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SPRING EDITION 2015

 

The Golden Burrs Events Committee members are pleased to bring you this 23rd edition of the Class of 1958's Newsletter. 

 

We wish you and yours a very

HAPPY EASTER SEASON

 

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Each section will bring you information that we have gathered about West Catholic and other newsworthy events that have transpired in the past three months. 

 

In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" is the announcement of the retirement of Sister Mary Bur and the upcoming calendar of events and news about an award given by St. Joseph University to Sister.

 

In the "News Features" section we continue reporting on the history of our childhood parishes by featuring Our Lady of Victory Parish.  A special thanks goes to our classmate Charles J. Johnson, who provided his Souvenir Booklet "Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Our Lady of Victory Parish 1899-1949." 

 

Also, the following additional resources from the Philadelphia Archdiocese Reference Library at St. Charles Seminary were used as reference materials for this article: "Souvenir, Dedication and Opening of Our Lady of Victory, Sunday, September 20, 1914"; "We have Come This Far by Faith, 1899-1989"; and "Souvenir and History of the Parish of Our Lady of Victory, Program of Entertainment." 

 

Thanks to John Staiber and his fellow classmates from Our Lady of Victory for their assistance in identifying the "8th grade boys" and some of the "1949 altar boys". 

 

The Summer 2015 edition will feature the parishes of St. Barnabas, St. Mary of Czestochowa and Our Lady of Loreto.

 

Sadly, our classmate Walt Riess passed away on February 20, 2015.

 

 

PAST AND UPCOMING HAPPENINGS AT WEST PREP

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SISTER MARY BUR TO RETIRE FROM WEST CATHOLIC PREP

 

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After 27 years of leadership, Sr. Mary Bur, IHM, Principal of West Catholic Preparatory High School, is set to retire at the close of this academic year. A model Catholic educator, Sr. Mary is a graduate of Immaculate Conception Elementary in Jenkintown, Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls, Immaculata University (B.A. English, Music), and Villanova University (M.A. English).

As a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sr. Mary has served in various schools in the region before coming to West Catholic, including: St. Cyril School in East Lansdowne, St. Eugene School in Primos, St. Irenaeus/Raphael School in Philadelphia, St. Agatha School in Philadelphia, Allentown Central Catholic H. S. in Allentown, PA, Bishop Shanahan High School in West Chester, PA and Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia.  

For the full story and a special letter from Sr. Mary! click here: http://www.westcatholic.org/page.cfm?p=529&newsid=147

 

SISTER MARY BUR HONORED BY ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY

January 22, 2015 -  St. Joseph University honored Sister Mary Bur, I.H.M., retiring principal of West Catholic Preparatory School, and Rev. George Bur, S.J., retiring president of Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School and a member of the SJU Board of Trustees, with the Ratio Studiorum Award.  The honor takes its name from the Jesuit plan to establish a global educational system in 1542 and is awarded to educators who have made exceptional leadership and collaboration efforts to improve the future of high-quality, competitive Catholic education.

"Brother and sister, George and Mary Bur, have given much of their lives and careers to students in the City of Philadelphia,” says Daniel R. J. Joyce, S.J. ’88, director of the ACESJU Education Fellows program.  “The impact that they have had by creating educational opportunity for families with few options has been transformative for the community.”

 

WEST CATHOLIC CALENDAR OF EVENTS

The West Catholic Alumni & Alumnae are proud to sponsor our participation in the

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Springfield (Del. Cty), PA.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

 

Starting at Noon

Anyone interested in marching with your fellow Burrs please contact the Alumni Association via email

and let them know you are ready!

 

http://www.westcatholicalumni.org/st-patricks-parade.html

 

Alumni Communion Breakfast - Springfield Country Club - 9:00 AM, Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Dinner - Clarion Hotel - Saturday, May 16, 2015 

 

Annual Cardinal O'Connor Golf Classic - Bala Country Club - Monday, June 1, 2015 

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

 

 

 

NEWS FEATURES

 

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Special congratulations to Jim and Fran Lynch who will celebrate their

50th wedding anniversary on April 24, 2015.

