The Golden Burrs Events Committee members are pleased to bring you this 34th edition of the Class of 1958's newsletter.


In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" you will find the following: a thank you letter from Andrew Brady for the Class of 1958's donation; info about School Blazers; John Staiber's Burrs at the Beach report; a report on Jaelen Strong's annual football camp in Philadelphia; the WC Varsity Football Schedule; and information about the Class of 1957's 60th Anniversary Celebration and "Save the Date" information about our own 60th Anniversary Event. 


In the "News Features" section you will find the following reports: a photo of the newly completed Anselm Hall at La Salle University; a report announcing the closing of Our Mother of Sorrows Church; the first in a series of articles by Frank Metzler and Frank Adolf about the histories of the orders of nuns who taught in our respective elementary schools, featuring the IHM Sisters; and a summer driving trip report by Frank Adolf on his visit to The Lincoln Cottage in Washington, D.C.


Sadly, we have learned of the passing of our classmates Charlie Driscoll, Tom McClain and belatedly Joe Martino.


We conclude this edition with Mail received from our Classmates and Friends, a "Remember When".... article submitted by Frank Metzler, and Rich Buzza's "Final Thought".
















June 25, 2017


submitted by: JOHN STAIBER


Sunday June 25 was a beautiful day in North Wildwood.  Nice cool sea breeze, clear skies and an upbeat, lively crowd of Burrs gathered for our annual "Burrs at the Beach" celebration.  Overall attendance this year looked to be light compared with past years and that was evident by the smaller turnout from our own WC58 classmates.  We counted 16 Golden Burrs in attendance.  To add a little 2016 we counted 21 classmates and way back in 2009 we had 42.





Back again this year, the popular band "Blackthorn" performed to the crowd on the main open air covered deck/bar area.


Photos of Golden Burrs of '58 at the Beach 2017:




Sam McGhie, Pete O'Hara, Bill Marella, Lou Penge




Angelo Sivieri, Dick Boyle, Joe Storniolo, Bob and Cathy Ward




Bernie Lawless, John Staiber




Larry Signora, Bob Sproul, Tom Hughes, Jack Woods




Tom Hughes, Bernie McGinley '59, Bill Kohlenberg, Jim Cahill


Golden Burrs Attendees in 2017:


Dick "Huck" Boyle, Jim Cahill, Tom Hughes, Bill Kohlenberg, Bernie Lawless, Bill Marella, Sam McGhie, Lou Penge, Pete O'Hara, Larry Signora, Angelo Sivieri, Bob Sproul, John Staiber, Joe Storniolo, Bob & Cathy Ward & Jack Woods.


A big thank you to all who made the trip to North Wildwood this year.  Hope to see you again next year and hopefully a few more a well.




excerpted from


submitted by: FRANK ADOLF


As Jaelen Strong prepared for his junior season at Arizona State in 2014, the West Catholic product decided to pursue his own youth football camp, hosted in Philadelphia and free to any player.


Three years later, Strong’s “Legends of Tomorrow” camp features his closest friends and teammates — who happen to represent Philadelphia in their own right.


At Drexel University’s McGuire Field on Saturday, Strong’s staff included his current quarterback on the Houston Texans, Tom Savage (Cardinal O’Hara), fellow Texans wideout Will Fuller (Roman Catholic), teammate DeAndre Hopkins, and all-pro running back Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams.



Jaelen Strong (Center) poses with Texans teammates Tom Savage (left) and Will Fuller at Strong's football camp


If you ask Strong, who will play his third season for Houston after the Texans selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft, this camp isn’t ending anytime soon. 


This was Fuller's second time at the camp, as the former Notre Dame standout also visited while playing for the Irish.  Strong, Savage, and Fuller are no strangers to the Philadelphia community --- all hail from the Philadelphia Catholic League.  Fuller's 2,380 career receiving yards remain a Catholic League record, and Savage and Strong both broke out as high school seniors.  With weeks before NFL training camps begin, Strong was able to provide familiar names and faces recognizable to campers in West Philadelphia. 


Strong said he never had the opportunity to attend one of these camps, or “be around this many pros at one time.” Nevertheless, after a junior-college pit stop, Strong finds himself in an NFL offense alongside two other Catholic League products — right where it all started. 


