The Golden Burrs Events Committee members are pleased to bring you this 36th edition of the Class of 1958's newsletter.



We wish you and yours a very





In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" you will find the following:  Information about the upcoming GOLDEN BURRS OF 1958 - 60th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION DINNER; an article about the bestowing of honors by Pope Francis on 28 individuals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, four of whom have connections to West Catholic; a report by Frank Adolf on our deceased and living classmates; the West Catholic Calendar of Events.


In the "News Features" section you will find an update on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, followed by the third in a series of articles by Frank Metzler and Frank Adolf about the histories of the orders of nuns who taught in our respective elementary schools, featuring The Sisters of St. Joseph.  


We conclude this edition with Mail received from our Classmates and Friends; under the "Remember When".... banner pictures from the 40's and 50's submitted by Bob Dougherty; an article about Brother Galdrick John by Frank Metzler; a remembrance of 1945 by Frank Adolf; and Rich Buzza's "Final Thought".


Sadly, we recently learned that our classmate Ed York, who grew up in Holy Name of Jesus Parish, passed away on December 10, 2017.


On January 3, 2018, our classmate Chuck Martini, who grew up in Transfiguration Parish, passed away from a heart attack.  Chuck was an original member of the 2006/07 committee that organized the first two, of what would become our annual class luncheons, and served on the 50th anniversary planning committee in 2008.     


On the same day, Brother Kevin Strong, aka Brother Denis Kevin, passed away.  Brother Kevin was homeroom moderator of Freshman D at West Catholic in 1954-1955, he returned to West in 1961-1962, and he was Vice-Principal at West from 1981 to 1984.


On March 2, 2018, Jack Woods passed away.  Jack was from St. Barnabas parish and faithfully attended Burrs at the Beach for many years.  He will certainly be missed by his fellow Burrs. 




Jack Woods and Bob Sproul at Burrs@Beach 


Jack's viewing will be held at 9:00 AM on March 24, 2018 at Stretch Funeral Home in Havertown, followed by a Requiem Mass at 11:00 AM at St. Denis Church.  Here's the link for Jack's obituary:











Invitations to the 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner were sent out on February 14, 2018.  If you did not receive an email or postal mailing contact Frank Adolf at:  or call 610-761-4925. 


A reminder, the payment deadline for both the dinner, and if you plan to stay overnight, the hotel reservation, is March 31, 2018.  Dinner payments after that date increases to $60.00 per person. 


The full package of information about the reunion is available on our Website at:

Hope to see you on May 5th.



Gleaned from January E-West Notes, Dena Website, and


The archdiocese of Philadelphia proudly announced that Pope Francis has bestowed Papal Honors upon 28 women and men for their dedication and exceptional service to the Church in Philadelphia.  Four of those being honored have strong connections to West Catholic.


Dawn Chism ’73 was honored with the Benemerenti Medal.  Dawn has been actively involved in leadership and service roles for the Philadelphia Catholic community at both the parish and archdiocesan levels for many years.  Her primary focus has been to encourage priestly vocations and to provide moral support for priests, especially in the African-American community.  She has held various positions in the Serra Club of Philadelphia. 



Dawn Chism (Archbishop Chaput's left) and other Benemerenti Medal Awardees


Brother Richard E. Kestler, F.S.C., was honored with the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, also known as the Cross of Honor.  Brother Richard has dedicated his religious life to the ministry of Catholic education as a teacher and administrator.  In addition to many years as a classroom instructor at various Catholic schools, Brother Richard served as Principal at West Catholic, and he served as president of West Catholic Preparatory High School from 1999 to 2005 and again from 2012 to 2016 before retiring.  He continues to further the mission of Catholic education as a volunteer at West Catholic and La Salle University, and is the community director at Anselm Hall, on the University's campus.




Brother Richard Kestler with Auxiliary Visitor Brother Richard Galvin


Anna Davis and Gerald T. Davis ’59 were honored as Dame and Knight in the order of St. Gregory the Great.  Gerald is a retired senior communications executive from Sunoco and serves on the board of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.  Gerald and Anna and their children were selected to present the offering gifts at Mass to Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia in 2015. 




Gerald and Anna Davis receive Papal honors from Archbishop Chaput 


The honors were conferred by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. Cap., during a Vespers service at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on Sunday, January 21, 2018.


