.  Brother Richard first congratulated the 50th anniversary class of 1965, the 25th anniversary class of 1990, and the award recipients, and then spoke about several major accomplishments at West Prep.



Mr. James Gallagher


Brother announced that the Board of Limited Jurisdiction has completed its search to find a replacement for Sister Mary Bur, who is retiring after more than two decades as Principal of West Catholic.  Mr. James Gallagher, who currently works within the School

District of Philadelphia as a science and math teacher, and is also an instructor at St. Joseph's University, will be the next Principal.  


The complete announcement about Mr. Gallagher's selection is available at:


Also, Brother reported that in conjunction with Drexel University, the Engineering Technology Academy is off to a great start with 24 freshmen setting the pace for future classes of WCP engineers.  The Fine Arts program has done nothing but expand!  Three years ago there were just 18 musicians and today, there are 97 students.  The Health Career Program across the four year curriculum in conjunction with Lankenau Hospital is attracting students to the medical field.  


The current class of sixty-six graduating seniors will receive $5.5 million in scholarships and grants. 


Brother projected that by next year enrollment will reach 500 students. 


After Brother Richard concluded his presentation, Fran Crowley began the presentation of awards to the Alums.


Kathleen Martin Fahey '48 received the Margaret Porter Blue and Gold Award


Ralph Celidonio '55 received the Brother Edwin Anselm Award.


Thomas E. Furlong, Jr., Ph.D. '65 received the 50th Anniversary Golden Burr Award.


Bill Travers '66 received the Brother Martin Strickroth Award.


Peter Dougherty '67 received the Brother Aloysius Lumley Award.


Charles "Hop" Hopkins, Jr., '70 received the Golden Burr Award. 


Lt. Col. Daniel B. Sparks, USMC, '84 received the William H. McGarvey Award.


Reverend Gerald P. Casey '85 received the Brother G. John Owens Award.


Joe Nace '90 received the 25th Anniversary Silver Burr Award.


Each award recipient spent time reminiscing about their days at West Catholic and the positive impact the school had on their formative years.  The entire program was well orchestrated and everyone seemed to have an enjoyable morning.





submitted by:  JOHN STAIBER 


Hard to believe but this year, 2015, marks our 57th WC graduation anniversary!  So, as is our tradition, the Golden Burrs of 1958 and their guests accepted the invitation to come together on May 14th at the Clarion Airport Hotel in Essington.  It was great to see everyone and enjoy the special relationships we have developed, cultivated and remained faithful to over these many years.


For all of you who were not able to attend, we have assembled several photos below which hopefully will provide a feel and flavor of this special day.  Hope as many class members as possible can find a way to make it in 2016.




  Welcoming remarks by George Light


There were a total of 45 attending this year, including 41 Golden Burrs, 3 invited guests - Bro. Richard Kestler, Bro. Steven Casale, and Bro. Larry Dempsey.  And also in attendance was Joe Kady of the class of 1959 (St. Clement Parish).



Brother Richard Kestler, President of West Catholic Prep, giving his very upbeat report on the current status and progress of the school. 


Brother reported that good things are happening at WCP overall, increasing enrollment, improving environment and a solid future ahead for our school. 



Pictured above are our classmates who hail from Most Blessed Sacrament Parish (MBS). 

L to R = Frank O'Keefe, Ed Alioto, Bob Di Rita, Angie Sivieri, Jack Andiario,

Rich Buzza, Jim Clark, Larry Doran and Charlie Brett. 



Above photo of St. Clement Boys:

L to R = Tom Koch, Dick Boyle, Vince Di Loreto, Joe Kady '59, Joe Semeister and Tom Shinn. 


St. Carthage Parish was represented by:

L to R = Bob Dowd, Mike Bresnahan, Frank Metzler 



Here are the Boys of Good Shepherd: 

L to R = Bro. Larry Dempsey, Anthony Evangelista, Charlie McClelland, Bro. Steven Casale, Tom Henry, Jim Lynch, Larry Signora and Bill Marella

(Note: Charlie McClelland graduated from Transfiguration, attended Good Shepherd during high school years.  John Gillespie of Good Shepherd missing from this photo, is pictured in the next group) 



John Gillespie (Good Shepherd Parish) and Lou Penge and Dennis O'Leary from Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Fishtown.  



From Visitation BVM Parish in Kensington: Joe Grimley, Joe Gavaghan, Jim Gallagher



St. Barnabas Boys: Bill Kolenberg, Frank Miller and Al Gresh (Note: Bob Schaefer and Bob Ward missing from picture) 

Special Note: Al Gresh made a day trip up from Florida to be at the luncheon.