 

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS FROM ST. FRANCIS ASSISI - GERMANTOWN

 

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As reported in the Fall 2013 edition of this newsletter, Stained Glass windows from the Ascension of Our Lord Church will be refurbished and installed in the new cathedral of the Holy Name of Jesus in the Diocese of Raleigh, NC.  We have learned that the Stations of the Cross (one pictured above), from St. Francis of Assisi Church which closed in 2012, will be installed in the new cathedral.  The Stations are painted on a gold field and are multi-colored.  They measure three feet wide by slightly more than five feet high.  The Stations are approximately 80 years old and required little restoration.

 

For an update on the fund raising effort and construction schedule of the new cathedral visit:   http://www.holynamecathedralnc.org/

 

 

THANK YOU LETTER FROM THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS

 

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ST. FRANCIS DE SALES PARISH CELEBRATES ITS 125th ANNIVERSARY

 

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January 11, 2015, Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M. visited St. Francis de Sales to celebrate Mass for a full house of approximately 1.000 worshipers, in honor of the 125th anniversary of its founding.

 

To read the full report on the celebration click on: http://catholicphilly.com/2015/01/news/local-news/grand-philadelphia-parish-seeing-new-growth-in-changing-city-area/

 

 

WC BOYS CLASS OF 1958 - 57TH ANNIVERSARY LUNCHEON - MAY 14, 2015

 

The West Catholic Boys Class of 1958 will celebrate the 57th Anniversary of their graduation from West Catholic at a luncheon on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Clarion Hotel (formerly the Ramada), Essington, PA.  

 

Cost: Same low price of $20.00 per person, cash bar. 

 

The overnight room rate for out-of-town travelers remains unchanged from previous years at $89.00. 

 

We encourage you to spread the word to your fellow classmates and friends of the class of '58.  Please submit your payment no later than April 30, 2014.  Questions: Contact Frank Adolf at: fjapfa@netzero.net or call 610-344-0716.

 

 

REMEMBRANCES OF "OUR LADY OF VICTORY PARISH"

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF AND JOHN STAIBER

June 1899 - The Reverend Patrick F. McNulty, assistant pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Church, was appointed  by Archbishop Ryan to organize a new parish in the western section of that parish to be named Our Lady of Victory parish.  Father McNulty was ordained on October 14, 1883.

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Reverend Patrick F. McNulty

Founding Pastor, 1899 - 1905

 

 

 Father McNulty secured the second story of a Saw Mill, at 55th and Pearl Streets and renovated it for use as a temporary Church, creating the "Little Chapel".

 

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Saw Mill before renovations

 

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Saw Mill after renovations

October 8, 1899 - Property was secured at Fifty-fourth and Vine Streets on which would be build a permanent Church. 

October 29, 1899 - The first of four Holy Masses were offered on this date in the "Little Chapel" at the Saw Mill.

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Saw Mill Chapel Interior

November 6, 1899 - the cornerstone of a combination school and chapel was blessed.  The Sisters of St. Joseph were put in charge of the future school.

December 24, 1899 - The chapel on the first floor of the school building, replacing the "Little Chapel", was dedicated by Archbishop Ryan.   

 

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Bishop John W. Shanahan, the third Bishop of Harrisburg, celebrated a Solemn Pontifical Mass which was attended by a number of priests, seminarians and altar boys.  Bishop Shanahan was the first superintendent of schools in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.  Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown is named after him.

 

September 8, 1903 - The completed school building was formally opened with an enrollment of three hundred and seventy-five pupils, 185 Boys and 190 Girls, who were taught by ten Sisters of St. Joseph.    

 

Soon after the completion of the school, the rectory was built. 

 

April 8, 1905 - The great labor involved in the erection of the buildings and the organizing of the parish, accomplished so successfully in such a short space, was too much for the strength of Father McNulty, and in less than six years from his appointment he passed away on this date.

