GOLDEN BURRS EVENTS COMMITTEE

QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER 

CLASS OF 1958

 

EARLY SPRING EDITION 2012                                

 

This is our eleventh edition of the 1958 Class Newsletter and we are looking forward to the end of winter, albeit a very mild one thus far, and the return of spring time.  The committee members have completed planning for our 54th Anniversary Luncheon which will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012.  We hope to see many old friends and perhaps a few newcomers this year.

 

You will find in this newsletter information about the upcoming West Catholic Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and the 54th Anniversary Class Luncheon, future West Catholic Alumni sponsored events, information about the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations for school closings and its findings on West Catholic, a letter from Brother Tim about the closing of West Catholic, excerpts from the Philadelphia Inquirer concerning schools that appealed 

the Commission's findings, announcements regarding the resignation of Brother Tim Ahern, a decision by the Archbishop to sell the mansion on City Line Avenue, Archbishop Chaput's decision on appeals by elementary schools, the GOOD NEWS THAT WEST CATHOLIC AND THREE OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN OPEN, responses and comments from classmates regarding the Winter/Holiday edition, the Special "West Catholic Closing Editions" and the announcement about George Light leaving West Catholic,

our feature section "REMEMBERING THE GOOD OLD DAYS" and prayers for those who are ill and the faithful departed.

 

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

 

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

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

WEST CATHOLIC SPORTS HALL OF FAME

2012 INDUCTION CEREMONY

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2012 - AIRPORT RAMADA INN

 

submitted by:   GEORGE LIGHT

 

 

2012 INDUCTEES

 

John McKernan - '52 Football - (Posthumously)

James Dunn - '56 Basketball

Robert Gormley - '58 Basketball

Sr. Carol Doring - '63 Basketball

Emile Henwood - '64 Crew

Joseph McHale - '67 Football

 

Additionally, the 1962 Football Team will be honored.

 

6:00 PM - Cash Bar

7:00 PM - Dinner

8:00 PM - Awards Presentation

 

Cost: $40.00 per person

 

For tickets contact George Light at: 610-596-2015 or georgelightwchs@hotmail.com

 

 

WC BOYS CLASS OF 1958 - 54th ANNIVERSARY LUNCHEON MAY 10, 2012

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

Once again the annual luncheon will be held at the Airport Ramada Inn, on Thursday, May 10, 2012 and the price per person of $20.00 is unchanged since 2007.  The overnight room rate of $89.00 remains the same as previous years.  We encourage you to spread the word to your fellow classmates and friends of the class of '58.  Invitations will be sent out in mid-March.  Details about the luncheon and menu are available on the Golden Burrs Website: www.goldenburrs-1958.com  

 

 

WEST CATHOLIC CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR 2012

For information contact George Light at 610-596-2015 or georgelightwchs@hotmail.com

 

April 15, 2012 - Alumni Association's 91st Annual Communion Breakfast - Springfield Country Club

 

June 4, 2012 - Final Graduation Ceremony for West Catholic - Class of 2012 

 

 July 8, 2012 - Burrs At The Beach, Westy's - North Wildwood 

 

September 12, 2012 - Cardinal John O'Connor Golf Outing - Bala Golf Club 

 

 

NEWS FEATURES

 

 THE BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION'S REPORT ON WEST CATHOLIC

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

The Blue Ribbon Commission, which includes former CEOs, educators, men and women of faith, and education specialists began a year-long process in January, 2011 to examine current programs at all levels with the objective of offering a blueprint, not only to stabilize Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, but also to reinvigorate it.  There were 17 members appointed to the commission including 4 priests, 4 sisters, 8 laymen, and 1 laywoman.  All were regarded in their respective fields and well acquainted with catholic education.

John (Jack) Quindlen, Senior VP, Chief Finance Officer of E. I. DuPont was appointed Chairman of the commission.  He is a product of West Catholic High School for Boys and Most Blessed Sacrament.

In the commission studies, the members looked at demographics and baptisms in a given parish, enrollment, tuition, and funds that were needed to subsidize the school financially.  Many factors went into the process before the decision was made to close or regionalize a parish school.  They looked at the number of parishes sending students to West, (and to all the other high schools) what the future enrollment possibilities were, the rising
cost of tuition, and the funds necessary to keep the school open for another year.