Transfiguration Parish: Frank McDonnell, Frank Adolf and Chuck Martini 



Sam McGhie - St. James and Johnny Staiber - Our Lady of Victory



St. Francis De Sales: Vince Leonetti and George Light


More pictures are available on our Website at:


This was a very enjoyable and fun time for me.  The company, of course, was the main attraction, but the luncheon buffet food was excellent and the poster displays created by Jim Clark and Frank Metzler are just incredible in their detail.  Many, many hours of careful work went into these attractive pieces.  Also, on display was Frank McDonnell's Autobiography.  More about that in the next report.


Just prior to our meal Brother Steven Casale provided a beautiful and thoughtful invocation where he recalled the memory of our departed classmates and teachers.  


Full listing of attendees:  Frank Adolf, Ed Alioto, Jack Andiario, Dick Boyle, Mike Bresnahan, Charlie Brett, Rich Buzza,

Bro. Steven Casale, Jim Clark, Bro. Larry Dempsey, Vince Di Loreto, Bob Di Rita, Larry Doran, Bob Dowd,

Anthony Evangelista, Jim Gallagher, Joe Gavaghan, John Gillespie, Al Gresh, Joe Grimley, Tom Henry, Joe Kady '59,

Bro. Richard Kestler, Tom Koch, Bill Kohlenberg, Vince Leonetti, George Light, Jim Lynch, Chuck Martini, Bill Marella, Charlie McClelland, Frank McDonnell, Sam McGhie, Frank Metzler, Frank Miller, Frank O'Keefe, Dennis O'Leary,

Lou Penge, Bob Schaefer, Joe Semeister, Tom Shinn, Larry Signora, Angie Sivieri, Johnny Staiber and Bob Ward. 


Many thanks to the Events Committee for their efforts in putting this day together and thanks to all who made the time to gather here for our 57th anniversary celebration.  This was a most enjoyable day.  Hope to see everyone again next year.




Our fellow classmate, Frank McDonnell, has written his autobiography with a focus on his years in the United States Secret Service.  The first part of the book is all about Frank's formative years with interesting remembrances of his grade school years at Transfiguration parish, his four years at West Catholic and his College education at Villanova.  Frank brought several copies of his book to the luncheon at which time he sold a number of copies.  For information on how to acquire Frank's book, you can contact him by e-mail at: or call 215-699-6203.





submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF


August of 1919 - Father James E. Dougherty was chosen to organize and build the newly formed parish of St. Barnabas in Southwest Philadelphia. 

Southwest Philadelphia encompasses the city’s Fifty-First and Fortieth Wards and includes the neighborhoods of Kingsessing, Elmwood, Paschall, and Eastwick; below Seventy-Fourth Street, Eastwick is known to residents as “the Meadows.” Large non-residential tracts are occupied by the Heinz Wildlife Preserve, the Philadelphia International Airport, industrial parks, the Southwest Sewage Treatment Plant, and, adjacent to the Schuylkill River, tank farms and oil refineries.

Reverend James E. Dougherty

Founding Pastor, 1919- 1935

Father Dougherty was ordained on May 27, 1899 and had served as chaplain at the U. S. Navy shipyard on Hog Island, South Carolina during WW I.  

A plot of land 450 feet by 225 feet extending from 63rd to 64th Streets and from Buist Avenue to Chelwynde Avenue was purchased for $37,500. 

An old brick and frame double house on the northeast corner of the plot (6300 - 6302 Buist Ave.) became the rectory and first chapel. 

Two rooms in the front of the first floor became a chapel for weekday Mass. 

First Chapel

Because of the need for a larger facility for Sunday Mass, Father Dougherty set out to find a suitable location.  Mr. Marcus Benn, owner of the Benn Theatre, located just off the corner of 64th and Woodland Avenue offered the use of his Theatre to Father Dougherty without charge.  The offer was gratefully accepted and Masses were celebrated there until the parish could build a church.

August 15, 1920 - Ground was broken for a new combination church and school building.  The first floor was set aside as a chapel, while the remainder of the building would be used for the school with eight class rooms on each of the second and third floors, allowing for the segregation of girls and boys.

November 21, 1920 - The church and school building cornerstone was blessed.

June 11, 1921 - The Main Altar of the Chapel was dedicated and Mass was offered.  The remainder of the building was not completed until December, 1926.

  May 27, 1924 - First May Procession

  January 4, 1927, two grades, first and second, were opened at Saint Barnabas School. 

With the opening of the school staffed by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of  Mary, a three story twin home at 6332 Elmwood Ave. was bought and furnished as the first convent.

First Convent - 1926-1941

August 14, 1935 - The founding Pastor of St. Barnabas, Father Dougherty passed away.

October 1935 - Reverend John J. Daly was named pastor of St. Barnabas. 

Father Daly was ordained on May 26, 1920.

Rev. John J. Daly 

Second Pastor, 1935 - 1940

Under Father Daly's direction and with the cooperation of the people, a debt of more than one hundred thousand dollars was liquidated, many improvements were made to the parish buildings, and sufficient funds were accumulated to begin construction of a new convent. 