 

May 15, 1905 - The Reverend John F. Graham, who had been assistant pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas, was appointed as the second pastor.  Father Graham was ordained on March 2, 1883.

 

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Reverend John F. Graham 

 

Second Pastor, 1905 - 1922 

 

Father Graham energetically applied himself to perfecting the plans laid out by Father McNulty, and added materially to the fund already collected for the building of a new church. 

 

April 26, 1909 - Ground was broken for a new Church which would cost more than $250,000.

 

September 12, 1909 - The cornerstone was blessed by the new Archbishop Edmond F. Prendergast.

 

May 14, 1911 - The completed lower church was blessed by the Archbishop.

 

September 20, 1914 - Archbishop Prendergast blessed the completed upper church. 

 

The altars were built principally of Cenera marble, a beautiful rare Italian marble.  Skyros marble from Greece was used in the columns for the altar rail and High altar colonnade.  The four statues adorning the high altar are of the four Evangelists and the two columns supporting the Evangelists are of violet Breccia marble.  The baldichino over the high altar is constructed of art glass, hand-wrought iron and silk draperies, decorate with various religious symbols.

 

The iron work throughout the church, including the baldichino, was all made and carved by hand.  The tabernacle doors are fine examples of carved and hammered wrought iron.

 

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The baptistry, located in the tower of the church, is constructed of Spanish cohesive tile and Indiana limestone, while the floors are of Tennessee marble and tile mosaic.   The marble font is modeled after one in the church of St. Benigne in Dijon, France.  All the furnishings and fixtures were specially designed for the church.  The lighting fixtures are of cast brass.  The stained glass windows were made in Munich, Germany.

 

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Auxiliary Bishop John J. McCort celebrated the Solemn Pontifical Mass.

 

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Dedication Dinner Menu

 

 

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Our Lady of Victory Church and School

 

June 2, 1919 - Sometime between 11 PM and 12 AM two bombs exploded within seconds of each other under the porch of the rectory of the Our Lady of Victory.  The bombs caved in the porch and shattered every window in the rectory as well as those in the basement of the church.  While the area was still smoldering, another bomb exploded less than a mile away at 57th and Locust, home of Philadelphia jeweler Louis Jajieky.  The interior of the Jajieky residence was completely demolished; only the four walls remained standing. 

 

These two attacks in Philadelphia were carried within 90 minutes of bombings that occurred in New York City; Washington D.C.; Patterson; Boston; Pittsburgh; and Cleveland.  The bombs were comprised of up to 25 pounds of dynamite packaged with heavy metal slugs designed to act a shrapnel.

 

The search of the Our Lady of Victory crime scene uncovered copper wire and percussion caps, which suggested a time bombs.  Philadelphia police also found evidence at the Jajieky residence that led them to believe the device left there was in a wooden container “filled with sawdust or sand, which was saturated with nitroglycerin.”  It was likely detonated by “a powerful acid eating its way through a metal container until it reached the explosive.” 

 

The bombings were a concerted effort among U.S. based anarchists who were most likely disciples of Luigi Galleani, a vehemently radical anarchist who advocated violence as a means to effect change, and to rid the world of laws and capitalism.

 

Carlo Valdinoci, who coordinated the bombings did not live to tell his story, as he blew himself up in the process when a bomb that destroyed the house of the newly appointed Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer in Washington D.C., detonated accidentally.  A young Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, who lived across the street from the Attorney General, were also shaken by the blast.  

March 11, 1922 - Father Graham passed away after a 12 day siege of influenza.

Reverend David J. Kane was appointed Administrator of the parish on a temporary basis.

April 8, 1922 - The Reverend Francis L. Carr was appointed as the third pastor.  Father Carr was ordained on May 20, 1888.

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Reverend Francis L. Carr 

Third Pastor, 1922 - 1937

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Completed Parish Buildings of Our Lady of Victory  / Church Interior - Circa 1930    

During Father Carr's pastorship the bell was installed in the Church tower, and an altar, a gift of the people of the parish, was installed in St. Martin's Chapel at St. Charles Seminary. 