West Philadelphia Catholic High School

Current Enrollment: 360 students (27.7% of Capacity)

Enrollment is currently less than half of enrollment fifteen years ago, with the rate of decline accelerating in the past three years.

 

A LETTER FROM BROTHER TIM CONCERNING WEST CATHOLICS CLOSING

 

 

AT LEAST 24 ARCHDIOCESE SCHOOLS APPEAL CLOSINGS

 

submitted by:  FRANK METZLER

 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Sunday, February 5, 2012 that nearly half of the 49 catholic schools targeted for closure challenged the Blue Ribbon Commission's recommendations.  They will find out mid-February whether their effort and formal appeals were successful.

Three of the four targeted high schools, Bonner/Prendergast, Conwell-Egan and St. Hubert filed challenges, only WEST CATHOLIC did not.

WEST CATHOLIC'S President, Brother Timothy Ahern, said WEST did not challenge the recommendation because it could not dispute the facts.  And the archdiocese, he said, had made it clear that no appeal could be
made on "sentiment and nostalgia".   "It was not because I didn't care about WEST CATHOLIC", Brother Tim said last week, "I just figured I'm not going to dangle false hope".

WEST has a stories, 96-year history, but its enrollment of 360 students is the smallest of any of the archdiocese's 17 high schools.  And the number has been declining for the last several years as area parish schools closed.

WEST, also, would have needed to raise $1.5 million in the short term to operate properly and would have had to guarantee being able to raise similar amounts of money in coming years.  "We don't want to just postpone the inevitable", Brother said.  Amid the pain and sadness, WEST is working to help students find spots at other archdiocesan high schools for the fall. 

 

  

ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING THE RESIGNATION
OF BROTHER TIMOTHY AHERN, F.S.C.

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

February 9, 2012

 

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Catholic Education announces that with great reluctance it has accepted the resignation of Brother Timothy Ahern, F.S.C., President of West Philadelphia Catholic High School, effective immediately.

As President for the past seven years Brother Tim was a model leader who worked with faithfully and enthusiastically on behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of West Catholic.  A proud alumnus himself, Brother Tim had previously served on the faculty at West Catholic from 1971-1979.  As a teacher and an administrator he profoundly impacted the lives of countless students in a positive way.

Following the announcement of the Blue Ribbon Commission's recommendations last month, Brother Tim elected not to appeal the proposed closure of West Catholic.  His decision, which was based on facts related to future enrollment projections, was made with a heavy heart.  He did not wish to raise false hopes through an appeal. Unfortunately, that decision created an untenable atmosphere for Brother Tim within the school.

Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, who oversees Catholic education in the Archdiocese said, "I was deeply saddened to learn of Brother Tim's resignation.  He loves West Catholic with all of his heart.  His care for each and every member of the school community was evident in the devotion and dedication he put into his work." Bishop Fitzgerald continued, "If not for Brother Tim's leadership, hard work, and innovative partnerships with business leaders, alumni and alumnae, West Catholic very likely would have closed several years ago.  Those who have benefited from the school's fine tradition of educational excellence during his tenure owe him a debt of gratitude."
The Office of Catholic Education has assigned Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Thomas Rooney, to serve as the interim president at the school for the remainder of the year.

 

 

REPRINT OF DELAWARE COUNTY DAILY TIMES ARTICLE

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

February 12, 2012

 

 

REPRINT OF ARTICLE IN FEBRUARY 2012 PHAITH MAGAZINE 

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

 

 

ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA ANNOUNCES FINAL DECISIONS OF BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION APPEALS FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

HIGH SCHOOL DECISION DELAYED DUE TO NEW PROPOSALS

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

February 17, 2012

 

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., has reviewed and accepted the recommendations regarding elementary schools from the Review Committees assigned to hear appeals to the school restructuring outlined by the Blue Ribbon Commission.  The recommendations regarding the high schools will be delayed approximately one week.  The postponement is due to recently received information regarding potential donors that has to be explored before any decision is made.  Below is the original BRC recommendations followed by the final appeals process recommendations approved by Archbishop Chaput.