1939- The original main altar in the school/church was replaced by a marble altar.

May 1940 - Father Daly was named pastor of The Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. 

Summer of 1940 - Reverend Joseph N. LaRue was appointed as the third Pastor of St. Barnabas. 

Father LaRue was ordained on  June 6, 1925.

Rev. Joseph N. LaRue  

Third pastor, 1940 - 1972

1940 - Sister Vera and her Class


  Sunday, June 8, 1941 - The new convent cornerstone was blessed.

Shortly after his appointment as pastor, Father LaRue set in motion a plan to build a new rectory.

1944 - Sister Honorine

1947 - Construction of the rectory was completed.

1948 - Father LaRue with the Boys Choir. 

First Row: M. Serynak, W. Stewart, J. Gillan, C. McConnell, V. Bagnivo, E. Tobin, G. Annunziato, V. Scully, W. Craig, J. Bennett.  

Second Row:  W. Murphy, J. McAleer, R. Reilly, R. Rossi, J. Pye, E. Caporaletti, R. Clemens, P. Biagi, J. Markman, R. Allen.

Third Row: A. DiDomenico, A. Dameika, J. Grossman, W. O'Shea, J. McConnell, J. Weeks, A. McGuire, E. Annunziato, P. Firmani, F. Pye.

Fourth Row:  F. Schaffer, W. Hagerty, V. Olshefski, H. McGonigle,  R. McConnell, T. Curry, R. Seib, F. Vivolo, R. McDonald, M. Walsh, R. DiEnno

 Fifth Row:  Fr. LaRue, Leo Murphy, J. Dougherty, V. Dezzi, T. Master, W. Curran, H. Coyle, C. Erhart, D. McGill, C. Killbride.  

Managing Editors note:  E. Tobin in the first row may be one of our current readers.  Is that you Ed?

By the late 1940's the parish had grown as a result of new industry in the area, and the grade school was overcrowded requiring more classrooms.  Also, It was time for a new and larger permanent church.

 May, 1950 - Mother M. Nazareth, First Principal (who returned in 1949) and Sister Johanna.

On Sunday, October 29, 1950 ground breaking was held for the new church.  

  First grade students participate in ground breaking

IHM Sisters at the ground breaking

Wednesday, June 11, 1952, the Feast of Saint Barnabas, the new Church was dedicated.

St. Barnabas Church

The design of the church is "American Perpendicular".  The edifice is of rigid frame construction 188 feet long and 79 feet wide.  

   The exterior walls are of Mt. Airy (North Carolina) granite trimmed with Indiana buff limestone. 

The sculpture/bas relief of the patron saint over the main entrance weighs over 6 tons and is the work of Joseph Brown, professor of sculpture at Princeton University.  With the completion of the church, the old church in the school was converted into 8 classrooms.

 St. Barnabas Bas-Relief 

 Remembrances of Father LaRue

Anyone who was a St. Barnabas Parishioner during the time when Father LaRue was pastor is familiar with his straight-forward, sometimes blunt, sometime hilarious manner of presenting "The Sunday Announcements".  From the Sunday Announcements books preserved by Father, here are some of the more memorable announcements.

19 February 1950: "Sisters Card Party this afternoon.  Come one, come all.  If you can't come, Just send your weeks wages."

8 June 1952:  "Today is the last Sunday for Easter duty.  If you missed - get to confession as soon as possible.  Don't compound the felony."

8 February 1953:  "The Mary Chapel on Sunday is primarily for parents with small children.  It's become a favorite place for old maids - male and female - so that parents and kids haven't a chance.  The ushers have been requested to allow only parents with small children in the chapel until Mass begins."

14 March 1954:  "The Older Girls of the parish are giving an entertainment and dance for the Older Fellows of the parish, who have a buck, in the school hall on St. Patrick's Nite at 8:00 PM.  Don't forget the buck and be sure to be over 21/"

18 December 1955:  "The Parish CYO is sponsoring a New Years Eve Party dinner.  If you are one of those that feel the New Year must be met personally, see one of the CYO people or ushers and do it in good style at a fair cost.  This will leave you something to put in the collection later in the day".

My wife Penny (Cosentino - WC '59) Adolf attended Our Lady of Loreto Church and St. Barnabas grade school.  She related the following information concerning Father LaRue.

    When Penny's Mom went to register her for school she had to meet with Father LaRue.  She arrived wearing a pants suit and  Father promptly told her to go home and put on a dress. 

    When it came time to hand out report cards, Father LaRue would only give the reports to the boys but not the girls, leaving that job to the nun.  Also, at the children's Mass, he gave Communion to the boys, but not to the girls. 

