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FALL EDITION 2020

 

This is the 46th edition of the Golden Burrs Quarterly Newsletter brought to you by your Events Committee members.   

 

In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" you will find Paul Colistra's reflections on his time at West Catholic; the winner of the Burrs at the Beach $1,000 cash prize; the introduction of Mrs. Genevieve Torres as the new principal of West Catholic; and a report on Archbishop Perez's visit to West Catholic on opening day.

 

In the "News Features" you will find articles about coping with Covid 19 in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

 

We conclude this edition with mail received from our Classmates and Friends; In the "Remember When" Earliest Memories of the 1940's and 1950's section, Frank Adolf submitted senior year calling cards he collected from members of the Class of 1958.

 

Sadly, since our last newsletter, we learned of the passing of six classmates: Pete Kennedy and Ed Starr who was from St. Clement Parish, Frank Baginsky who came from St. Barnabas Parish, Walt Gallagher and Jim Quinn who came from Most Blessed Sacrament Parish, and Brother Larry Dempsey who was from Good Shepherd Parish.  May they all Rest in Peace.

 

Rich Buzza once again closes this newsletter with his "Final Thought".

 

 

EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH WEST CATHOLIC PREP

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Paul Colistra Reflects on his time at West Catholic

 As I reflect on my time at West Catholic Preparatory High School, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this school, and also aware of what a challenging time this is for all of us. It is my sincere hope and prayer that you have all been largely unaffected by this virus and that some stability has returned to your lives.

My thoughts are with the West Catholic Prep 2020 graduates right now. These young people have had the best months of their young lives snatched from them and there’s nothing that they can ever do to get them back. These past few months have been especially hard for them and I ask that you consider lifting them up with the power of your prayers.

As you saw in our announcement a few months back, I am departing from this beautiful ministry. I want to thank the entire community for your support of our school, and of me personally over the years. What has happened at West Catholic in recent years is monumental. Our student population has grown, our academic reputation has been strengthened, and our financial situation has been stabilized.

Most importantly, the spirit of our school is at full strength. When I joined the West Catholic Prep community, our school spirit was strong in some areas, and weaker in others. Some were confident about the state of our school, and others were not. The alums had one feeling about their experience, and the students another. I can tell you that today, more than any other time in my eight years at West Catholic, we stand united by our strong West Catholic spirit.

As an example, you have to look no further than our 2020 girls’ basketball team – the Lady Burrs – and their Philadelphia Catholic League championship. What you saw on the court was pure West Catholic – gritty, relentless, talented, supportive. What you saw in the stands was pure West Catholic – enthusiastic, positive, diverse, generational. You couldn’t be at the Palestra for the Championship game and not be impressed by the sweeping display of pure West Catholic spirit in the gym that night. I know God was with us there, and he gave us that night as a reward for an entire community’s hard work in bringing West Catholic back to all her glory.

I am thrilled that Andrew Brady will be taking over as Interim President and I am confident that he will build upon that strong foundation of West Catholic spirit. West Catholic is in excellent hands with Andrew, and with all of you.

This is not goodbye, but see you later, as West Catholic will always be with me wherever I go.

St. John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for Us.
Live Jesus in our Hearts…Forever.

Gratefully,

Paul Colistra

 

The Golden Burrs of 1958 extends their heartfelt best wishes to Paul Colistra as he begins his new position as President of St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

BURRS AT THE BEACH DRAWING WINNER

George Light reported that the winner of the $1,000 Cash Prize drawing was George Armstrong from the Class of 1963.  Interesting fact about George, he and I (Frank Adolf) worked together at First Pennsylvania back in the 1960's. 

NEW PRINCIPAL OF WEST CATHOLIC PREP

 

Announced - July 10, 2020

 

Dear West Catholic Preparatory Community,

 

We pray that this letter finds you and your loved ones well in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we are writing to share happy news for our school community.

 

It is our honor to announce that the Office of Catholic Education and Faith in the Future, in conjunction with the administration of West Catholic Preparatory High School and its Board of Directors, have appointed a new principal, Mrs. Genevieve Torres, a proud Class of 2002 West Catholic Graduate. Her appointment takes effect August 3, 2020. Please join us in congratulating Mrs. Torres and offering her prayerful best wishes as she rejoins her West Catholic family as principal.