 

SCHOOLS

BRC RECOMMENDATION

APPEALS PROCESS RECOMMENDATION

Bucks County

 

 

St. John the Baptist, Ottsville

Regional school to form, building to close

School to stay a parish school

St. Philip Neri (Montg. Cty)

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Isidore, Quakertown

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with St. Philip Neri at this location

St. Michael the Archangel, Levittown

Regional school to form, building to close

School to stay a parish school

Our Lady of Grace, Pendell

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

St. Mark, Bristol

Regional school to form, building to close

School to stay a parish school

St. Ephrem, Bensalem

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

Holy Trinity, Morrisville

Regional school to form, building to close

School to stay a parish school

St. John the Evangelist, Lower Makefield

Regional school to form at this location

School to close and parents choose from recommended schools

Assumption BVM, Feasterville

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Bede the Venerable, Holland

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Assumption BVM at this location

Chester County

 

 

St. Patrick, Kennett Square

Regional school to form, building to close

School to close and parents choose from recommended schools

St. Cornelius, Chadds Ford

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

St. Monica, Berwyn

Regional school to form, building to close

School to close and parents choose from recommended schools

St. Patrick, Malvern

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

Delaware County

 

 

St. Cyril of Alexandria, East Lansdowne

Regional school to form, building to close

School to become a mission school*

St. Andrew, Drexel Hill

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

St. Francis de Sales, Lenni

Regional school to form, building to close

School to stay a parish school

St. Thomas the Apostle, Glen Mills

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

St. John Chrysostom, Wallingford

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form at this location

Nativity BVM, Media

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with St. John Chrysostom

Annunciation, Brookline

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Denis, Havertown

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Annunciation at this location

Our Lady of Fatima, Secane

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Our Lady of Fatima at this location

St. Gabriel, Norwood

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Madeline/St. Rose, Ridley Park

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with St. Gabriel at this location

Holy Savior-St. John Fisher, Linwood

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Joseph, Aston

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Holy Savior-St. John Fisher at this location

Montgomery County

 

 

Conshohocken Catholic School, Conshohocken

Regional school to form, building to close

School to close and parents choose from recommended schools

Mother of Divine Providence, King of Prussia

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form at Mother of Divine Providence

St. Teresa of Avila, Norristown

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form with Mother of Divine Providence

Visitation BVM, Norristown

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

Immaculate Conception, Jenkintown

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Luke, Glenside

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Immaculate Conception at this location

St. Anthony-St. Joseph, Ambler and St. Catherine of Siena, Horsham

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Alphonsus, Maple Glen

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with St. Anthony-St. Joseph and St. Catherine of Siena at this location

Our Lady of Victory, St. Titus, East Norriton

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

Epiphany of Our lord, Plymouth Meeting

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Our Lady of Victory at this location

Our Lady Help of Christians, Abington

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. David, Willow Grove

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with OLHC at this location

St. Rose of Lima, North Wales

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Stanislaus, Lansdale

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with St. Rose of Lima at this location

St. Maria Goretti, Hatfield

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

Corpus Christi, Lansdale

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with St. Maria Goretti at this location

Sacred Heart, Royersford

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Eleanor, Collegeville

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Sacred Heart at this location

Philadelphia North

 

 

St. George

Merge with Our Lady of Port Richmond, building to close

School to stay a parish school

Our Lady of Port Richmond

School to stay a regional school

School to stay a regional school

Holy Cross

Regional school to form, building to close

School to stay a parish school

Our Mother of Consolation

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

Our Lady of Consolation

Regional school to form, building to close

School to close and parents choose from recommended schools

St. Matthew

Regional school to form, building to close

School to stay a parish school

St. William

Regional school to form, building to close

School to close and parents choose from recommended schools

St. Cecilia

Regional school to form at this location

School to stay a parish school

Pope John Paul II Regional, Bridesburg

Merge with St. Timothy, building to close

Merge with St. Timothy, building to close

St. Timothy

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Pope John Paul II at this location

St. Bridget, East Falls

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

Holy Child, Manayunk

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with St. Bridget at this location

Incarnation of Our Lord, Olney

Regional school to form, building to close

Mission School to form, building to close

St. Helena

Regional school to form at this location

Mission school partnered with Incarnation at this location*

St. Martin of Tours

School to become a Mission School with no change to current configuration

School to become a Mission School with no change to current configuration*

Our Lady of Ransom

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

Resurrection of Our Lord

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with OLOR at this location

St. Veronica

School to stay a parish school

School to become a mission school*

The DePaul Catholic School

School to stay a parish school

School to become a mission school*

Visitation BVM

Regional school to form at this location

School to become a mission school*

Philadelphia South

 