“It’s fun,” Strong said. “We can all relate to each other.  It’s just ironic that Tom’s the quarterback, Will’s a receiver and I’m a receiver, and that we’re always together.  That’s just another testament to these kids, that they can get here, too.  We have to give these kids something that we didn’t have.  We want them to have the hope in their heart that they can get to where we are.”





Date & Time   



8/26 7:00p

Pottsgrove (Pottsgrove, PA)     L 14 - 0

@ Cardinal O'Hara                 



9/2 11:30a

Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, PA)     W 24 - 0

@ Maxwell Field in Wildwood, NJ



9/8 8:00p

Haverford School (Haverford, PA)     L 21 - 18

@ Widener University


9/16 1:00p


Conwell-Egan Catholic (Fairless Hills, PA)     W 38 - 0

@ The West Catholic Practice Field at Drexel


9/22 7:00p


Lansdale Catholic (Lansdale, PA)

@ Wissahickon HS


9/30 6:00p


Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, PA)

@ South Philly Super Site



10/6 8:00p

Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, PA)

@ Widener University



10/13 8:00p

Monsignor Bonner/Archbishop Prendergast Catholic

@ Widener University



10/21 7:00p

Bishop McDevitt (Wyncote, PA)

@ Cheltenham HS



10/27 8:00p

Cardinal O'Hara (Springfield, PA)

@ Widener University



Note:  Full game reports will be featured in the Winter Edition.




submitted by: JOHN KRAFT '57


Our friends from the Class of 1957 will be celebrating their 60th Anniversary of graduation from West Catholic at a luncheon on Saturday, October 7, 2017, from Noon to 4:00 PM, at the Clarion Hotel in Essington, PA.


Contact one of the following committee members for details: Craig O'Brien 610-688-4501, Ray Brown 610-565-6854, Al Chadwick 215-885-2469, Ray Daley 610-565-5543, Billy Olphert 610-532-5520, Jim Shallow 484-422-8288 and John Kraft 215-221-2201.





The GOLDEN BURRS OF '58 will be celebrating the 60TH ANNIVERSARY of their graduation from


The West Catholic Boys High School for Boys 


On SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2018


All classmates and friends of the Class of 1958 are welcome.


Details will be published in the Winter of 2017 Newsletter.  Invitations will be emailed and snail-mailed in mid-February '18. 





Picture from LaSalle University Magazine

Excerpt from the August edition of LaSallian Vision




As reported in the spring of 2017 edition, below is the completed Anselm Hall which is located on the campus of La Salle University.  




Anselm Hall was officially dedicated and blessed on June 17, 2017 by Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Senior.  Brother Richard Kestler FSC, the first Director of the new community, welcomed Bishop Senior and more than one hundred supporters, Brothers, friends, and relatives to the ceremony.   Brother Dennis Malloy FSC, Provincial/Visitor, offered remarks from the District.   




gleaned from




On September 3, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput announced the closure of West Philadelphia’s Our Mother of Sorrows Church as a worship site of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish and as a Roman Catholic church.

It has been a worship site of St. Ignatius since 2013, but has not been used for any Masses or funerals since February 2017 because of low attendance. 

The parish was established in 1852, but it story goes back to 1849 when the area was sparsely settled.  Bishop Francis P. Kendrick purchased a farm for the purpose of converting it into a burial ground, Cathedral Cemetery, now known as Old Cathedral Cemetery.

Also close by was the newly built St. John's Orphan Asylum, which in its heyday sheltered as many as 700 boys, aged 7 to 14.  The chaplain at St. John's celebrated Masses for the Sister of St. Joseph and the orphans.  As the catholic population grew a parish was established on a parcel of land originally designed for the cemetery and it was appropriated named Our Mother of Sorrows.  The church was built in 1870, and was formerly one of the largest parishes in the city.

In the 1930's, because of a large enrollment in the parish school the pastor built a new school building.  In 1936, Cardinal Dougherty decided that a new high school was needed to relieve overcrowding at West Catholic Boys'.  He bought the school building from Our Mother of Sorrows and it became St. Thomas More High School.  The high school closed in 1975 due to declining enrollment.

The closure, which is effective October 9, means the Our Mother of Sorrows Church building is relegated to profane (secular) use, but not sordid use.