Background information for a story related by Jack Caputo:  When the new church was built, the last row of pews were attached to the back wall of the church.  There was no rear aisle which was purposely designed that way to prevent people from standing during Mass.  Also, Father LaRue did not permit anyone to stand in the doorways during Mass.  Even the ushers had to sit in the back pews.

    The Story:  One Sunday, Jack was late getting to church.  As he stood at the back door of the Church looking for a seat, Father LaRue stopped the Mass and said, "Mr. Caputo, I have a seat right up front for you."  All the parishioners looked at Jack as he made his way up the aisle.  The empty seat was next to the altar.  Jack said, "I was never late for Mass again."  Thanks Jack for your remembrance.

St. Barnabas Assistant Pastors during Father LaRue's pastorship

June 6, 1960 Father LaRue celebrated the 35th anniversary of his ordination and his 20th year as pastor of St. Barnabas.

1972 - Father LaRue was named Pastor Emeritus at age 75.

June 1972 - Rev. Raymond E. Gough was named pastor of St. Barnabas. 

Father Gough was ordained on May 30, 1942.

Rev. Raymond E. Gough

Fourth Pastor, 1972 - 1984

Father served as an Army Chaplain until the end of WW II.  He was recalled to the military at the start of the Korean War.  After serving 21 years and rising to the rank of Colonel, Father Gough returned to parish life.

During his pastorship, Father Gough accomplished what Father LaRue long planned and saved for, the completed remodeling of the parish school interior.

September 10, 1974 - Father LaRue passed away.

1983 - Rev. Charles J. Siegele was named Administrator of St. Barnabas due to the illness of Father Gough. 

Father Siegele was ordained on May 30, 1953.

 Rev. Charles J. Siegele

Fifth Pastor, 1984 - 1989

 June 1984 - Father Gough was named Pastor Emeritus and Father Siegele became Pastor. 

September 1988 - Due to the poor health of Father Siegele the Rev. H. Thornton Kelly was named Administrator.

Rev. H. Thornton Kelly

Administrator, September 1988 to February 1989

January 28, 1989 - Father Siegele passed away at the age of 61.

February 8, 1989 - Rev. Bernard J. Herron was named Pastor. 

Father Herron was ordained on May 8, 1954. 

Rev. Bernard J. Herron

Sixth Pastor, 1989 - 2003





March 14, 1998 - Father Herron was named an Honorary Prelate with the title of Monsignor.


2003 - Msgr. Herron was named Pastor Emeritus and retired to Villa St. Joseph.


2005 - Rev. John F. Babowitch was named pastor. 


Father Babowitch was ordained in May of 1996.



Rev. John F. Babowitch


Eighth Pastor, 2005 - 2013


During Father Babowitch's pastorship, St. Barnabas was chosen as the first pilot parish in the Archdiocesan Wide Capital Campaign, Heritage of Faith, Vision of Hope.  The parish went beyond its campaign goal of $335,000 and raised $451,560.


Father Babowitch said "When we first saw our goal we did not think we would hit it".  But the country's economic downturn did not deter his parishioners' faith.  More than half of the nearly 900 families in the parish donated to the campaign.  The parish used its share of the donations for a new church roof, restoration of stained glass windows, repainting the church walls and brick pointing of the convent.

April 19, 2004 - A  new regional school, to be called Mary, Mother of Peace Area Catholic School, was established at the location of St. Barnabas school to serve the children of St. Barnabas, the newly established Divine Mercy parish (formerly Good Shepherd), the recently closed Sts. Clement-St. Irenaeus and Most Blessed Sacrament schools. 

August 29, 2009 - Former pastor, Msgr. Herron died of heart failure at St. Joseph Villa in Darby at the age of 80.

 Mary, Mother of Peace Area Catholic School at St. Barnabas Parish

June 2012 - When it was announced that West Catholic Boys would close (later the school was saved), John Duffy, a member of the Class of 1951, who previously had donated the St. Jude's shrine for the school's chapel in memory of his departed wife Joan Marie, looked for another venue to honor his wife. 

 St. Jude Shrine at West Catholic 

John turned to his wife's former parish of St. Barnabas and requested permission to construct a St. Jude shrine in her memory and to the memory of other alums of St. Barnabas who went on to study at West Catholic Boys and Girls.  Permission was granted and a confessional was removed to make way for the shrine.




November 25, 2012 - The new shrine of St. Jude at St. Barnabas Church was dedicated by then Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, now the Bishop of Toledo, Ohio.   As is the case at West Catholic, fresh flowers are delivered to the shrine weekly.

Plaque in memory of Joan Marie McAllister Duffy - West Catholic Class of 1950

Plaque in tribute to West Catholic High School

December 2, 2013 - Father Babowitch was transferred to the pastorship of Our Lady of Calvary.

2013 - Rev. Carlos A. Benitez was named as Parochial Administrator.