 

St. Laurentius

Regional school to form, building to close

School to stay a parish school

St. Peter the Apostle

Regional school to form at this location

School to become a mission school*

St. Gabriel, Philadelphia

Regional school to form, building to close

School to become a mission school*

St. Thomas Aquinas

Regional school to form at this location

School to become a mission school*

St. Malachy

Regional school to form, building to close

School to become a mission school*

Holy Spirit

Regional School to form at Stella Maris, building to close

Regional School to form, building to close

St. Richard

Regional School to form at Stella Maris, building to close

Regional School to form with Holy Spirit at this location

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Regional School to form at Stella Maris, building to close

Regional School to form, building to close

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Regional School to form at Stella Maris, building to close

Regional School to form, building to close

Epiphany of Our Lord

Regional School to form at Stella Maris, building to close

Regional School to form with Sacred Heart and OLMC at this location

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

Regional school to form, building to close

Mission School to form, building to close

St. Donato

Regional school to form at this location

Mission school to form partnered with OLBS at this location*

Our Lady of Lourdes

School to close and parents choose from recommended schools

School to close and parents choose from recommended schools

Annunciation

Regional school to form, building to close

Regional school to form, building to close

St. Nicholas of Tolentine

Regional school to form at this location

Regional school to form with Annunciation at this location

Our Mother of Sorrows/St. Ignatius

School to stay a parish school

School to become a mission school*

Mary Mother of Peace

School to stay a parish school

School to become a mission school*

St. Rose of Lima

School to stay a parish school

School to become a mission school*

* A plan is underway by concerned and dedicated leaders in the community to structure and fund up to fourteen mission schools to ensure their long-term viability.  The school under consideration include:  St. Helena and Incarnation of Our Lord partnered at the St. Helena site, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and St. Donato partnered at the St. Donato site, St. Gabriel, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Malachy, Visitation BVM, Our Mother of Sorrows/St. Ignatius, St. Rose of Lima, Mary, Mother of Peace, St. Martin of Tours, The DePaul Catholic School, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Peter the Apostle, and St. Veronica.

 

 

ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA ANNOUNCES FINAL DECISION

 

FOR

WEST CATHOLIC AND THREE OTHER HIGH SCHOOLS

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

February 24, 2012

 

excerpts from official announcement

 

THE ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA ANNOUNCES THE CREATION OF THE FAITH IN THE FUTURE FOUNDATION, A NEW VISION FOR OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS BEGINNING WITH THE SECONDARY SYSTEM

 

This independent foundation will be an affiliated partner of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its Office of Catholic Education (OCE). All 17 high schools will continue under this new model including, Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast, Conwell-Egan Catholic, St. Hubert's and West Catholic, which were slated for closure in June 2012.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today the creation of the Faith in the Future Foundation, which will support and guide the system of 17 Archdiocesan high schools and eventually assist the parish elementary schools, regional schools and schools of special education across the five-county Philadelphia region.
  The foundation is a private and independent entity focused on creating a growing, innovative, best-in-class and fiscally sustainable Catholic secondary educational system.  The Faith in the Future Foundation will be chaired by Edward Hanway, former chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CIGNA Corporation, and its Board of Directors will be comprised of leaders from a multitude of vocations, professions, industries and philanthropic organizations.  More, the Board of Directors will reflect the cultural, religious and ethnic diversity that is present within the region's Catholic high schools today.

The foundation has agreed to guarantee funding for the secondary school system, through the next several years, as a concerted fundraising effort and a robust marketing initiative are undertaken to address the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission.  These efforts will be concurrent with renewed advocacy by the foundation for the immediate passage of legislation providing opportunity scholarships to students who wish to attend an Archdiocesan school.


Through generous donations of several anonymous donors but also through the individual fundraising efforts of Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast, Conwell-Egan Catholic, St. Hubert's and West Catholic communities, the Faith in the Future Foundation has already secured two years of runway funding to address the cost of keeping the high schools open.  To date, more than $12 million has been secured in cash and pledges, with a goal of $15 million by May 1, 2012.  Additional funding will be necessary for this endeavor and the Faith in the Future Foundation, in concert with the 17 Archdiocesan high schools, has committed to raising an additional $15 million by June 2013 as well as a $70 million endowment for all schools by June 2017.