Louis Florent Gillet was born in Antwerp, Belgium on January 12, 1813.  Louis received the best education that the times could provide.  He was ordained as a Redemptorist priest on March 10, 1838, and on August 6, 1843 Father Gillet began his American ministry at Grosse Pointe, Michigan having arrived the prior April.  He led a missionary group to Detroit, with a second foundation in Monroe, Michigan which he initiated on March  9, 1844.  He was named pastor of the parish of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception which became a missionary base for the Redemptorists order.  Father Gillet was named superior of the Monroe foundation shortly thereafter.


Following the lead of St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorist order, Father Gillet sought to establish a congregation of women religious in Monroe, Michigan, to teach the French immigrants, especially Catholic French Canadian girls.



Father Louis Florent Gillet, C.Ss.R



Theresa Maxis was born in Baltimore, Maryland  April 8, 1810, of unwed parents.  Her father, Arthur Howard, was a white military officer of British citizenship, and her mother, Marie Annette Maxis Duchemin, was a bi-racial woman, a nurse, who had come to Baltimore as a girl from the French-speaking part of Santo Domingo that is now Haiti with a French family named Duchemin.  


Theresa nevertheless received a rearing and education far superior to most women of her time being articulate in French, English and Latin, which was attributed to the kindness of her adoptive family, the Duchemins. 


July 2, 1829, at age 19 Theresa Maxis Duchemin, became a founding member of the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore, the first congregation of women religious of color in the world.  


In 1844, while general superior of the Oblates, Mother Theresa met Father Louis Gillet in Baltimore and was convinced by him of the great needs of the children in the still new state of Michigan.  


After much discernment, she agreed to leave Baltimore arriving in Monroe on September 19, 1845.


November 10, 1845, a Congregation of Sisters was co-founded by Father Gillet and Mother Theresa as the Sisters of Providence.




IHM Log Cabin, Monroe, Michigan


November 30, 1845. Mother Theresa and Sister Ann Shaaf received the habit and professed their vows.


In 1846, the new community of Sisters established St. Mary's Young Ladies Academy, and in January 40 students arrived.


While guiding the new religious community, Father Gillet served missions in a 60-mile radius, and developed a thriving Catholic community.   


On September 13, 1847 Father Gillet was recalled to the provincial house in Baltimore.  He left Monroe on October 6, 1847 and lost contact with the Congregation until many years later.


On December 6, 1847 the Title of the Congregation was changed from the Sisters of Providence to the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  At this point the color of the nuns habits were changed from black to blue with a black veil.



Mother M. Theresa Maxis, IHM

1810 - 1892


After 10 years as an itinerant missionary in America, Father Gillet returned to Europe in 1854 because of health issues.  In 1857, his health restored, Father Gillet asked permission to return to the Americas, this time to South America.  After the long journey, Father Gillet heard of the establishment of a new order of Cistercians in France.  On February 2, 1858 he returned to France and received the habit of the Cistercians of the Immaculate Conception taking the name Pere Marie Celestin. 


In 1858, Bishop John Neumann of Philadelphia, invited the IHM Sisters to staff St. Joseph School in Susquehanna County, PA and in 1859 the Sisters opened St. Peter School in Reading, PA.  and the Sisters established their Motherhouse in Reading.  From this foundation would spring two Pennsylvania IHM foundations.


This led to a jurisdictional dispute in 1859 between Bishop Neumann and Bishop Lefevre of Detroit.  Bishop Lefevre held Mother Theresa responsible, deposed her as General Superior, and sent her to the Pennsylvania foundation as local superior, forbidding her to have contact with the Monroe congregation she co-founded. 


After the death of Bishop Neumann, Bishop Wood and Bishop Lefevre officially separated the Michigan and Pennsylvania foundations ordering Mother Theresa not to contact any of her Sisters in Michigan. 


May 25, 1864, Pere Marie Celestin arrived at the Hautecombe Abbey in France where he lived out the rest of his life.




Pere Marie Celestin


In 1871, Bishop Wiliam O'Hara of Scranton, asked a number of the IHM Sisters already teaching in the Diocese to form a new foundation and Motherhouse in Scranton, PA making this branch of the order autonomous from both Michigan and Philadelphia.  Bishop O'Hara forbade Mother Theresa from contacting her Scranton Sisters.


In 1872, Because of the increased number of Sisters, the motherhouse, novitiate and boarding school in Reading was transferred to West Chester, PA., occupying the property formerly owned by the Pennsylvania Military Academy.  


In July of 1872, Villa Maria Academy High School for Girls was established by the IHM's. in West Chester.