 

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Mrs. Torres has served as a dedicated educator and administrator in Catholic education for over 13 years. She has been a teacher in the Archdiocesan system here in Philadelphia, as well as Principal in the Independence Mission Schools system. Mostly recently, she has served as Assistant Principal of Instructional Transformation at Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School in South Philadelphia. Among her accomplishments there, Mrs. Torres developed and implemented an instructional coaching model to improve the learning experience for students; planned and facilitated professional development on qualitative and quantitative data with lead teachers; as well as spearheading weekly instructional leadership team meetings to improve academic outcomes and school culture.

 

Mrs. Torres possesses a strong commitment to Catholic Education, a proven track record in achieving results, and believes every student deserves access to a quality education. She holds a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Cabrini University. Additionally, she completed the PhillyPLUS Residency, a two-year, practice-based principal certification program that prepares school leaders to transform teaching in Philadelphia schools. Lastly, she completed the RELAY Graduate School for Education program with Distinction in 2019. 

 

We are delighted to have Mrs. Torres rejoin her West Catholic family in this role. We believe she is the best match for the West Catholic Prep community. We look forward to the positive impact and new ideas that her experience in education and leadership will bring to the community and to our mission as a Lasallian school which provides a charism rooted in the faith in God, care for those around us, inclusiveness, service, and social justice. Please be assured of our continued prayers for you and your families.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Mr. Andrew Brady, '02

Interim President

West Catholic Preparatory High School

 

Sister Maureen McDermott, IHM, PhD

Superintendent of Secondary Schools

Office of Catholic Education

 

ARCHBISHOP PEREZ WELCOMES STUDENTS BACK TO WEST CATHOLIC

Gleaned from CatholicPhilly.com

Pictures by Sara Webb

By Gina Christian • Posted September 10, 2020 

Face mask and fist bumps with Archbishop Perez marked the first day of class for juniors and seniors returning to West Catholic Preparatory High School.

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On September 9th students were greeted on the Philadelphia campus by the Archbishop as they began the new academic year with a hybrid instructional model that combines in-person and online learning.

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“I know that the last couple of months have certainly been incredibly difficult said Archbishop Pérez in his welcoming remarks, which were streamed live via Facebook. “This is one of those times in our lives that we’ll never forget.”

Secondary school superintendent and Immaculate Heart Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott was on hand for the Archbishops visits as were interim president Andrew Brady and principal Genevieve Torres, both graduates of the Class of 2002.

The archbishop noted that a number of Pennsylvania school districts had consulted the archdiocese for advice on creating an effective transition to virtual instruction. As part of that undertaking, web cameras have been installed in both archdiocesan secondary and elementary schools, and the former have adopted the Schoology learning management system, which integrates with Zoom and other platforms already in use.

“I don’t know how they did it, but I know why they did it said Archbishop Pérez, observing that “teachers and administrators” developed new ways of instruction out of their “love and … passion” for Catholic education.

The archbishop described them as “examples of God’s care and love” for the students.

“(They) have been working really, really hard so that you could be where you’re sitting right now,” he said.

Brady agreed, noting that the school’s staff had labored “endlessly to make this (school year) a reality.”

In many ways, he said, launching the new academic year felt like “starting from scratch.”

“This is unprecedented, so we don’t have any other experience or models to look back on to guide us said Brady. “As we worked through our plan it felt like some items were going to be quick and easy decisions, and then as you peel back the layers, you realize even the easy decisions aren’t in fact easy.”

At the same time, he said, having a “message of love at the foundation” of Catholic education “keeps us focused on what matters most.”

The archbishop’s visit invited the school community to recover “the sense of joy and enthusiasm that togetherness brings said Brady.

 

NEWS FEATURES

COPING WITH COVID 19 IN PHILADELPHIA 

 

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Prior to the reopening of churches in Philadelphia, the Rev. Nicholas Martorano of St. Nicholas Catholic Church was driven around South Philadelphia on the back of a red pickup truck, blessing parishioners who haven't been able to attend Mass in person for months

 

Of course, the church would normally be the place where the faithful would come to feel at peace and relieve any anxiety caused by the pandemic.  But like many other houses of worship, St. Nick's was been closed to the public to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

 

THE CELEBRATION OF THE SACRED LITURGY DURING THE PENNSYLVANIA GREEN PHASE AND THE ARCHDIOCESAN OPENING PHASE

 

GENERAL POINTS • The faithful continue to be dispensed by the Archbishop from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation until further notice. 