 

 

GEORGE LIGHT RETAINS HIS JOB AT WEST CATHOLIC

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF as reported by:  GEORGE LIGHT

 

For George Light, Friday February 24th, was a crazy day.  In the morning he was handed his severance check along with a thank you for his years of service to West Catholic.  George decided to hang around for the Archbishop's press conference which was scheduled for 3:00 PM.  He went to the auditorium, where the faculty and student body were assembled, to watch a live feed of the Archbishop's announcement.  As soon as the words West Catholic were uttered everyone stated to yell, scream and cheer to a point nothing else could be heard.  George went back to his office to gather his things when the phone range.  It was a representative from the archdiocese who asked George "How do you like your job?", to which George responded "I love it."  The caller then told George that he was back on the payroll.  As George put it, "I was out of work for all of four hours."

It was a great day for West Catholic in more ways than one. 

 

 

 BACKGROUND INFORMATION TO KEEP WEST CATHOLIC OPEN


submitted by:  FRANK METZLER


The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Sunday, February 26, 2012, that developer J. Brian O'Neill, CEO of O'Neill Properties Group LP, of King of Prussia, was the catalyst behind the campaign that raised $12 million and resulted in Archbishop Chaput's announcement on Friday, February 24, 2012 to keep the four catholic high schools, recommended to close at the end of June, to remain open.

O'Neill reported that "West Catholic - the only high school, whose president had not appealed he Blue Ribbon's Commission recommendation - was the catalyst.  He said, "It actually started with two friends of mine from the Main Line, who wish to be anonymous, and it was my friend's wife, who called me on the phone and said she wanted to see that West stayed open."

O'Neill met with the two friends and State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams, who told him how important the 95 year old West was for its students and the city.  "Basically," O'Neill said, "they told me there was no way that West could close and that we all needed to get to work to keep it open."  The friend called O'Neill each morning and asked, "Did we save West yet?"  Senator Williams pledged to continue to work for passage of voucher
legislation in the state. 

 

O'Neill praised the Archbishop, who arrived in Philadelphia in September and inherited the commission that had been established by Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, his predecessor.  "It was really his leadership and his ability to go in a different direction," O'Neill said of Chaput.  "Don't forget, the blue-ribbon commission had recommended closure.  It was ironclad, and he reversed those decisions.  That took great courage on his part." 

 

An archdiocesan spokesperson said that any student from the four schools slated to close, who registered in other archdiocesan high schools, can switch back.

 

PS -The Class of 1958 Events Committee would like to thank each classmate for their prayers and contributions to West Catholic.  We are extremely grateful to the Archdiocese for keeping West Catholic a viable, faith-filled presence in West Philadelphia.  Special thanks to the new Faith in the Future Foundation, who will be providing
financial support, guidance on marketing, and recruiting at all Archdiocesan High Schools.

 

 

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


 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO BROTHER TIM

 

submitted by:  FRANK METZLER

 

On behalf of the Class of 1958, we would like to thank Brother Tim for his selfless dedication to WEST CATHOLIC, to the students, their parents, and its alumni.  He always had the school and the students foremost in all that he did.  Our prayers are with him for continued good health, being at peace with the decision that he made to leave WEST CATHOLIC, and continued success in all future assignments.  He will be remembered by all those whose lives he has touched.  God bless you Brother Tim.

 

 

MAIL FROM CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

Vince LeonettiThanks Frank.  I'm sure Coach (McAneney) will appreciate the article.  Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and yours.

 

Tom Hughes: Hi Frank, Thanks for the Quarterly Newsletter, it is great information about West.  How
are the chances that West will stay open after the Archdiocese meeting in January?  I have been hearing pros and cons about the closing.  I hope West stays open it is a great School with a great tradition.
Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year.
 

Joe Murphy: Thanks Frank for the update.  Have a great Christmas. 