Mother Theresa effectively in exile, spent the next 18 years with the Grey Nuns of Ottawa, where she kept firm in her faith and love for her IHM congregation. 


After the death of Archbishop Wood, Archbishop Ryan worked towards the return of Mother Theresa to Philadelphia. 


January 21, 1885, Mother Theresa returned to the IHM community in West Chester, PA., her exile ended.  She lived out her last seven years at West Chester.


On February 8, 1891, Pere Marie Celestin was reunited with the IHM Congregation through the efforts of Sister Clotide Immaculata.  Up to that time he was unaware of the congregations name change and thought that the order he co-founded no longer existed.  He provided valuable facts about the Congregation's founding. 


Mother M. Theresa Maxis died on January 14, 1892 and was buried at St. Agnes Cemetery in West Chester, PA. 


Pere Marie Celestin died in France on November 14, 1892, ten months from the date of Mother Theresa's passing.   


In 1895, St. Aloysius Academy Private Grade School for Boys was founded by the IHM's in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.


In 1914, Villa Maria Academy moved to Immaculata, PA.


In 1920, the West Chester Foundation of the IHM's founded Villa Maria College in Chester County, PA, the first Catholic college for women in the Philadelphia area.   In 1929, the name was official changed to Immaculata College to accommodate government regulations for naming of the post office.  The present facility sits on 373 acres and the College received University status in June of 2002.


In 1924, the Sisters acquired the property of William A. Warner, Jr. in what was then Green Tree, now Malvern, and on May 5, 1925 opened the doors of Villa Maria Academy High School at this new location.  The property included 123 acres, the mansion house, and its adjoining buildings.  Several buildings were added over the years, including Good Counsel Hall (1933), an Activities Building, Regina Mundi Hall (1955), Regina Pacis Hall (1966), and a 1972 expansion.  Renovations and expansions continued into the 21st century. 


In 1927, six IHM Sisters were among the founding faculty at the West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Girls.


On March 10, 1929, after three years of effort, the remains of Father Gillet / Pere Marie Celestin were returned to the United States for burial at the IHM cemetery in Monroe, Michigan.   


The IHM Sisters staffed the following parish schools in the Philadelphia Archdiocese attended by our classmates:  St. Clement in 1898, St. Francis de Sales in 1904, St. Raphael in 1905, Holy Name of Jesus in 1907, Most Blessed Sacrament in 1908, Transfiguration in 1912, St. Barnabas in 1926, and Good Shepherd in 1930.  St. Clement School opened in 1891 and was originally staffed by the Sisters of the Holy Child, but they were replaced by the IHM's Sisters in August of 1898 as the Holy Child Sisters were not permitted to teach boys above the 4th grade.  The years shown above are when each parish school was opened.  


In 1960, Camilla Hall, a four story nursing home, was opened to care for the elderly IHM Sisters next to Immaculata University.




Camilla Hall


On August 2, 1965 Mother M. Theresa Maxis remains were transferred to the IHM Cemetery at Immaculata, PA which was opened in 1942.  Until the opening of the Immaculata Cemetery, the IHM Sisters were buried at St. Agnes Cemetery in West Chester and Old Cathedral Cemetery at 48th Street and Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia. 




In 1966 the IHM West Chester Community relocated their Motherhouse to the present location, Villa Maria House of Studies, in Immaculata, PA. 




Villa Maria House of Studies


In 1979 Villa Maria Lower School was moved to a wing of the House of Studies at Immaculata.  At this time the high school acquired St. Joseph Hall which had been built in 1965, adding nine more classrooms, an art studio and administrative offices.  In 1985, plans were undertaken to build the Marian Center at Villa Maria, an Arts and Athletic complex including outdoor facilities for soccer/lacross, softball, track, tennis and field hockey.


Recently two new four story additions at the south and west wings of the existing Camilla Hall facility were approved.  The new additions include dining rooms, community area, private residence rooms, office, conference and medical spaces, a new front entrance and reception area and exterior balconies.




Camilla Hall Additions and Renovations


The existing Camilla Hall structure was renovated to include selective exterior restorations, some window replacement, interior finish and millwork upgrades and reconfigurations of space to meet program needs. 


Today there are three distinct congregations of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Monroe, Michigan, Immaculata, PA, and Scranton, PA.  Approximately, 735 Sisters comprise the Immaculata foundation who currently staff schools in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire and in Peru.