Congratulations to all the honorees!





submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF


Oftentimes, when I am in the company of classmates, I am asked how many classmates were there in the Class of 1958, or how many have passed away, or how many are living?  Since 2006, with the assistance of Jim Lynch and John Staiber, I have been keeping the official records for our class.  With adjustments for a couple of guys who didn't graduate with us, but were freshmen in 1954-55 and who consider themselves part of the Class of 1958, we had 432 original members.  As best we can determine 164 classmates are deceased, and 264 classmates are among the living.  


Additionally, the below four classmates are MIA, meaning we have no information on them.  Attempts to find them over the years have proven to be unsuccessful.


John J. Cavanagh - Transfiguration

James Immendorf - Good Shepherd

James McDonough - Transfiguration

John White - Most Blessed Sacrament


Below is the latest information on our deceased and living classmates. 




Most Blessed Sacrament - Thomas Barrett / James Bloomer / Robert Brennan / Joseph Calhoun / Richard Campiglia / Francis Carey / John Cavanaugh / Donald Christy / Walter Czerwinski / Charles Ervin / Patrick Gallagher / Robert Gormley / Daniel Grawl / James Kavanagh / William J. Kealey / Richard Levis / James McCluskey / Hugh McGettigan / Martin Murphy / John Niefer Sr. /  Robert Neiman / Robert O’Brien / Frederick Oberst / James O'Neill / John O'Neill / John Prosseda / Clark Rich / James Rowan / Edward Sheekey / John Sheridan / Robert Shuff / Patrick Touey - Total 32


Transfiguration - Robert Barron / Walter Bott / Daniel Bugey / William Burton / George Clifford / Donald Coleman / Charles Dougherty / Robert Fitzsimmons / Anthony Gargiule / Joseph Geibler / James Goodwin / William Carolan Hone / Rev. Mr. Robert Kefer / Kenneth Lucas / Charles Martini / Timothy McCarthy / Robert McCoy / Robert Merenda / Peter Murphy / Walter Reiss / John Roche / John Rogers / John Talamini / Edward Timmons / James Trainor / William Walter - Total 26   


St. Clement – George Althouse / James Brennan / Vincent Carberry / Theodore Defosse / Vincent Della Vecchia / Vincent DiLoreto / Vincent Doyle / Charles Driscoll / William Ervin / Charles Gallion / Patrick  Hardiman / James Harness / Daniel Higgins / David Kane / Martin Kane / John Keenan / James Leonard / Robert Markhorst / Matthew Moss / James O'Brien / Edward Rambo / Francis Rutherford / Walter Thompson - Total 23 


Good Shepherd - Thomas Brennan / William Donohue / Daniel Dougherty / James English / James Farrell / Michael Fife / Francis Gamberoni / Stanley Jaseke (Ash) / Walter Kelley / James Kramer / James McDonald / Edward McDonough / Robert McGonigle / John McLaughlin / Vincent Nugent / John Phreaner / Joseph Spaeder / Joseph Warner / James Truax - Total 19


St. Barnabas - James Daly / Richard Evans / Michael Finnegan / George Goldhahn / Robert Hart / John Henry / James Hornig / Joseph Lynn / James Manley / James McElhare / Michael McNelis / Dominic Poppa / James Potts / Thomas Theodos / John Wileczek / John Woods - Total 16


St. Francis De Sales – Philip Carson / Peter Doyle / Rev. Anthony Flynn / William Gallagher / Daniel Ganley / John Holbrook / William Holden / Francis McNellis / Joseph Noel / Gerald Rolleter / John Slavin / James Stewart / Dennis Strigle - Total 13 


Holy Name of Jesus - John Corry / Thomas Gallagher / Gerald Hartey / Joseph Kennedy / John Kubiak / Lawrence Lubiski / Francis McCabe / Thomas McClain / Robert F. McIntyre / Daniel Scullin / Ronald Therwanger / Edward York / Sylvester York - Total 13


Visitation – Alfred Bocchicchio / John Brannigan / John Cleary / Joseph End / James Fowler / John Heft / James Hughes / Robert Killian -Total 8 


St. Carthage - Lawrence Brumfield / John Jennings / Joseph Martino / John Robbins - Total 4 


St. Raphael - Michael Marino / Michael Smith / William Stocku - Total 3


Our Lady of Victory – John J. Gallagher / Ronald D. Miles M.D. / Errol Taylor - Total 3


St. James - Joseph Sipes / Joseph Welch  - Total 2


Our Lady of Loreto - Richard Lucchine - Total 1        


St. Mary of Czestochowa - George Hoopes - Total  1  


TOTAL - 164


Our Webmaster Jim Prendergast, has posted detailed information about each of our deceased classmates on the Class of '58's website at:  Click on WC 1958 Deceased, then click on each picture to view either the source information that we uncovered, or in many cases an obituary for the deceased classmate.