July 21, 1937 - Father Carr's pastorate ended suddenly on this date, when God called him home.

August, 1937 - The Reverend Edward A. Lyons D.D. was appointed as the fourth pastor.  Father Lyons was ordained on April 20, 1913.

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Rev. Edward A. Lyons D.D. (later Monsignor) 

Fourth Pastor, 1937 - 1966

  Father Lyons came to Our Lady of Victory from St. Charles Seminary where he had been Professor of Dogmatic Theology for fifteen years (1922-1937).

March, 1943 - A destructive fire ravaged the parish school.  Father Lyons set about to accomplish a splendid rehabilitation of the building.

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In preparation for the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Our Lady of Victory, Father Lyons arranged for the installation of new Venetian Mosaic Stations of the Cross.

Marble statues of the Sacred Heart and of St. Therese of the Child Jesus were purchased, and Mosaic panels behind the side altars of the upper church were installedThe interior of the Church was painted and the electrical lighting system was completed rewired. 

Beautiful Stained Glass Windows graced the Upper Church.

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       Presentation in the Temple      

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      Jesus Teaching in the Temple    

                  
1949 - The Golden Jubilee of Our Lady of Victory Parish was celebrated from November 14 to November 27, 1949.

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November 14, 1949A Parish Banquet was held at the Penn-Sheraton Hotel which was filled to capacity with six hundred and thirty-two attendees.  The entertainment consisted of a complete vaudeville show and a dance following the show. 

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Sunday, November 27, 1949 - Golden Jubilee Mass - Solemn Processional

A Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving was sung at eleven o'clock by Monsignor James E. Heir, the Rev. John J. Goodfellow was deacon, and the Rev. Thomas I. Smith, sub-deacon. 

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Auxiliary Bishop Hugh L. Lamb presided and addressed the congregation before the Mass, extending the greetings and blessings of Cardinal Dougherty.  The Bishop recalled the humble beginning of the Parish, and noted the wonderful progress made, evident in the  magnificent group of granite buildings that comprised the parish of Our Lady of Victory.  He noted that the parish had given forty-one boys to the priesthood, three to the Brothers, and Seventy-five girls to the religious life.

Solemn Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was offered after the Mass by Bishop Lamb.  Father Lyons addressed the congregation after Benediction.  He expressed his gratitude to everyone who assisted in the preparations for the Jubilee.

Father Lyons closed with these words: 

"I hope that you will treasure the memory of this day in your hearts, and that you will keep in your hearts a love for OUR LADY OF VICTORY."

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Right Side - 1st Altar Boy - Charles J. Johnson; 3rd Altar Boy - John J. Gallagher 

THE CHILDREN'S MASS

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The Parish Curates in 1949

Father Cliggett served as Chaplain at West Catholic in the 1950's.

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SCHOOL DAYS

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1954 - Our Lady of Victory 8th Grade Boys Graduation Class

Flag Bearers: John J. Gallagher on Left, Dale Millburn on Right
Left to Right - Front  Row: Errol Taylor, James Dagney, Wendell Devlin, John Staiber, Anthony DiGuiesppe  
                         Middle row: Ronald Miles, Donald Blees, Thomas Kavanagh, Edward Fitzgerald, Richard Kelly
                                            Back Row: Thomas Collins, David Ross, Charles J. Johnson, Gaylord Roy, Edward Butler, James Bloomer

Note: WC Class of 1958 grads = Errol Taylor, John Staiber, Anthony DiGuiesppe, Ronald Miles, Donald Blees, Thomas Kavanagh, Charles J. Johnson, Edward Butler (Ammendale) & James Bloomer.

January 9, 1959 - Father Lyons was named a Domestic Prelate with the title of Monsignor.

April 23, 1963 - Msgr. Lyons celebrated his 50th Anniversary of his ordination.

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February 25, 1966 - After 29 years of service to Our Lady of Victory Parish, Msgr. Lyons died suddenly.  He was 78 years old.