2014 - The Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary opened at St. Barnabas Rectory, and Father Benitez was named Rector of the Seminary.  The Reverend Mariano Dellagiovanna was appointed as Vice Rector.  Initially,

July 1, 2014 - Mary, Mother of Peace School joined the Independence Mission Schools network and the name of the Area Catholic School was changed back to the original name of St. Barnabas.


SUNDAY MORNINGS: 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM French Creole (Haitian)
WEEKDAYS: 7:00 AM - Monday through Friday        


HOLY DAYS: 9:00 AM & 7:00 PM

4:00 - 4:45 PM or At Any Time Upon Request


ROSARY: After 7:00 AM Mass.

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION:  Every Tuesday after the 7:00 AM Mass until 3:00 PM during the school year.

SODALITY/ MIRACULOUS MEDAL NOVENA:  Every Tuesday at 3:00 PM during school year.  

VOCATION ROSARY:  Every Thursday at 12:30 PM year-round in the Mary Chapel.



The immigrant Polish families in Southwest Philadelphia had for years wanted a parish they could call their own.  

             1927 - The Reverend Boleslas J. Zywicki was appointed as the founding pastor of a new Polish National Church named    St. Mary of Czestochowa. 

Father Zywicki was ordained on December 23, 1915.



Rev. Boleslas J. Zywicki

Founding Pastor, 1927 - 1943


Father Zywicki celebrated the first Mass in the Polish Hall on Elmwood Avenue at Millick Street.  

July 1927 - The congregation moved to the McIlvaine Estate at 59th Street and Elmwood Avenue.  The McIlvaine Estate provided enough space to build a church, rectory, school and convent.  The school was administered by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

1935 - A fire destroyed St. Mary of Czestochowa Church.


1937 - The second Church of St. Mary of Czestochowa was dedicated. 


According to the "History of the Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo 1832-1943", in 1943 Father Zywicki was Chaplain at St. Francis Country House in Darby, PA.  Father Zywicki died that same year.  


In 1943 the Reverend Anthony P. Glaudel was pastor of St. Mary of Czestochowa.


Father Glaudel was ordained on June 19, 1927. 



Rev. Anthony P. Glaudel

Second Pastor, 1943 - 1972

Father Glaudel died in January of 1972. 

Unfortunately, the Philadelphia Archdiocese Historic Records Center has no information about St. Mary of Czestochowa from 1972 to 2000, therefore, this report is limited to what was available on the internet and in the previously mentioned publication.

 1994 - St. Mary of Czestochowa school was closed.


January 11, 2000 - Due to declining membership, St. Mary of Czestochowa parish was merged with St. Barnabas.  St. Mary of Czestochowa Church became a satellite worship sites of St. Barnabas. 


June 2003 - St. Mary of Czestochowa Church was closed as a worship site of St. Barnabas.



The former St. Mary of Czestochowa Church now houses the Kern-Crest Head Start program. 



One of the customs which the Italian Catholic immigrants brought with them was the unique richness of their Italian Catholic heritage.  One facet of this was the celebration of Feast Days. 

To this end, in 1922, as a result of the move of Italian Catholics to the area served by St. Barnabas Parish, the St. Anthony DiPadova Society was formally incorporated by 21 first generation Italian immigrants, who mostly lived in the area bounded by 61st and 63rd Streets, Grays Avenue and Elmwood Avenue.  They were:  Salvatore Caputo, Pio Alessandrino, Francesco Cerbo, Matteo DiMauro, Matteo DiGrazia, Michele DiGrazia, Teodoro Dezzi, Vincenzo Dezzi, Feliciano A. Cerone, Gaetano Giannotti, Pasquale Grandizio, Vito Luviso, Pasquale Laucello, Vincenzo Meola, Giuseppe Petrosini, T. D'Alessandro, Rocco Iannelli, Antonio Liberato, Amato Iuliano, Pasquale Pepe, and Luigi Papa. 

The Society's Charter defined.... "The purpose for which this corporation is formed is to encourage and foster a social and civil spirit and to promote and propagate fraternal principals among its members and their families, in case of death or distress."

The Charter required all members to participate in preparation and celebration of the Feast Day in honor of their patron,              

St. Anthony DiPadova. The celebration of this feast was the biggest mainstay of the Society. 

In the same year, 1922, Mattera's bakery was opened at 6209 Grays Avenue.

From the years 1922 to 1932, this celebration was held at the Church of St. Barnabas, with Italian Marching Bands, music, Solemn Mass and Procession.  The St. Anthony DiPadova Society began to make its mark in the area. 

Because of the ever increasing population of Italians who moved into the area served by St. Barnabas it was decided to establish an Italian National Church nearby.  

eptember 1932 - The Reverend Matthew J. Amateis was named founding pastor of the new Italian parish named in honor of Our Lady of Loreto. 