 In the present world of declining membership in religious communities, the Oblate Sisters of Providence and the three branches of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary order are considering the possibility of a merger, because all four communities consider Mother M. Theresa Maxis as their co-founder.  


We all have great respect, admiration, and thankfulness for all the good sisters who taught us all the do's and don't's on being good Christian men.  Okay!  We may have had one or two nuns who were tougher than most of the good nuns we remember. 


We can all tell some excellent stories of funny, amusing, serious, sad, or dumb incidents that happened to us during our days in elementary school.  Anyone willing to share a story, please email it to Frank Adolf at  We've already heard some good stories about Jim Lynch of Good Shepherd, Jim Prendergast of Transfiguration, and the "Bucky Walter" nun story from Jim Clark of MBS.  Please share your special story if you wish.


In the Winter Newsletter the series will continue with the history of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ).




The Lincoln Cottage, Washington, D.C.


submitted by: FRANK ADOLF


Each summer for the past several years Penny and I plan a historic driving tour of anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 miles.  During these trips we have visited one or more sites for every President of the United States including all of the Presidential Libraries and Museums. 


This year we took a short trip of 875 miles touring historic sites in Washington, D.C., Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia and Emmitsburg, Maryland.


Our first stop was at "The Lincoln Cottage" in D.C., which after an eight year restoration project by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, opened to the public on February 11, 2008. 




Rear of The Lincoln Cottage - circa 1860's


The Cottage was built in 1842-1843 as a summer retreat for George Washington Riggs, the founder and first president of the Riggs National Bank.  It is located in N.W. Washington, D.C. and is situated on the third highest point in the District, a short three miles from the White House.  Given its higher elevation, the temperature is always a few degrees lower than at the White House.  The building and 225 acres were acquired by the Federal Government in 1851 to receive and care for wounded and disabled veterans of military service. 




Rear of The Lincoln Cottage Today


By President Buchanan's time in office a main building of gothic architecture was constructed and the Cottage was designated as a residence for the governor of the "Soldiers' Home".




First Building for Housing Soldiers


In 1857, in order to build support for the facility, the president and secretary of war were encouraged to occupy the Cottage during the summer.  President Buchanan accepted the invitation and thus the Cottage became the first official Presidential Retreat.  




Front of The Lincoln Cottage


Abraham Lincoln used the Cottage as a temporary retreat from the heat and humidity at the White House.  The Lincoln family moved to the Soldiers' Cottage during the summer and fall months of 1862, 1863 and 1864 in the midst of the civil war. 


Lincoln started writing an early draft of the Emancipation Proclamation at the Soldiers' Home.  An exact copy of the desk that Lincoln used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation is in the Cottage.  The original desk is now in the White House.


The area was relatively isolated and poorly guarded, and Lincoln was dismissive of any danger to himself or his family.  At one time the Rebels line of skirmishes was only four miles from the cottage. 




A contingent of military guards from Company K of the 150th Pennsylvania Infantry volunteers, nicknamed the Bucktails because they wore Bucktails on their hats, were assigned to protect the president and accompany him during his commute to the White House.  Even with the assigned guard, Lincoln frequently slipped away and commuted back and forth to the cottage alone.


In August 1864, during one such ride back to the Soldiers' Home an attempt was made on the President's life.  As he rode alone on the road, a rifle shot from approximately fifty yards startled his horse;  the horse, took off at what the President called "Break neck speed which unceremoniously separated me from my eight-dollar plug hat, with which I parted company without any assent, expressed or implied."  When he arrived at the Soldiers' Home at about 11 o'clock that night, he was met by Private John W. Nichols.  Nichols noticed that the President was bareheaded.  Later Nichols and another soldier went searching and found the hat with a bullet hole in it.  When Nichols presented the hat to Lincoln he was dismissive of the danger, considering it just an accident.   Lincoln instructed Nichols that the event should be kept quiet.


President Lincoln's last recorded visit to the Cottage was on April 13, 1865, the day before his assassination. 


After the Civil War, two other presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes, and Chester A. Arthur, spent significant time at the Cottage during their terms in office.  However, as transportation improved, the use of the Cottage fell out of favor as presidents took their vacations at their homes or other places of interest.  Over the years, the building served as a dormitory, quarters for the Soldiers’ Home band, a bar and lounge for residents, and the public affairs office, up to the late 1990's.