58 - MBS










 5 - ST. JAMES 





























































April 29, 2018 - 97th Alumni Communion Breakfast - Clarion Hotel, Essington, PA






PROGRAM BOOK ADS AND TICKET ORDER FORM: Be a part of the 97th Annual Communion Breakfast!  Honor your class and award recipients, promote your business or be a patron!





Inside Front Cover    $300

Page #1                       $275

Outside Back Cover  $275

Inside Back Cover     $250

Full Page                    $150

Half Page                               $80

Quarter Page                         $60

Business Card            $30

Patron                                    $10


Please return the coupon below with copy, photo and/or art work, along with check or money order payable to West Catholic Alumni Association.  Credit Card payments are acceptable for orders of $100.00 or more.


ORDER TICKETS: $30.00 in advance or at the door.  Tables may be purchased in groups of 8 or 10 tickets. 


Name: ________________________________________   Class: ______________  E-Mail: __________________

Address: __________________________________________________________ Phone: _______________ 


Number of Ads: ______________   Ad Type/Size:____________________________

Total Payment Amount for Ads:____________________________________________


Number of Tickets: __________   Payment Amount for Tickets: ___________

Total Amount of Check or Money Order: __________

(Optional for orders of $100 or more) Credit Card Type:__________________Credit Card # ________________    

Expiration Date: __________


RETURN BY APRIL 6, 2018 TO WEST CATHOLIC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, c/o Johnnie Walker 86’, 313 Marshall Ave, Collingdale PA 19023 or by e-mail to 


For tickets, please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.  If no envelope is enclosed, then the tickets will be held at the door under your name on the day of the Breakfast. For more information, call 610-220-5053.


June 24, 2018 - 31st Annual Burrs at the Beach Reunion at "The Inlet on Olde", (formerly Westy's) North Wildwood, NJ

Fall of 2018 - Sports Hall of Fame Dinner - details pending




    (Mother of the Redeemer)


submitted by:  FRANK METZLER

In the 2014 Fall edition of our 1958 Golden Burrs newsletter we reported that a new missionary seminary was established in St. Barnabas Rectory in Southwest Philadelphia.  The six missionary seminarians would study at St. Charles Seminary, would be ordained as priests for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and/or would be released for missionary service around the world, as needed.

The seminary has expanded with new recruits, now living in the former St. Louis Convent in Yeadon, PA, which at one time was the residence for the Christian Brothers who taught at West Catholic.




Archbishop Chaput with Redemptoris Mater Seminarians







The story of the Sisters of St. Joseph began with Jean-Pierre Medaille who was born in Carcassonne, France on October 6, 1610 and was educated at the Jesuit College there.  He entered the Society of Jesus in Toulouse shortly before his 16th birthday and was ordained in 1637 at age 27.


Father Jean-Pierre Medaille approached Bishop Henri de Maupas, of the diocese in Le Puy-en-Velay, to promote his idea to found an order of religious women, who wished to combine holiness of life with apostolic activity while living in society.  In those days women who wished to consecrate their lives to God lived in a Cloister.  The Bishop responded favorably and handed over the administration of the Le Puy hospice to six women, who formed the nucleus of the new congregation of St. Joseph.  On October 15, 1650, Bishop de Maupas gave the order his official approval as a religious congregation, to be known as the Sisters of St. Joseph in Le Puy-en-Velay, France. 


Father Medaille legacy to the Sisters of St. Joseph includes their Constitution, a spiritual treatise called the Maxims of Perfection, the Maxims of the Little Institute, and a letter to one of the first Sisters proposing the Eucharist as a model for the congregation. 


Father Medaille died at the College of Billom on December 30, 1669 at age 59.  He was a member of the Society of Jesus for 43 years.  The Jesuit cemetery where he was buried was destroyed during bombing in War. 




Father Jean-Pierre Medaille SJ



The Congregation flourished and enjoyed rapid growth, expanding during the first decade of existence. 