Father Amateis was ordained on June 29, 1910.  

Rev. Matthew J. Amateis

Founding Pastor, 1932 - 1966    

With the founding of Our Lady of Loreto the St. Anthony DiPadova Society moved its Feast Day observances to the new Italian parish.    

1932 - Father Amateis decided to purchase a property at the Corner of 63rd Street and Grays Avenue to serve as a combined church and living quarters.  In a short while he was able to purchase 2341 South 63rd Street to use for a rectory.  His uppermost thought was to tend to the spiritual needs of his parishioners, so Father planned many services to help bring them close to their church.  He held missions in Italian and English, Rosary devotions every night during the months of May and October, Miraculous Medal Devotions on Tuesday evenings, First Friday devotions and devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

1933 - A Sodality dedicated to the Blessed Virgin was chartered.  Soon after this a Holy Name Society for the men was established. 

Social Affairs were conducted in order to raise funds to purchase a building to be used as our Church.  Spaghetti Suppers were held on the second floor of the Chapel, and since there was no kitchen, all cooking had to be done in an open backyard behind the building. 

1936 - Two buildings at 6204 to 6210 Grays Avenue were purchased to be used as a rectory and first church. 

Plans were made to building a new church - Father consulted with Cardinal Dougherty's architects and builders, and was given permission to build a church.


March 20, 1938 - The new Church of Our Lady of Loreto was dedicated and blessed.  Designed by Petrillo & Nelly,  the "Art Moderne" building features cast stone panels.  The tile mural, shown above, features the Madonna and Child surrounded by putti and aircraft.  Our Lady of Loreto is the patron saint of aviation. 


Because Our Lady of Loreto had no school, the parish sent their children to St. Barnabas School.  

While all this was going on, Father's uppermost thought was to build a parish school, convent and rectory. 

1945 - With careful management, the mortgage on the church was paid in full.

Many fund raising efforts were held in order to accumulate enough funds to build a parish complex.  Plans for the school, convent and rectory were drawn up.  Again, Father met with architects and builders and received approval from the Cardinal to go ahead with his new building project.

Over the years, the St. Anthony Feast Day Celebration was incorporated together with the Parish Carnival.  The Carnival originally lasted nine days with the St. Anthony Celebration being held the last two days of the Carnival.  The parking lot at Mattera's bakery was used for games of chance during the event.  Slots were available in the Church basement.  The building period in the 1940's through the 1960's meant that the feast celebration brought more entertainment to the carnival every evening and further, brought as many as 10,000 people to the area for the last day/night of the event, which included, Mass and a procession, band concerts and a fireworks finale.   Proceeds from the Carnival were used to fund construction of the church, a new rectory, the school, and the convent.

One at a time, an apartment house at 62nd and Wheeler Street, another at 62nd and Grays and a Mennonite Church at 6214 Grays Avenue were purchased by Father Amateis.

March 1958 - The old Mennonite Church was torn down and construction began on the rectory. 

March 1959 -The old rectory and the properties on the corner of 62nd and Grays Avenue and 62nd and Wheeler were demolished and the builders laid the foundations and began construction of the school and convent. 

June 1959 - Father Amateis moved into the new rectory.  For the first time since he founded the parish, Father had a comfortable and beautiful new home in which to live. 

Summer 1959 - The Bernardine Sisters were given the task to administer the school.  

January 17, 1960 - The School, Rectory and Convent were blessed and dedicated by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph McShea.

The parish had tripled in size since its founding, and there were over nine hundred registered families and over three hundred children in the School.

June 1966 - Father Amateis was named Pastor Emeritus.


June 1966 - Rev. Ildebrando E. Schifalacqua was named the second pastor of Our Lady of Loreto.  Father Schifalacqua entered the seminary at age 15, he took his final vows at the age of 24. at that time being the youngest graduate of St. Charles Seminary.        


Father Schifalacqua was ordained on May 29, 1943.



Rev. Ildebrando E. Schifalacqua


Second Pastor, 1970 - 1993


1970 - Father Amateis passed away, he is buried at the "Priests Circle" in Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, PA.


1993 - Father Schifalacqua was named Pastor Emeritus of Our Lady of Loreto.


1993 - Rev. Vito Carbone was named the third pastor of Our Lady of Loreto. 


Father Carbone was ordained on May 19, 1962 and came to Our Lady of Loreto from Visitation B.V.M., having served their as pastor from 1989 to 1993.



Rev. Vito Carbone


Third and last Pastor, 1993 - 2000


1998Father Schifalacqua retired from active ministry to his family vacation home in West Cape May.


January 11, 2000 - Due to declining membership, Our Lady of Loreto parish was merged with St. Barnabas.  

Our Lady of Loreto Church became a satellite worship sites of St. Barnabas.  