 

For the spiritual and pastoral benefit of the faithful, several weeks notice will be provided as to when the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will be reinstated by the Archbishop. 

 

Although the obligation is dispensed at this time, pastors should encourage the faithful to keep the Lord’s Day with prayer and reflection, along with the possible viewing of a live streamed celebration of Mass.

 

Those who are sick or compromised due to health conditions are not to come to church. Likewise, those who are at risk are not to exercise liturgical ministries.

 

During the green phase, if adjustments were made to the Mass schedule for Sundays and weekdays, the typical Mass schedule should be restored. 

 

Wedding Masses may continue to take place on Sundays during and outside the scheduled Masses. 

 

Additional confessions should be scheduled on Sundays, even during Mass if needed.

 

Live stream services should continue for Mass and other sacramental celebrations and devotions. 

 

The new Holy Oils will be sent to the Deans the week of June 28, 2020 for distribution to parishes and institutions within the deaneries. More information will be forthcoming.

 

During the green phase the following mitigating standards are to be observed with the exceptions and adjustments listed below for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

 

SANITATION - All areas of the church are to be sanitized routinely, including the Confessional areas. The guidelines for sanitation provided by the CDC for houses of worship are those endorsed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. These guidelines indicate that high-touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected after each celebration.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING - In general, social distancing means that there should be a distance all around the person and not only lateral distancing. Six feet is the recommended norm for social distancing.

 

Everyone (except those 2 years of age and younger) attending Mass is strongly encouraged to wear a face covering or mask throughout the celebration of Mass and the other Sacraments, except for the reception of Holy Communion.  The face covering or mask should be removed for the reception of Holy Communion. 

 

Social distancing should be observed between members of different households. 

Members of the same household (such as families) do not need to observe social distancing among themselves and may sit together as normal. 

 

The faithful are to be instructed to keep some distance in the Communion procession and when returning to their places. An easy way to do this is for communicants to be instructed to keep several pews between themselves and the person in front of them.

 

NUMBERS OF OCCUPANCY - In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, houses of worship may be occupied up to 75% during the green phase. Access entrances, ramps, and seating are to be clearly marked for persons with disabilities. Pastors, along with their staffs, should plan especially for the pattern of seating in the nave to accommodate the increase in occupancy from 50% to 75% for the green phase respecting the need for reasonable social distancing.

 

CELEBRATION OF MASS The Sacred Liturgy is to be celebrated, as always, according to what is prescribed in the liturgical books as directed to the worship of Almighty God. The options indicated below are to be observed by all throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The reverent, faithfilled, and natural celebration of the Sacred Liturgy on the part of all should be preserved. Reverence for the Mysteries of Christ and hospitality among the faithful endure, even with our COVID-19 precautions.

 

Liturgical Singing Liturgical singing during the green phase should continue to be kept to a minimum during this period. The Entrance, Responsorial Psalm, Verse Before the Gospel, Holy, Mystery of Faith, Amen, and Communion would represent the minimum of sung parts. Instrumental music may be used for preludes and postludes, for the Offertory, and the Recessional.

 

Typically, only a cantor and instrumentalist should be used. Quartets and small choirs, maintaining social distance, are permitted during the green phase.

 

Hymnals are not be used.  Single use worship aids are permitted, as well as in a digital format.  They should be placed at the church entrances for people to take themselves.  Greeters/ushers are not to hand out worship aids or bulletins.

 

Before Mass

 

Holy water fonts should remain empty for now. 

 

Pews should be empty of all missalettes, hymnals, papers, and envelopes. 

 

The faithful are encouraged to bring their own missals or make use of personal devices to follow the celebration of Mass.


 During Mass

 

Priests, deacons and liturgical ministers are not expected to wear masks or gloves. 

 

The sick and the dead, especially as a result of COVID-19, are to be remembered regularly in the Universal Prayer and other occasions of prayer.  Those on the front lines, especially medical personnel, are to be remembered regularly as well.  Please see the website of the Office for Divine Worship for intentions that may be included in the Universal Prayer. 