The adjacent Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center features exhibits about the Soldiers' Home, wartime Washington, D.C., Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief during the Civil War, and a special exhibit gallery.  The President Lincoln Cottage and Visitor Education Center is open to the public for tours seven days a week.


Today the Armed Forces Retirement Home sits on 251 acres that surrounds the original cottage and is an independent agency of the Executive Branch.  The Cottage was declared a National Monument by President Clinton in 2000 and is operated by a private, nonprofit organization.  Except for a few chairs for use by tourist, the cottage is not furnished, but original fireplaces have been preserved, and in some rooms there is original flooring and woodwork.  Unfortunately, photography is prohibited inside the cottage. 




Armed Forces Retirement building as seen from the back veranda of The Lincoln Cottage 


This was the tenth site in the country we have toured that is associated with Abraham Lincoln.  The other nine are the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Lincoln residence, law office and gravesite, all in Springfield, Illinois; his birthplace in Sinking Springs, Kentucky; his home town during the 1830's in New Salem, Illinois; Ford's Theatre where Booth shot Lincoln and the Pedersen House where Lincoln died, and the Lincoln Memorial, all in Washington, D.C.   


I highly recommend a visit to The Lincoln Cottage the next time you are in Washington, D.C.


We continued our trip stopping at the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, the General MacAuthur Memorial in Norfolk and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's Shrine in Emmitsburg.





Dan Remy:          


Ronald Miles said that he would become a medical doctor in his Senior Year and by GOD, this Negro-American student did it against all the odds in the 1950s.  After Graduation in 1958, he joined the service and became a Surgical Nurse performing valiantly to save lives.

After an Honorable Discharge he studied Pre-Med and  Medical School for 8 years plus Internship...a long and hard educational journey.  He was intelligent and a West Catholic Gentleman to the core with a pleasant and happy personality and, most of all, a serious determination to accomplish his goal.

I saw him again in 2008 at our Reunion and he said: "Remy you're the only one I can recognize!" with a broad smile typical of his graceful manner.  I could only say: "You did it! You became a Doctor!".  I was so proud of him. 

I am crying at his loss.  He was a West Catholic Alumni we can all be proud of.  GOD be with you Miles...We lost a great man who committed and did it!  Bravo. 


Charlie W. Johnson:  Frank, Another really good job with the NEWSLETTER! 


Paul Peterson:  Hello Frank,  Thank you for your fine work recording the milestones of the class of 58, and the continuing good work of our alma mater.


Missy Light Dougherty:  It has been said that “being deeply loved gives you STRENGTH and loving deeply gives you COURAGE.”  Well, we are especially celebrating the gifts of STRENGTH, COURAGE, HOPE, FAITH and LOVE this Father’s Day as we toast George Light.  GL LOVES deeply: his family, friends, Sea Isle, West Catholic, Philly sports teams, musicals, cowboy shows, etc. but he has inspired at a deeper level over the last year plus as he has taught us what it means to be STRONG.  I don’t think we can fully celebrate GL this year without also celebrating all of you who have been journeying with him in some capacity. Thanks to all who have been giving him literal and virtual hugs over the last couple of months and to those that have been lifting him in prayer.  And a special shoutout to Temple University Hospital and Dr. Forfia and Dr. Toyoda who collaboratively gave us the gift of having my dad here with all of us.  We can't wait til he is back on his deck in SIC! 


Bob Giampietro '68:  Thank you, Rich. You are very kind to share this.  I am WC '68.   So, you guys are 10 years our senior.

Please take care and be well.  Nicely done!  Cheers!


Ed Kerr '60:  Rich, Excellent Summer Edition... Thank you and all who work so hard to present this Newsletter!


Denny Brennan:  Frank,  Great to hear from you, in fact great to hear from anybody ... these days!  Yeah!  Thanks for your note.  I hope that you are getting along well.  Thanks to all you classmates that attempt to keep us in touch with each other.  I do not believe that there is another 'class year group' that has the support and organization that you have and continue to give to our class of '58'.  I know that everyone really appreciates everyone's efforts.  Stay active, healthy and on  "this side of the grass".