Jeanne Fontbonne was born on March 3, 1759 at Bassen-Basset, Le Puy-en-Velay, France.  In 1778 she entered a house of the Sisters of St. Joseph at Monistrol.  Six years later, as superior of the Community Jeanne, now known as Mother St. John Fontbonne, aided in the establishment of a hospital, which in those days was a place to receive the poor rather than a medical facility.


However, in 1793 the order was disbanded during the French Revolution and their convents and chapels were confiscated.  Some Sisters returned home, some Sisters joined other religious orders, and still others remained in their convents, only to be martyred.  Religious were pressured to take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution.  Sisters were forbidden to teach or to care for the sick.  Mother St. John Fontbonne refused to take the oath and her community was dispersed.  She remained at her post until a mob dragged her from the convent.  Not long after, she was imprisoned at Saint-Didier and sentenced to be guillotined.  Only the fall of Robespierre, on the day before her appointed execution, saved her from the guillotine.


The Congregation was reestablished in 1807 by Mother St. John Fontbonne in Lyons, France.  She is considered the second founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph.




1759 - 1843


As word spread, the Congregation began to flourish again, attracting many young women.  Sisters were sent to Dioceses throughout France, to other countries in Europe, and to Asia.


In 1816 Mother St. John was appointed Superior General of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and summoned to Lyons to found a general motherhouse and novitiate.


In 1834 Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis, Missouri contacted Mother St. John, requesting Sisters be sent to his Diocese to care for hearing impaired children.  Mother sent 6 Sisters to the Diocese in 1836 and they settled in a log cabin in Carondelet, a small village near St. Louis, where they founded a school for deaf children.   




First Sisters of St. Joseph Convent in the United States

Carondelet, Missouri


Mother St. John had founded or reorganized more than 240 houses of the Congregation throughout France, not to mention those in foreign lands, before she died on November 22, 1843.




Gravesite of Mother St. John Fontbonne


In 1847 Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick, Bishop of Philadelphia, requested the St. Louis Mother General to send Sisters to Philadelphia.  At the time, St. John's Orphanage for boys and girls, located at 49th Street and Wyalusing Avenue, up 49th street from West Catholic Boys' High School, which originally opened in 1806, was staffed by the Sisters of Charity founded by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  The girls and the Sisters of Charity were moving to St. Joseph's Home, therefore Bishop Kendrick needed the Sisters of St. Joseph to staff the boys only St. John's Orphanage.  This was the first foundation outside of St. Louis for the Sisters of St. Joseph. 


Nine of the founding Sisters of St. Joseph, who staffed St. John's Orphanage, are buried at Old Cathedral Cemetery at 48th Street and Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia.


The year after the Sisters staffed St. John's Orphanage, the Sisters were asked by Bishop Neumann to staff St. Patrick's School
in Pottsville, their first elementary school in the Diocese of Philadelphia.  The Sisters remained in the school until 1970, when they withdrew due to insufficient vocations.


In 1852 the Sisters were recruited for the nursing staff at St. Joseph's Hospital, Philadelphia, by Bishop John Neumann.  Bishop James Wood, a member of the Hospital board, and the Consecrated Coadjutor with Right of Succession to Bishop Neumann, objected to the Sisters working in the hospital.

In 1854 the Sisters of St. Joseph, with the blessing of Bishop Neumann, arrived in McSherrytown, PA to establish their first Novitiate and St. Joseph Academy for Girls, first an elementary school and eventually a high school.  In 1978 and in 1979 the Elementary School and St. Joseph Academy High School closed respectfully.  The complex was turned into St. Joseph Village to assist seniors with housing. 


In 1856 Bishop Neumann requested that the Sisters open an orphanage in McSherrytown due to the influx of immigrants
working in the local coal mines.  The orphanage closed in 1901.  


In August 1858, with the assistance of Bishop Neumann, the Sisters purchased "Monticello", the Middleton family home in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, and established their current Novitiate and Motherhouse.  


In October, 1858 the Sisters established Mount Saint Joseph Academy for girls in the same convent building..






After the death of Bishop Neumann in 1860, Bishop Wood replaced the Sisters of St. Joseph with the Daughters of Charity at St. Joseph Hospital. 


The Congregation in Philadelphia preserved its autonomy from St. Louis in 1863.  