 

The procession with the Gifts during the Offertory is omitted. 

 

Ushers and Greeters are to wear gloves as they handle the collection of monies 

 

Baskets may be placed in monitored and convenient places for people to make their offering before or after Mass.  If a parish wishes to take a collection at the Offertory, only long handled baskets may be used. 

 

The Sign of Peace and the distribution of the Precious Blood continue to be suspended. 

 

Holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer is not to take place. 

 

Holy Communion is not to be distributed wearing gloves. 

 

Holy Communion is to be distributed during the Communion Rite of each Mass.

 

During the green phase the strong recommendation remains in force that the faithful receive the Body of Christ in the hand. No one is to be denied Holy Communion on the tongue. Rather, local provisions are to be made for this possibility.

 

Holy Communion is not to be distributed with gloves. 

 

The Communion procession should be single file.

 

After Mass

 

Bulletins and other materials should not be distributed but be available for people to take themselves. 

 

MASS AT FOOTBALL FIELD SCORES TOUCHDOWN WITH PARISHIONERS

 

Gleaned from CatholicPhilly.com

By Gina Christian • Posted July 14, 2020

With fears of COVID-19 and summer vacations driving down Mass attendance, outdoor liturgies at a local football field have scored a touchdown for one Montgomery County parish.

“It’s been a rip-roaring success said Father Thomas Heron, pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Conshohocken.

For the past two weeks he has celebrated the parish’s 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass at nearby A. A. Garthwaite Stadium, known locally as the “A-Field.” Parishioners sit at a social distance from each other on bleachers or lawn chairs, while Father Heron, assisted by retired Msgr. Philip Ricci and permanent Deacon Joseph Carr, offers Mass from a portable altar on the playing field.

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Retired Msgr. Philip Ricci (right) concelebrates a July 5 Mass at A. A. Garthwaite Field in Conshohocken with St. Matthew pastor Father Thomas Heron (center) and permanent Deacon Joseph Carr. (Photo courtesy of Alicia Fabrizio)

Because there is no electrical supply on the football field for a sound system, Father Heron relies on his powerful speaking voice to ensure faithful can hear the liturgy.

“When I was ordained, my mother said, ‘You’ll never have to worry about a microphone failing you” he laughed.

Concelebrant Msgr. Ricci, who sings the hymns a cappella, has an equally robust voice, according to parish life coordinator Mary Kay McKenna.

 

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Father Thomas Heron, pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Conshohocken, distributes holy Communion at a July 5 Mass celebrated at that town's A.A. Garthwaite Stadium. The parish recently began celebrating one of its weekly Sunday liturgies at the football field to encourage COVID-wary parishioners to return to in-person worship.

 

The outdoor liturgies have been drawing roughly 150 participants, including young families and their children.

 

MAIL FROM CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS

Missy Light Dougherty:  Frank, Thanks for including me on this.  It's so great how you work so hard to keep them altogether with your communication.  I know it will bring a smile to my dad to see the article link included about Brendan's drawings in a newsletter tinged with great sadness with the passing of Bob Devine.  That was definitely a tough one for my dad.  Nice to include a well deserved tribute to him!  One of the best!

 

Have a great summer - stay well!  Missy

 

Paul Colistra:  Frank, it's been a pleasure reading your Newsletters!  My time at West has been so meaningful and the school is a gem of Catholic education in this Country!  My prayers are that we all continue to stay close to her and make sure she thrives!  Should you our any Burrs ever make it down to Louisville KY, please stop by Saint Xavier High School and say hello! 

 

Gratefully, 

Paul Colistra 

 

Rich McCann:  Thanks Frank.  Sincerely, Richard P. McCann

Bob Giampietro 1968:  Thank you very much, Frank.  I appreciate you keeping me on your list.  Another very fine edition!  Thank you.  Regards to Rich B.

I hope you are doing well.  Stay safe.

