GOLDEN BURRS EVENTS COMMITTEE
SPECIAL EDITION NEWSLETTER
CLASS OF 1958
THE WEST CATHOLIC SPIRIT IS ALIVE AND WELL
St. Michael the Archangel, Levittown, merges with Our Lady of Grace, Penndel.
St. Mark Bristol, merges with St. Ephrem, Bensalem.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Feasterville, merges with St. Bede the Venerable, Holland.
Holy Trinity, Morrisville, merges with St. John the Evangelist, Lower Makefield.
St. John the Baptist, Ottsville, merges with St. Isidore, Quakertown.
Conwell Egan High School closes.
St. Monica, Berwyn, merges with St. Patrick, Malvern.
St. Patrick, Kennett Square, merges with St. Cornelius, Chadds Ford.
Annunciation, Brookline, merges with St. Denis, Havertown.
St. Cyril of Alexandria, East Lansdowne, merges with St. Andrew, Drexel Hill.
Our Lady of Fatima, Secane, merges with Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton.
St. Gabriel, Norwood, merges with St. Madeline/St. Rose, Ridley Park.
St. John Chrysostom, Wallingford, merges with Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Media.
St. Francis DeSales, Lenni, merges with St. Thomas the Apostle, Glen Mills.
Holy Savior-St. John Fisher, Linwood, merges with St. Joseph, Aston.
Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast High School closes.
St. Anthony-St. Joseph Ambler, and St. Catherine of Siena, Horsham, merge with St. Alphonsus, Maple Glen.
Conshohocken Catholic, Conshohocken, merges with Mother of Divine Providence, King of Prussia.
St. Teresa of Avila, Norristown, merges with Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Trooper.
Our Lady of Victory, East Norriton, and St. Titus, East Norriton, merge with Epiphany of our Lord, Plymouth Meeting.
Our Lady Help of Christians, Abington, merges with St. David Willow Grove.
Immaculate Conception, Jenkintown, merges with St. Luke, Glenside.
St. Rose of Lima, North Wales, merges with St. Stanislaus, Lansdale.
St. Maria Goretti, Hatfield, merges with Corpus Christi, Lansdale.
Sacred Heart, Royersford, merges with St. Eleanor, Collegeville.
St. Philip Neri, East Greenville, merges with St. Isidore, Quakertown.
Pope John Paul II Regional, Bridesburg, merges with St. Timothy.
St. George, Port Richmond, merges with Our Lady of Port Richmond.
Holy Cross, Mount Airy, merges with Our Mother of Consolation, Chestnut Hill.
St. Bridget, East Falls, merges with Holy Child, Manayunk.
Incarnation of Our Lord, Olney, merges with St. Helena.
Our Lady of Consolation, Tacony, merges with St. Matthew.
Our Lady of Ramson, merges with Resurrection of Our Lord.
St. William merges with St. Cecilia.
St. Martin of Tours becomes a "mission school".
St. Hubert High School closes.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament merges with St. Donato.
St. Laurentius merges with St. Peter the Apostle.
Annunciation merges with St. Nicholas of Tolentino.
St. Gabriel merges with St. Thomas of Aquinas.
St. Malachy merges with Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Epiphany of Our Lord, Holy Spirit, St. Richard, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Sacred Heart merges at the former Stella Maris site.
Our Lady of Lourdes closes, with students asked to select among Our Mother of Sorrow/St.Ignatius, St. Rose of Lima, and Mary, Mother of Peace.
West Catholic High School closes.
WEST CATHOLIC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
January 9, 2012
Dear Members of the West Catholic Family:
On Friday, January 6, 2012, we received the very sad news that our beloved West Catholic will be closing in June, at the end of this school year, after 96 years of providing a Christ-centered, excellent Catholic education to thousands of students from West Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia, the western suburbs and, more recently, throughout the Philadelphia area. The service rendered over the years by the many dedicated Christian Brothers, Sisters from the many religious orders and lay faculty was unsurpassed and will not be forgotten. Similarly, the generosity of so many West Catholic alums, which enabled West to remain open for so long, will be remembered.
On behalf of the Alumni Association, I would like all of the current faculty, students and your families to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you in this very difficult time. I also would like to extend our gratitude to all who taught or served as administrators at West Catholic Boys, West Catholic Girls and the current West Catholic for helping to establish the West Catholic Spirit – that special feeling that all of us who were fortunate to attend West Catholic had the privilege to receive and continue to cherish!