At the same time Our Lady of Loreto school was closed and the children were once again sent to St. Barnabas school

At the time, Father Carbone said Our Lady of Loreto's school enrollment dipped to 145 from 239 four years prior.  It was particularly grim in the lower grades: there were only 10 second graders and 10 third graders.  Father couldn't explain the exodus,  he said, "I just have the feeling people are leaving American cities for the suburbs.  It's not just us, it's affected all the parishes around here."

June 2003 - Our Lady of Loreto Church was closed as a worship site of St. Barnabas.  Mattera's Bakery closed the same year.



The former Our Lady of Loreto Church is now the Grace Christian Fellowship Church.


April 17, 2009 - Father Carbone passed away at the age of 72.


April 27, 2012Father Schifalacqua passed away at the age of 93.  He had been a priest for almost 69 years.

2015 - Membership in the St. Anthony DiPadova Society has increased over the years.  Italian Nite is held each March, a Golf Outing each September, and of course, the Feast of St. Anthony is still observed in June.  Funds raised from all events are donated to St. Barnabas where the celebration of the Feast is held, to other Churches in the area, to Seminaries, and to the needy during the holidays. 


Frank Cubbage:  Frank, another great job on the Newsletter.  I'm glad Don Thompson made the comment about the 100 boys in the class because I mentioned this to my kids and I don't think they believed me because they had approximately 25 in their classroom.  Actually, I was doubting myself because its hard to imagine anyone controlling 100 five and six year old boys.  I think he is right about the girls being in a different classroom, but I don't know how many they had.

Fran Lawless '68 Batavia, Illinois:  Rich & Johnny & Frank Adolf:  You guys have again outdone yourselves in producing the latest West Catholic newsletter, Spring 2015.  What an incredibly rich and full and delightful presentation of the history of the Our Lady of Victory Parish. 

Growing up in Philadelphia, I attended only two grade schools, St. Francis de Sales and Most Blessed Sacrament.  I went to only one high school from 1964 to 1968, West Catholic.  I worked at an Acme Market on Chester Avenue during high school and college years.  My world was small and parochial, I knew only my surroundings and oh so little about other parishes and neighborhoods.  People would mention Bonner and St. James and Prendy and I would just nod as though I knew something, but I knew nothing. Not where they were, what they looked like, nor anyone who went there or lived by there.  And yet, it was a world of places and people no different than me.  People who worked, lived in row homes, raised their kids to do better, and one by one moved on and moved away. 


So now, to learn about how others lived and learned in other parishes on streets that we could only find with a good Cities Service map, it is both a delight and sad at the same time.  Behind Staiber in a picture in your post is John Gallagher. I knew him only tangentially.  We crossed paths only in emails, and perhaps for a brief moment in 2006 when I went to Westy's for your get together. He stands there with part of his face obscured behind Johnny, as though he were fading away, and you had to steal from memory what his full profile was.  He reminded me of Willy Loman from Miller's play, "Death of a Salesman".  Said he was a Zig Ziegler of his time...with a shine on his shoes and a smile on his face as he lugged his valise from city to city.  I admired him for his carrying the banner of 1958, but now I see too that that good man rode on the shoulders of soldiers like you guys.


I feel bad that the boys' school closed.  Tho' I haven't gone far in fame or fortune, the good school taught me well to read and write and do simple math.  And it taught you guys even better.  Your Newsletter is a work of art, and you can see and feel the love you put into it.  You're an incredible team, and I see none in the wings that will ever match what you have done.  



 Fran Lawless, taxiing a 747 at O'Hare


John Kraft '57:  Hello Frank, Enjoyed reading your newsletter.  German John was one of my teachers in Sophomore year.  He was really great and I am sorry to hear he is under the weather.  Brother Kevin Stanton lived around the corner from me in MBS Parish and taught me the game of basketball prior to him becoming a Christian Brother.  Thank you for the message you printed concerning my tenure as an Allstate Agent.  Best Regards, John


Tom Wallace aka German John:  Let me congratulate you and the newsletter staff on putting out another outstanding issue, the best of any class in the alumni.  I'm  sure the guys appreciate it.  


John Staiber:  Frank, many thanks for the Spring newsletter. What an enjoyable and informative read.  It was very apparent to me how much research and attention to detail went into putting it all together.  When I decided to make a hard copy for a friend I was amazed to see the newsletter consumed 35 printed pages. 


Again, thanks to all who had a hand in this.  Very impressive.  The section on OLV parish was particularly enjoyable to me as I did all 8 grades there, so I marveled at the photos and the historical detail.  


Jim Lynch:  Frank and Staff - Would like to state, another great job done by the editorial staff of the Newsletter.  


Fran and I would like to thank all involved with the Special Congratulations mentioning the celebration of our 50th wedding Anniversary it was quite a surprise.