In the founding years in Philadelphia, the sick or dependent elderly members of the Congregation lived at the Motherhouse in Mount Saint Joseph Convent.






Motherhouse of the Sister of Saint Joseph  in Chestnut Hill


Mount Saint Joseph also served as the burial grounds for the Sisters from its founding until March of 1980.




Mount Saint Joseph Cemetery


The Sisters of St. Joseph provided nursing care to soldiers during the American Civil War.  They worked at Church Hospital in Harrisburg, PA, at Camp Curtin outside Harrisburg, and on two floating hospitals, the Whilden and the Commodore.  The hospital ships traveled up and down the James River, providing care for the wounded of both sides.  Approximately, 640 women from 21 different religious communities volunteered their nursing services during the Civil War.  They are memorialized in the nation's capital for the services they provided to wounded and dying solders from both the North and South.




 Monument to Women Religious at War - Across from St. Matthew's Cathedral, Washington, D.C.


By the turn of the twentieth century the Motherhouse infirmary could no longer give the medical care to the increasing number of Sisters.  In 1908 the Congregation established St. Joseph Villa in Cheltenham, PA.




In 1900, Mount Saint Joseph Collegiate Institute was founded as an extension of Mount Saint Joseph Academy, also located in the Sisters' Motherhouse.  Shortly thereafter, the school was renamed "Mount Saint Joseph on the Wissahickon" and in 1924 the building was renamed Chestnut Hill College.


During the Influenza Epidemic in 1918 the Sisters cared for families in their homes. 


In the early 1920's the girls in the elementary level of Mount Saint Joseph Academy were moved to the newly purchased property located at 9001 Germantown Avenue.  Named for the French founders of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Fontbonne Academy for Girls opened in 1924 and remained opened until 1959.  The property was then used as a residence for Postulants and a House of Studies, due to the influx of vocations.


In 1927, seven Sisters of St. Joseph were among the founding faculty at the West Philadelphia High School for Girls.


In 1961, Mount Saint Joseph Academy was moved to Flourtown.


By the early 1960's the need to expand the Cheltenham facility exceed the zoning regulations.  As a result, on May 1, 1965 ground was broken for a new St. Joseph Villa in Flourtown, PA.  The first sisters moved into the new Villa on June 21, 1968.  




St. Joseph Villa and Cemetery, Flourtown, PA


In 1971, Fontbonne Academy reopened and in 1973 Norwood Academy for Boys and Fontbonne Academy for Girls were merged into Norwood-Fontbonne Academy, which continue to flourish today.


March 1980 - St. Joseph Villa established a cemetery for the Sister of St. Joseph.


In 1981, St. Joseph Villa Flourtown was opened to other religious orders of women and men in need of nursing care.


The Sisters of St. Joseph staffed many schools in Philadelphia, including Our Lady of Victory in 1903, Visitation BVM in 1911, replacing the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus who staffed the school from 1883 to 1911.  The St. Joseph Sisters staffed St. Carthage School beginning in 1916.


Today the Sisters of St. Joseph serve all over the United States, in Peru and Japan.


Anyone who has had an interesting experience with the Sisters of St. Joseph and wishes to share it, please email your story to Frank Adolf at:


The summer 2018 edition will feature the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.





Bob Dougherty:  This 24 lb. Halibut, which was caught on October 19, 2017, yields about 16 lbs. of Filets.




Bob does it again!! 

We think Bob is trying to catch one bigger than himself.


Andy Marino:  Frank, Thanks very much  to you and your team for undertaking the tremendous effort  involved in assembling the newsletter.  I'm happy to report that I'm still here and able to read it, having survived a particularly serious heart attack in February (the "widowmaker").  I'm doing well now, and back to work.


I was sorry to see that Pat Touey passed away.  In 1954, one of my first assignments in FA was to choose a classmate and write a story about what I thought he would do after graduating.  I picked Pat (a classmate from MBS) and predicted that he would wind up as the school janitor, which he thought was very funny.  I never learned what happened to him.


Frank O'Keefe (Alias the FOKer):  Frank, thanks again for another great job. You and your staff do a great job each quarter.  I know that I look forward each quarter to receiving this e-mail.  Keep up the good work.