 

Fran Lawless, Batavia,  IL: Rich Buzza,  Another great West Catholic Quarterly Newsletter.
I thank you profusely for remembering me in your mailing list.  I graduated West in 1968, retired a lieutenant colonel from the army, and work as a mechanic for United at O'Hare.  For three years, I had the privilege of studying the German language in the class of Brother Azarias.  In his class, as in certain classes at West, you sensed somehow a depth in the instructor that you were too young and immature to fathom. Brother 'Az' had that knowledge and presence.  One learned much more than just the language there.  He brought into the classroom the aura of a truly cosmopolitan man who could teach you not just about Germany or central Europe, but of cultures and religions far more diverse than you realized existed.  Indeed, he could teach you about yourself.  And at the same time, he had a humor about him that was magical. In his class, he would pass around a numbered board game of chance where for the cost of 10 cents, three chances for two bits, you could win $5.  The board would be passed between students with no interruption to his instruction.  His humor combined with his passion for teaching were off the scale, even for West Catholic.  I was neither an academic nor sports standout at West.  But certain teachers there made you feel special, made you feel important and knowing and whole.  Brother Azarias was certainly on of those teachers and I will miss him.
   
Jim McManaman: Thank you, Frank!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

 

John Gillespie: Frank:  Merry Christmas to you and your family.  Just a quick note:  In November I was elected to my second term as a Township Supervisor in Concord Township, Delaware County, Pa.  Terms are for a six year period.  Prior to serving on The Board of Supervisors, I was on the Township’s planning commission for five years.

 

Dave (Murph) and Dorothy (Dolly) CrinesHello Family & Friends:  Dave and I want to wish you and your families a very Happy and Most Healthy New Year.  May 2012 bring you all much good health and happiness and love.

Also, just a reminder that Dave and I have closed out our MSN account since we were having too many technical difficulties and will only have this email account which both of us are now sharing which is Dcrines@comcast.net.  If you have sent anything to the MSN account in the past month we have not been able to retrieve it.  Happy New Year to all and good-bye to 2011!!!

Patricia Quinn: To all of West Catholic Alumni, I want to THANK YOU ALL for remembering my Uncle Jimmy AKA Brother Azarias.  He was the smartest man I Knew.  He enjoyed his teaching days at West thanks to you!! Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  Happy New Year.

 

John Staiber: Big News Our own Hugh Gilmore has a new book just published. See the following link.
http://www.amazon.com/Malcolms-Wine-Vintage-Sneaky-People/dp/0615550932/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325902579&sr=1-1-spell
"Malcolm's Wine: A Noir Crime Novel of Vintage Wine, Rare Books and Sneaky People."

 Nice article & photo of our classmate Hugh Gilmore ( St Clement )
http://chestnuthilllocal.com/blog/2012/01/10/q-a-with-hugh-gilmore-hell-read-from-new-novel-friday-night/

 

Jim Lynch: Frank and Frank, Just a word to say, nice job on the Special Edition Newsletter; hope all who read it will step up and give support to Alumni/Alumnae in the future.   

 

Tom Hughes: Hi Frank,  It is really sad to see West close like this after all the years of existence.  No ceremony of any kind to celebrate the many successful accomplishments and individuals the school has had.  SAD, truly SAD.  I only wish the situation was different.  Go Burrs.  Best Regards

 

Don (Andy) Thompson: Frank, Thanks very much for the information you provided. The correspondence helped clarify for me the grounds for the closing of West.

 

Here's an idea that may or may not be of interest to the West Alumni Association and our class of 1958. For the 20 years between 1988 and 2008, I had the privilege of working closely with over 100 Catholic lay volunteer and lay mission organizations.  Thousands of young adults and some older
folk as well, generously gave a year or more to work with the poor, in educational or social service settings.  During those years I was the National Director of the St. Vincent Pallotti Centers and we had offices in 6 cities across the country. Our purpose was to assist lay persons, whether just out of college or older, to match up their talents and desire to be a full-time volunteer/missioner for a year or lifetime, with Catholic programs who placed them within communities who needed their talents and skills.

In the course of those years, and still today, I have been in contact with the LaSallian Volunteers, which is one of those 100 programs with which I partnered.  The LaSallian volunteers embody and further the charism (gifts) of the Christian Brothers and their founder John Baptist de LaSalle.  For the first 10 years of my own young adult life, I was a Christian Brother and so developed a keen appreciation for the impact which they have had through their education ministry around the world.

 

Today, the LaSallian Volunteers further and extend that service which most of us experienced, as you said, as a "Brothers' Boy."  It's a special partnership between the Christian Brothers and laity, many of whom graduated from Christian Brother high schools and/or colleges. So my thought is, given West's closing, whether our class of 1958 would want to consider helping annually by making a contribution to the LVs, and in that way continue sharing the gift that the Christian Brothers gave to us.  Thanks for passing this along to who ever you think may be appropriate.