February 1966 - Msgr. Lyons was succeeded by the Reverend Joseph P. Whearty as the fifth pastor, a priest who had been assistant pastor some years earlier.  Father Whearty was ordained on May 22, 1937.

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Rev. Joseph P. Whearty in 1943

Fifth Pastor, 1966 -1974

In the constant shifting pattern of urban neighbors, the proportion of Black Families increased, while the percentage of Irish Catholics declined.   An estimated 30 to 40 percent of the families within the confines of the parish in the 1920's were Catholic; during the 1960's an estimate placed the area's Catholic population at three percent.  In March of 1966, there were 150 white and 600 black families in the parish. 

Sapped of its large membership, the parish seemed to be dying, but Father Whearty was undeterred.  Father outlined to the congregation his dream of revitalizing the parish. 

Having received Cardinal Krol's approval, and the sum of $90,000 on a ten year note, Father Whearty embarked on a program which he felt would solve the problems of the parish. 

Since the lower church was rarely used it was deconsecrated and changed into a Social Hall.  Bingo games were held their on Saturday nights and the sacristy of the lower church was transformed into a modernized kitchen where dinners were served to patrons.  The upper church was completed refurbished; the school which was on the brink of closing had its boiler repaired.  A Library was established in the school and after a fire destroyed it, Father Whearty had it rebuilt.  When a building on the corner of 54th and Race Sts. started to prove a nuisance to the school children, Father Whearty purchased the property and turned it into a Thrift Shop where members of the Altar and Rosary Society worked.  

In order to repay the loan and clear the parish of its financial debts, Father Whearty started a 50-50 drawing.  This fund raiser was so successful that the parish was able to repay the $90,000 loan in nine months.

November 1967 - Cardinal Krol visited the parish to thank the parishioners and the pastor for "the striking progress" which the parish had made.  A statue of St. Martin de Porres, the first statue to honor a Black Saint, was placed in the church.

May 1974 - Father Whearty retired and was named Pastor Emeritus.

Upon the retirement of Father Whearty, the Reverend William H. Skivington, was appointed as the sixth pastor.  Father Skivington was ordained on May 30, 1942.

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Rev. William H. Skivington in 1943 (later Monsignor) 

Sixth Pastor, 1974 - 1987 

Following in the footsteps of Father Whearty, Father Skivington installed two new altars by removing two confessionals.  One altar was dedicated to Our Lady of the Inner City and the other to St. Kizito who was the youngest of 88 Ugandan martyrs.

November 1982 - Richard Nightingale was ordained a Deacon, he was among the first group of seven African-American men ordained as permanent deacons.

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 December 18, 1985 - Father Whearty passed away.

December 1985 - Father Skivington was named a Monsignor.

1986 - Msgr. Skivington organized a Ecumenical Choir Festival with representatives of all Christian Faiths present for the event.

Also in 1986, Msgr. Skivington had two mosaics placed on the front walls of the church: the fifteenth Station depicting Christ triumphant over death, and the other honoring St. John Neumann.  He also commissioned several lay women as Eucharistic Ministers and transformed the Baptistry into a chapel where daily Masses were held. 

June 30, 1987 - Monsignor William H. Skivington died at the age of 72 after battling cancer for a year.  He was a popular priest who spent more than 20 years working at inner-city parishes, having been pastor for 10 years at St. Ignatius Church in North Philadelphia before coming to Our Lady of Victory. 

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June 1987 - Reverend James A. Callahan, pastor of Transfiguration, served as temporary pastor after the death of Msgr. Skivington.

 

August 1987 - Reverend Joseph P. Denny was appointed as the seventh pastor.  Father Denny was ordained in 1967.

 

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Rev. Joseph P. Denny 

Seventh Pastor, 1988 - 1991

 

May 1988 - Father Denny approved the celebration of Pentecost Sunday as an Evangelization event. 

An open-air barbecue was held on the rectory lawn.