On behalf of the Alumni Association and my fellow Board Members, I also want to assure all members of the West Catholic Family that the West Catholic Spirit will continue to live on! We are dedicated to preserving that Spirit and the many traditions that are, and always will be, part of West Catholic’s legacy. Recognizing the great benefits that have been bestowed on us by our West Catholic education, we also are committed to finding ways to continue to help assure that Catholic education remains a viable option for the current and future generations.
We call on all members of the West Catholic Family to join us in prayer for those most affected by the Archdiocese’s decisions and also to join us in planning for the future. Please contact me at email@example.com if you are willing to join with us in insuring that the West Catholic Spirit continues!
Fran Crowley ‘77
LETTER FROM GERRY VERNOT AND RESPONSE FROM BROTHER TIM
submitted by: GERRY VERNOT
Recently heard that the diocese is going to close the school. Is there anything alumni can do to fight this decision? Would writing a letter to the Archbishop to voice my disapproval of this move help in any way? Could the Alumni Association organize a movement to let the diocese know they are against such a decision? There has to be something that can be done to fight this decision. The school has too much to offer the children it serves in my opinion. Appreciate your thoughts on the matter.
Gerry Vernot, Class of 1958
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Based on what the Archdiocese has said, West has no basis for appeal. They are only willing to hear an appeal if the factual information presented to the Blue Ribbon Commission was in error. Nostalgia, etc. are not grounds for appeal. Our current enrollment is 353 and we have no financial resources left. West needs an average of $1.5 Million per year just to meet expenses.
Thanks for your concern. If there are any further developments we will notify our alums.
THE WEST CATHOLIC SPIRIT LIVES ON
submitted by: FRANK METZLER
We have all heard about the closing of our beloved
WEST CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, and many have asked, "What if...?"
We remember, for example, that the Most Blessed Sacrament School was the largest elementary school in the world in the 1950s and 1960s. There were six 8th grades and 100 students in each class. There were 3 schools buildings. Because of the decline in parishioners, the parish was incorporated into St.Francis De Sales Parish. Many other parishes in West Philly are now gone - Transfiguration, St. Clements, St. Raphael, St. Mary of Czestochowa, while others were merged and renamed, i.e. Good Shepherd is now Divine Mercy Parish, St. Carthage and Transfiguration merged into St. Cyprian with its school now closed.
Families moved, young men and ladies, like ourselves, marries and moved away to raise families out of the neighborhood. Religious vocations declined: many teaching Sisters, Brothers, and Priests left their
ministries, only to be replaced by lay teachers.
The entire West Philly neighborhood had a culture change over the years, and other religions came with the new cultures and immigrants.
WEST CATHOLIC, with its excellent academic record, will be closed due to a projected enrollment under 400 in the next few years. The new Archbishop of Philadelphia will only consider appeals, if a particular school can show that the Blue Ribbon Commission erred with its projected numbers. Much credit must be given to the Alumni, benefactors, and families, who have kept WEST CATHOLIC operating financially for so many years.
The end of a great era has come with disappointment. While the WEST CATHOLIC building is to close in June, 2012, its spirit will live on forever.
The WEST CATHOLIC SPIRIT was instilled in us with the tremendous Christian Brothers and Lay Teachers, and for the girls the many orders of Nuns, who have staffed both West Boys and West Girls and the combined school over the past 90 some years.
We have all benefited and profited by the experience of being a "Brother's Boy". Some, unfortunately, have lost that spirit along the way. For the majority of us, we will always be grateful and thankful for the association that we have had with the Christian Brothers, and the dedicated Lay Teachers.
The WEST CATHOLIC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION will keep the WEST CATHOLIC SPIRIT alive and well by sponsoring events such as: the Communion Breakfasts, Class Reunions, Golf Outings, Burrs at the Beach, and the monies raised will go for tuition assistance for the present Freshman Class until they graduate,
depending on the Catholic High School they attend. Monies then generated from events will be used by the association for other worthwhile charities. No monies will be given to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
God bless WEST CATHOLIC, past and present. Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THESE IMPORTANT EVENTS
March 24, 2012 - Sports Hall Of Fame Inductions - Airport Ramada Inn
April 15, 2012 - Alumni Association's 91st Annual Communion Breakfast - Springfield Country Club
May 10, 2012 - Class of 1958 Annual Luncheon - Airport Ramada Inn
July 8, 2012 - Burrs At The Beach, Westy's - North Wildwood
September 12, 2012 - Cardinal John O'Connor Golf Outing - Bala Golf Club
1916 - PROUD TO BE A BURR – 2012