Also regarding Frank Cubbage's recollection of the 1st day of school standing with Rich McAndrews in the Good Shepherd school yard saying they were not afraid and wouldn't cry like the other kids.  I was kinda glad I didn't get to Good Shepherd till the 5th grade; the 1st day must have really been scary.  I know my 1st day in catholic school was different than what I had been use to; I knew most of my classmates from the neighborhood but we had a brand new nun, Sister Daniel Mary, it was her 1st day and my 1st day; no books so she decided to review religion.  


She asked "What is Grace?", she looked around the room and out of all the kids in the class she picked me to stand up to give the answer.  Well I didn't know and told her so; she almost fainted, stating a catholic boy in the 5th grade should know what is Grace.  Thankfully Jack Mather, who was sitting behind me, told sister that this was my 1st day in catholic school as I had just converted to the Catholic religion.  


Fourteen years later stopping by the convent I asked to see Sister Daniel Mary as I heard she was back at Good Shepherd.  She came into the room looked at me and I asked her if she remembered me?  She stated: "so many children its hard".  I asked her, "What is Grace?", and she replied Jimmy Lynch.  I don't think she ever forgot that 1st day.


Joe GavaghanHey Frank, Another "Victory" for you & your award winning staff, see you in a few weeks.  Cheers, Joe


Frank Metzler:  In response to Andy Thompson's comment on the Good Shepherd Parish article, when he stated that he couldn't imagine Sister Maria Pacis helping 100 first graders putting on their boots on a snowy winter day.  In January, 1957, Sister Maria Pacis was elected the Mother General of the Immaculate Heart Sisters for a 6 year term and she was reelected to a second term
in 1962. 



In September of 1988, Cardinal Krol dedicated Pacis Hall, a convent for the Sisters who staff Camilla Hall, a nursing home for the retired and sick  IHM Sisters.  Pacis Hall was named in honor of Mother Maria Pacis, IHM.  To Andy and the other  former Good Shepherd classmates, enjoy the memories of your former teacher. 


Bob Giampietro:  Thanks for this edition, Rich!  I appreciate you keeping me on your list.  Good info and interesting to read. 


Joe Andrews:  Frank, I am receiving your emails.  I will not be attending the luncheon.  Being more than 700 miles away, it's rare that I get in the Philadelphia area more than once a year.  However, I do appreciate all of your communications.  They make me feel like I still have attachments back home.


Tom Hughes:  Hi Frank, Hope you are feeling well.  I will not be able to attend the reunion luncheon on Thursday May 14, 2015.  I am sorry I cannot attend, but give my best to all of my great 58 class mates.  Hope to see you and others at Burrs at the Beach in June.  Best Regards, Tom  


Dorothy Crines to Jim Clark:  Dave said to say hello to you and that things were okay with him.  He doesn't get around too good so he stays put most of the time but we do take trips down to our home in Cape May.  He seems to do better there because the house is a rancher and the ground around the house is fairly flat so he is able to walk around with a cane.  He said please say hello to everyone for him.



submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF 





 Where was this picture taken?


Who is missing from this picture?



#46 Trolley at 60th and Market Streets






WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke. 

Please pray for all of our classmates who have gone to their eternal reward.


The complete listing of our honored deceased and their high school graduation pictures can be found on the Golden Burrs Website at:   Thanks to John Staiber, many of the pictures are accompanied by complete obituaries.




submitted by: RICH BUZZA


Well Spring is almost over and a busy one it was, starting with the Communion Breakfast in April.  It is always nice to go back to see and feel the friendship of the many West Catholic grads and St. John Bartram folks at the breakfast.  You always seem to meet some new people and this year I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Jim Murray '56.  Jim is a special man who among many of his duties is to spearhead the promotion of the Ronald McDonald House for sick children, I can not say enough about this Catholic gentleman. 


Next, in May, it was our own celebration of our 57th year of graduation from our own West Catholic.  This is a special luncheon every year in that it brings together our own group of guys from the class of 1958.  The class of 1958 is gaining a reputation of being one of the most active, generous and respected classes of our alumni.


In June, our own classmate, George Light received the Bishop McFadden Service Award.  Much has been said about George receiving this award and the honor is well deserved but I see another award here, one that goes unnoticed and unrecognized.  If you read Melissa Light Dougherty's introduction at George's Award Dinner you can not help but to see the love of a daughter for her father just shine through the entire introduction.  What better award can a father receive than a heart felt proclamation of family love.   Great job, Barbara and George.


In two weeks it will be Burrs at the Beach.  It is a little earlier this year so maybe it won't be so hot, for we older people they are featuring Blackthorn, so no doubt it will be a lot of fun.  Hope to see you there, until then, take care.     



God Bless WEST CATHOLIC!   Live Jesus in our Hearts.  Forever.