Tom Henry: Frank: Thanks for the update.  I am sure there are many reasons why the schools are in such bad shape, such as the changing neighborhoods, and the decline in the number of religious.  However, in my mind, most of the blame goes to the Conference of Bishops.  When Ronald Reagan asked for their support to pass legislation for vouchers for private schools, including religious schools, they refused.  Just imagine if vouchers were available all these years.  I also believe the decision of Rome, the Cardinals and Bishops to cover up the sex scandal has done great harm to the Church.  Their ongoing actions to sweep everything under the rug continue to drive people away.

Jack NeuschelFrank,  Thanks for the update on West Catholic.  I was saddened by the news of the closure, but I was not surprised.  Liked Frank Metzler's article about  support for the Alumni Association and its supportive ministries.  Will try to support those ministries.  At this time I'm glad no monies are going to the Archdiocese of Phila.   Peace,  Jack  

John Gallagher re: George Light leaving West Catholic:  George.....I know you'll hear this over and over.....so, THANK YOU for who you have been to all us in the alumni/alumnae.  God bless you and your family.....We wish you all the best.  John and Laura Gallagher.  '58 + '62

JohnMcIlhenneyTell him (George Light) thanks for all his efforts.  He will be missed.

Vince Leonetti: We have to find a way to keep George involved in the alumni for West or we'll lose all of WEST CATHOLIC !!!  Any idea's?

Rich Buzza: I see this whole thing as very positive.  It is good P.R. for the Archdiocese.  I feel much better about the new leadership under Archbishop Chaput.  I do see it as the ground swell for the voucher system to be implemented.  If the voucher system is not implemented in the next 5 years, we will be revisiting the school closings again.  I was very happy to see the kids from all of the high schools cheering at the news, there is hope for the future of our nation.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR REMEMBRANCES? 

SEND THEM TO US FOR OUR NEXT NEWSLETTER.

"REMEMBERING THE GOOD OLD DAYS"  

A FEATURE ABOUT GOING DOWN MEMORY LANE 

SEND US YOUR REMEMBRANCES OF THE 40's & 50'S FOR PUBLICATION IN A FUTURE NEWSLETTER

 

submitted by:  FRANK METZLER, FRANK ADOLF and RICH BUZZA

 

 

 

Here is something that will jog your memory about the GOOD OLD DAYS. 

TURN UP YOUR VOLUME.

 

http://oldfortyfives.com/DYRT.htm'

 

 


The top Saturday morning TV attraction in the 50's was the re-worked MGM

 "Our Gang Comedies"
This favorite classic episode has Darla wooing Alfalfa rather than vice versa on Valentine Day.
Of course, the other guys would throw a hilarious gremlin in Alfalfa's romantic ballad crooning. (synd.)

 72 THE LITTLE RASCALS 1955

 

PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS

 

WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke, Jim Kramer who is struggling with cancer and Joe Gavaghan who is recovering from hip replacement surgery.  Joe reported that he is doing very well.  He was sent home a week early from the rehab facility and was told that he is the "poster boy" for quick recovery.  Joe is now cleared to drive his car and is attending social events.  Joe said to thank everyone for their prayers.

 

Please pray for all who have gone to their eternal reward, especially our classmates -

 

George E. Hoopes who passed on February 15, 2011

 

Patrick T. Gallagher who passed December 22, 2011 

 

Also, I received the following from our classmate Dick Boyle:  Dear Frank, Would you be kind enough to pass along a request for a short prayer from those who read this for the Happy repose of the soul of Thomas J. Boyle (Phoenix, Az. Class of 1951} who passed away on Jan 28th.  Tom was the brother of James J. Boyle (deceased class of 1941); John F. Boyle (class of 1942) and Richard G. Boyle (class of 1958).  Tom was a loving, caring, gentle man with a great wit, compassionate and caring individual.  To those of us who knew and loved him the world is a little darker and sadder today.  Many thanks and God Bless. 

 

May George, Patrick and Thomas rest in peace.

 

The complete listing of our honored deceased and their high school graduation pictures can be found on the Golden Burrs Website at: www.goldenburrs-1958.com

 

 

MAY YOU ALL HAVE A VERY HAPPY EASTER.  CHRIST IS RISEN!

 

 

 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:  FJAPFA@NETZERO.NET