Thanks again,  Denny


Dutch O'Malley:  (Jim Clark reached out to Dutch and this was his response):  Jim, thanks for your note.  Last night (August 27) got 22 inches of rain at the Johnson Space Center, about 2 miles from where we live.  That is half our annual rainfall!  Pool overflowed, streets flooded, house like an island in a lake, lost power at 3am for 9 hours and the water came within 1 inch of coming into the house. We get big tropical rains in Houston but this rain was deafening, intense and long.  We were getting 4-5 inches of rain per hour!  Light rain most of today and predictions are 3-5 inches tonight.  All the rain north of us has to come thru the Houston area to drain into the Gulf of Mexico so we will be dealing with Harvey for another week or more.


Truly appreciate your interest and concern.  Keep all of us in your prayers.  Hope to see you in '18.  Dutch

Frank Adolf:  As you know our classmate Tom McClain  began a career as a referee of High School and College Football, Basketball and Softball in 1961, retiring in 2012.  Below are two fond remembrances that I have about Tom:

1) A few years ago Tom was at Philadelphia International Airport for a flight to Florida where he was to ref a game.  His flight was canceled due to weather and the next flight out was several hours away.  Tom had no choice but to wait.  Around 2:00 AM along came my son-in-law Tim, who worked for US Airways.  Tim stopped to chat with Tom and one thing led to another.  Tim mentioned that he graduated from St. James and Tom  told him that he graduated from West Catholic.  You probably can guess the next part where Tim mentioned that I graduated from West as well in 1958.  The next morning Tom called me from Florida to tell me the story about my "wonderful" son-in-law who not only took the time to stop and say hello, but went the extra mile by bumping Tom up to first class on his flight. 

2)  In October of 2006, while attending the funeral of Joe Gavaghan's wife Jeanne at St. Charles Borromeo in Cornwells Heights, I met a group of our classmates in the parking lot with Tom McClain in the center of the group.  Tom, had recently appeared in the movie INVINCIBLE - the life story of Vince Papale, playing the role of a referee.  Tom, our "MOVIE STAR" classmate, was autographing pictures of himself shown with the other refs and Greg Kinnear who played the role of Dick Vermeil in the movie.  I have this picture hanging on my office wall.









submitted by:  FRANK METZLER


I grew up on the 6200 block of Catherine St.  A red police "paddy wagon" with siren and lights on, was coming down the 6100 Block of Catherine St. and turned left down 62nd St.  All of us ran to 62nd St. to see where the police wagon went.  As we ran, my mother's cousin told us that President Roosevelt just died.  The police wagon stopped at the corner house at 62nd and Christian St.  By the time I got to 62nd St. the police were carrying a man out on a stretcher.  I ran home to tell my mother that President Roosevelt died at 62nd and Christian St.  At age 5 years old, little did I know that the President died in Warm Springs, Georgia.







WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke, Jim Prendergast who is recovering from his fourth back surgery, Tom Wallace, aka German John, who is battling cancer, Tom Henry who is fighting Hodgkin Lymphoma, and Bob DiRita who has been sidelined for the past few years with health issues.  


Please pray for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, especially our classmates who live in the path of the storms. 


WE REMEMBER and pray for all of our deceased classmates, especially Charles R. Driscoll, Thomas C. McClain and Joseph J. Martino.




Charles R. Driscoll - July 16, 2017




Thomas C. McClain - July 30, 2017




Joseph J. Martino - Date of Death Unknown


Note:  Frank Metzler reported that in a July 2017 Inquirer Obituary for Joe's brother Nicholas Martino, it was mentioned that Joe predeceased him.


May Charlie, Tom and Joe Rest in Peace.





submitted by:  RICH BUZZA


     It never ceases to amaze me the people that you meet while wearing a West Catholic (WC) hat.  Last week while playing a slot machine in Harrah's a gentleman came up to me and asked if that was a West Catholic hat that I was wearing,  I assured him that it was and he introduced himself as Jim King Class of '49.  What a nice guy, I found out that he was also from M.B.S. around 59th and Kingsessing (I think) and that he enjoys going to Burrs at the Beach.  I always seem to meet a West Catholic Guy or girl while wearing my WC hat and I get a real kick out of it. 


     While looking at Facebook I came across an interesting article, one of our guys from class of '58 has a new book on the market.  If there was ever a need for the subject matter of the book today is the perfect time for it.





I hope that this is a big seller for Gerry and yes this is a shameless plug but you have to help out a fellow grad when you can.  Have a great Fall season.



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