 

Father Denny built a ramp on the south side of the Church so the elderly and handicapped parishioners could have easier access.   

 

June 1989 - Our Lady of Victory Parish celebrated its 90th Anniversary. 

 Below are the names of the Priests, Nuns and Lay Teachers who served the parish from 1899 to 1989. 

 

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January 1991 - Father Denny was transferred to the pastorship of St. Bartholomew Parish where he passed away on March 2, 2008. 

 

January 1991 - Reverend Henry J. McKee was appointed as the eighth pastor.  Father McKee was ordained in 1972.

 

 

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 Rev. Henry J. McKee 

 

Eighth Pastor, 1991-2000

 

Under Father McKee's pastorship, the parish community annually celebrated:  Get to Know You Sunday, Stewardship Sunday, Evangelization Sunday, Healing Sunday, Thanks by Giving Sunday, Kwanzaa, and Women's Day. 

 

Father McKee is presently pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Havertown, PA.

 

Interesting Historical Fact

 

In the year 1571, there was war in the Mediterranean Sea.  Pope St. Plus V called on all Europe to pray the rosary, asking Our Lady for a victory. 

 

After a winning outcome, the Pope dedicated October 7, 1571 as the annual feast of Our Lady of Victory

 

In 1969, Pope Paul VI changed the name of the feast day to Our Lady of the Rosary.

 

In the year 2000, Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary parishes were "twinned" under a new pastor, the Reverend Thomas P. Kletzel who was ordained in 1983. 

 

Being "twinned" means that one priest serves as pastor of two parishes, which often-times is an interim step prior to merging of the two parishes.

 

February 21, 2005 - Five years after being "twinned" and in the face of declining membership, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced the merger of Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary Parishes and their schools.

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish had seen its membership drop from 1,045 parishioners in 1990 to 400 in 2004; Our Lady of Victory Parish suffered a drop from 1,347 to 537 over the same period.

Father Kletzel announced that Our Lady of Victory was rejected as the new parish site because its buildings were in worse condition, with "significantly higher operating expenses". 

The new parish and its school would be based at Our Lady of the Rosary. 

April 17, 2005 - Father Kletzel, announced at Holy Week Services that the new name of the parish would be Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and the official decrees were published in both parish bulletins.  The name was chosen by Cardinal Rigali following a survey of parishioners who indicated they wished to continue to be under the patronage of the Blessed Mother, and also wanted to honor the Year of the Eucharist that was currently underway in the Archdiocese. 

July 1, 2005 - Our Lady of Victory Parish was officially suppressed and merged with Our Lady of the Rosary under the new name of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.  A sad ending to a once proud and vibrant parish.

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Interior of Our Lady of Victory before the closing in July 2005

 

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Exterior of Our Lady of Victory after the closing (statue of Our Lady of Victory was removed)

The former Our Lady of Victory parish property was sold and is now

Caveat Emptor'd Protestant Church.

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Exterior of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

 

July 3, 2005 - Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, celebrated the opening Mass at 11:00 AM for the new Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish located at 63rd and Callowhill Streets, using the buildings of the former Our Lady of the Rosary. 

 

The official founding date of the new parish is July 1, 2005.

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October 29, 2006 - Sacred Heart Church in Peoria, Illinois

 October 29, 2006 - The newly renovated 100 year-old Church of the Sacred Heart in Peoria, Illinois was opened and dedicated.  

Below are excerpts from the Franciscan Friars Newsletter concerning the renovations. 

"From the marble floor to the symbolically red ceiling, the church is spectacular.  But there's something more, something stirring about knowing that these trappings, from the statues, to the granite altar, to the light fixtures, came from churches that no longer exist as houses of worship.  In a sense, Sacred Heart has become a repository for the faith and hopes of legions of people beyond Peoria."

"Some of these items came from a closed church in Scranton, Holy Cross." 

"The lights are from Our Lady of Victory parish in Philadelphia."

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 Our Lady of Victory lights installed in Sacred Heart Church, Peoria, Ill.