 

THANK YOU FROM MARY STARR
 

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Frank O'Keefe:  The O'Keefe's have gone thru a lot this summer, we have been out of our primary home since June 3rd, when 3 trees split our home in half, living at our beach house.  August 3 we had high winds in both locations and at our beach home we lost our roof to the winds, in our West Chester home they turned the electricity off in June and when the next storm came we had no electric to run our sump pump, had 18 inches of water in a finish basement, another claim.  We attended a baseball game to see our Grand son play and his father is the coach, he parked his car in a spot wear he thought it would be safe and a foul ball went thru his window.  Other than the above Rose Marie and The FOKer are well are still kicking.

Keep safe and have a drink on us this evening.  Frank


 

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EARLIEST MEMORIES FROM THE 1940's and 1950's

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

I came upon this "Senior Class Memories" Book containing my Class of 1958 calling card and those of 28 of our fellow Burrs.  Do any other pack rats have similar keepsakes from 1958?  If so, send pics to Frank Adolf for inclusion in a future newsletters - fjapfa1539@comcast.net

 

 

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PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS

 

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Care for the Sick -Transfiguration Church

 

WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke, Tom Henry who is battling Hodgkin Lymphoma, Brother Robert Sentman who is dealing with back problems, Father Richard McAndrews who has Parkinson's disease and now resides at Little Flower Manor Nursing Home, and Barry Carey who suffered a heart attack in May.

 

Our Webmaster Jim Prendergast completed Chemo and Radiation treatments in February.  A post treatment Cat Scan and other test revealed that the cancer has spread.  Jim is receiving chemo infusion and is in  need of your prayers.

 

Two former teachers from West are in need of prayers; Brother Gregory Cavalier has moved to the nursing home in Lincroft, NJ, and former Brother Gratian Joseph (John Gardiner) is in the beginning stage of Alzheimer's disease.

 

WE REMEMBER and pray for all of our deceased classmates who have gone to their eternal reward, especially Pete Kennedy, Frank Baginsky, Walt Gallagher, Ed Starr, Jim Quinn and Brother Larry Dempsey. 

 

 

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PETER J. KENNEDY - SEPTEMBER 17, 2019

 

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FRANCIS J. BAGINSKY JR. - MAY 11, 2020 

 

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WALTER J. GALLAGHER - JUNE 2, 2020

 

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 EDWARD T. STARR - JUNE 19, 2020

 

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JAMES C. QUINN - JUNE 25, 2020

 

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BROTHER LAWRENCE J. DEMPSEY - AUGUST 14, 2020

 

 

Obituaries for Pete, Frank, Walt, Ed. Jim and Larry are available on the Class of 1958 Website at: 

www.goldenburrs-1958.com

 

MAY THEY REST IN PEACE.

 

 

FINAL THOUGHT

 

submitted by:  RICH BUZZA

 

    "Oh, how I long for the good old days!"  People say that all of the time and when you hear it you naturally think back many, many years but actually, the good old days are only 8 months ago before the Corona virus COVID-19 invaded the country from China. 

 

    The good old days were when you could shake hands with a friend not bump elbows and you could actually go out of your house without wearing a face mask and you could gather at your loved ones' graduation ceremony to witness and celebrate four years of hard work.  You could kiss a loved one on the cheek or give your grandkids a big hug and kiss.  Sundays are not the same, it seems like we have forgotten something all day by not attending church service.  We missed the family gatherings at St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, The Fourth of July but most of all; we missed the occasion of attending a funeral or celebration of life for some of our most beloved relatives or close friends.  

   

    I have faith that one day this will all be behind us and it, like most crisis, in time, will hardly be remembered, but I think that there is a lesson to be learned and that is that we must cherish every moment of life that God allows and be forever thankful that we live in the time of the greatest country that ever existed in the history of mankind.  Amen!

 

PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR STORY AS HOW YOU MADE IT THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC.

 

 

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

  KEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVE!

 

THIS E-MAIL IS BEING SENT TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE WEST CATHOLIC BOYS' CLASS OF 1958 AND FRIENDS OF THE CLASS.  IF YOU NO LONGER WISH TO RECEIVE OUR COMMUNICATIONS OR IF YOU ARE RECEIVING UNSOLICITED E-MAILS FROM ANYONE PERTAINING TO THE CLASS OF 1958, PLEASE NOTIFY FRANK ADOLF AT:  FJAPFA1539@COMCAST.NET

 

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