For more information on the renovation of Sacred Heart Church visit: http://www.sacredheartpeoria.com/Renovation.html

April 2013 - A short seven years after the establishment of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish (originally Our Lady of the Rosary merged with Our Lady of Victory) the parish was suppressed and merged with St. Cyprian (originally St. Carthage), under the continuing pastorship of Msgr. Britto.  The church continued to be used as a worship site of St. Cyprian. 

August 1, 2014 - Sixteen months after the April 2013 consolidation with St. Cyprian, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced

that Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church will no longer serve as a worship site of Saint Cyprian parish and will close as a Roman Catholic church.

Father Kletzel is now pastor of St. Malachy Parish in North Philadelphia.

MAIL FROM CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS

Don (Andy) Thompson:  Frank, Thanks for the excellent editorial job you shared with us putting together the story of Good Shepherd's early days.  That's a real labor of love and we owe you for it.  A couple of the photos and stories caught my attention.  If my G.S. classmates remember them differently, I would appreciate being corrected.  I appreciated seeing the photo of the school and its large windows which I spent so much time looking out of during class.  Our first grade, I believe, had well over 100 (?) kids and I think the boys and girls were in separate rooms.  Can you imagine Sr. Mary Pacis getting so many first grade boys in and out of their boots during the winter snowy days?  And the original rectory along Cobbs Creek Parkway where the mild-mannered assistant pastor (Father Waldron), introduced us altar boys to Latin during the summer of 1950.  He was the padre who trained us in the Latin responses while sitting on the outside the front steps of the rectory on summer mornings.  The rectory and steps are portrayed in one of the pictures.  I think that group included Steve Casale, Larry Dempsey, Tom Henry? etc. 

 

The photo of the old chapel reminded me of being an altar server for the 6:30 a.m. shift, when I served the last 6:30 a.m. Mass on 13 March in the quonset-hut-like old chapel and then the first 6:30 a.m. Mass in the newly constructed Church the next day as noted in the photos.  Thanks again Frank.  Those early years were an extraordinary time of growth in the Catholic community of Philly, never again to return it seems.  

 

Tom Wallace aka "German John":  Frank - Thanks for the informative newsletter.  The parish histories are interesting--from birth to unfortunate declines.  However it's a source of pride for grads to read about the sacrifices that former parishioners and their parents had made so that their families would have a good, Catholic education and learn about worship from the good example. 

Enjoy your Christmas.  Tom

 

Jim White:  Hi Frank, It might be nice to show a picture gallery of those of us still alive as well as those who have passed away.

 

     Response:  Hi Jim: We decided to use our Website www.goldenburrs-1958.com, to provide the suggested information. 

 

    Under the "button" Our Classmates then (1958) and now (2007) - graduation pictures and pictures of each 2007 luncheon         attendee are featured.  The 2007 luncheon had over 100 attendees which was one of the largest turnouts.  

 

    Here is the link to the 2007 pictures:

 http://www.goldenburrs-1958.com/Now%20and%20then%20Pictures/Classof1958ThenandNow/index.html  

 

    If your picture is not shown on the Website please e-mail one to Frank Adolf at:  fjapfa@netzero.net.  Postal Mailing address is: 

1539 Ulster Way, West Chester, PA  19380

 

     All of our deceased are also shown on the Website, many of them with obituaries.  The link is:

http://www.goldenburrs-1958.com/1958%20Deceased%20(2009)/DeceasedClassmatesWestCatholic/index.html 

 

Frank Cubbage:  Frank:  You did an outstanding job on "The Good Shepherd" parish.  I can't imagine how you got all the information but it sure was interesting.  I remember Father Hammill and Father Clinton, as well as the construction of the church.  I can remember my first day of First Grade, standing in the school yard line with my "line partner" Rich McAndrews, where we told each other that we were not afraid when we heard other kids crying.  It may have been Lynch, Marella and O'Hara that were crying (just kidding). 

 

John Kraft '57:  Hello Frank, I just finished reading your Winter Edition and as usual enjoyed it very much.  There was a comment written by Fran Lawless which I totally agree with.

 

Last September 19th I celebrated my 51st anniversary as an Allstate Agent.  I believe I am the longest tenured Agent in the country.  My daughter and wife both work with me.  I still enjoy coming to work every day and when I cease to enjoy the daily visits it will become work and I will retire.

 

Thanks again for all your efforts over the years and I am sure all former students appreciate the efforts of you and the Committee.  Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year.  Regards, John ('57).

 

John Gillespie:  Frank:  I’ve read the newsletter from cover to cover and wanted to thank you and your committee for this effort.  Being a member of Good Shepherd Parish for many years, I’m amazed at the history of our Parish.  Sara Sherwin, the first May Queen is my cousin.  She is deceased, however her sister is alive and I will pass this along to her.

 

Charles Porrini '49:  Frank, Another great issue. You'll need a relaxing cruise after completing this issue.  Charles

 

Ann Cahill:  Thanks, Rich!  I enjoyed your article, and Jim would too.  He got the Order of the Arrow with troop 58 in Phoenixville when our boys were in the troop.  Good memories!  Ann

 

George Powers - Class of '58 President:  Thank you soooooooooo much for this outstanding update.  From my wife Betsy (GREED) and me down her in Clearwater Beach, Florida we would like to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family and all our classmates.  Our prayers will go up for Brother John and all the other classmates and their families who are under the weather this Blessed time of year.  GOD BLESS ALL!!!!!!!!!!  GO WEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Brother Kevin Stanton:  Thanks for your Winter '14 edition, Frank.  I haven't read it all yet, but I enjoyed the write up on Good Shepherd and the photo of young Knute. 

 

The photo showing the gate to our cemetery in Ammendale reminded me that, when we were novices, that area was a mini-lake.

Projecting into the future we thought we might be buried "at sea."  Fortunately, it was drained in later years.  Christmas peace. 

Br. Kevin

 

 

 

 

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submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF 

 

 

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First Baby Shoes

 

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Topo Gigio - starred on what TV Show?

 

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Didn't everyone had a Formica Top Table in their Kitchen?

 

 

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"Rock Around the Clock"

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR REMEMBRANCES OF THE 40'S AND 50'S, ESPECIALLY YOUR PARISHES AND NEIGHBORHOODS?  SEND THEM TO US FOR PUBLICATION IN A FUTURE NEWSLETTER.

 

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, Brother Kevin Strong and Tom Wallace aka "German John", who are both dealing with health issues.

 

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

 

Walter Riess.jpg

Walter F. Riess Jr. - February 20, 2015

 

May Walt 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   Thanks to John Staiber, many of the pictures are accompanied by complete obituaries.

 

FINAL THOUGHT

 

submitted by: RICH BUZZA

 

It is always my privilege to assist in the editing of  our Golden Burrs Newsletter, to be honest there is not much work involved due to the diligence of our Managing Editor Frank Adolf or Francis as I affectionately call him, (only I and his mother are allowed to do this) anyway, in doing this editing I get to preview the draft in process.  I marvel at the amount of research and hard work that goes into this newsletter, every issue keeps getting better and better, not only in my opinion but our readers seem to agree.  This just does not happen by accident but rather as a result of the hard work put in by everyone in our group who works extremely hard to make this newsletter a success. 

 

This issue features Our Lady of Victory Parish,  and we would be remiss if we did not recognize two of our Golden Burrs Committee members from O.L.V.   Johnny Staiber, who by the way, contributed greatly in the writing of the article, good job John, and by the way, I like that 1949 haircut in the photo.  John Gallagher was the other member and  was very special to our group, in fact, if it were not for his leadership and organizing skills and a tenacity for putting forth a dream, this group of Golden Burrs would not even exist.  John left us much too soon, the Golden Burrs of 1958 say a simple "Thank you, John." Amen.

 

 

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:  FJAPFA@NETZERO.NET

 

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