Jim Prendergast:  I just finished getting the winter Edition up on our website.  Another very good edition.  I like the stories about the nuns starting out.  Also, my parents tell the story of my first day at Transfiguration.  The nun started asking me if I would be as good a student as my sisters.  I made some nasty comment to her and she threw me out of school and told me I could not come back until I brought a parent with me.  The next day the school called and they asked where I was.  My mother freaked out because she knew nothing about yesterdays little problem.  About an hour later my father walked into a store on Larchwood Avenue and found me playing on the pinball machine.  It took me about a month before I could sit down again and was allowed out.  My sister Joan is 82 years old and she still brings this story up.  Joan also adds that she was hoping I would be sent to reform school.  Prendy


Tom Wallace aka German John:   Frank, Great job on the Newsletter.  Got a kick about Tony and Bob getting ready to shimmy down the gutter pipe!!  Imagine 100 kids in one class!!!  Somehow the nuns did a great job.  Thanks for mentioning me near the end.  Good news; the cancer is gone!!  (Some people, who will remain unnamed, were chagrined because I could now speak very clearly!!  Just kidding.)  Tom--German John


Stan Faust  WC '62:  You do good work Frank.  Thanks, Stan

PS:  Yes, still working full time for wages, but with my 5 hour a day commute time it is more like a 65 hour work week!  Medical team says I have a good chance to make it alive through 100, so I have to keep working to afford my life.  Having good health is sometimes

a curse!


Steve Casale FSC:  Frank and others involved: Thanks for the Winter Edition which I enjoyed reading, keeping abreast of things.  Looking forward to the May 5 Re-union.


Jim Lynch:  Wordman,  newsletter is exceptional another great job done by all-inclusive.  This is an exceptional class "The Boys Of 58", glad to be one of ya'll.


Joe Murphy:   Frank: As usual what a great job in the newsletter.  Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Hugh Gilmore:  Dear Frank, Thank you for Winter Edition 2017…

Normally I read my emails as soon as they come in, but I didn’t want to read this one in a hurry.  I waited till this morning, a full week later it turns out, when I set aside time to sit and read at my leisure.  And my reaction: Once again the newsletter made me proud to be a member of a group of guys who still seem sharp and gentlemanly.  And it made me sentimental, seeing the RIPs and hearing the roll call.  Those were the days.  I don’t think there was one day during the years 1954-1958 that I didn’t want to go to school.  I loved being at West.  My home life was kind of scrambled and West gave me a sense of order and belonging that kept me going.  I also loved the Brothers…funny, friendly, smart and masculine (after all those nun years) and dedicated to teaching us.  And I felt that I got a good education and through the brothers developed a sense that dedication and loyalty and tenacity mattered. 


For anyone who wonders what my life has been like:  I went to La Salle, taught English in Cherry Hill and Abington.  At 30 I went back to school pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology at Penn.  Studied monkeys in the West Indies and in Kenya. Taught at U. Of Michigan and other places, but never got a tenured position.  Gave up academia, taught high school at Haverford High (the public school).  After ten years of that I quit and opened my own old ’n’ rare bookshop in Chestnut Hill, Philly.  Ran the shop for ten years, gave in to the rising tide of Internet pressure and now run the business, in a relaxed way, from home in Chestnut Hill. In 2000 (age 60) I said “now or never” and began writing every day.  I did that for 15 years and independently published several books and ebooks.  Nowadays I still run the book selling business and write a weekly local newspaper column about books and reading.


I shared that about myself because I’d like to know what some of the other fellows’ lives have been like.


Like so many others of our class I’ve had health issues in the past two years.  An RP last year, which fortunately was symptom free, other than on the PSA – funny how we all learn to talk with initials in a different way now than when we talked about cars when we were boys. 


I’ve been married twice and was blessed with a son each time. 


I wrote a memoir two years ago.  The first third describes Catholic school influence on me…MBS, Resurrection (in Chester), St. Ambrose and St. Clement.  Part 2 of my book is devoted to my years at West Catholic and La Salle.  There is no way to write a memoir, if you’ve been a Brother’s Boy, without mentioning them and how influential they were. 


Well, Frank, I set out to just drop a line and thank you for the newsletter and then, as old men will do, I got to talking.


Hello to everyone, Hugh Gilmore


James Conlin '71:  Hi Rich, Congrats on the 60th Anniversary of the Class of 1958's graduation.  Your class has always exemplified school spirit, camaraderie, and lasting friendships. 


Charles Porrini '49:  Frank, Thank you for the 2017 Winter Edition.  I went thru the Edition on the computer and now I printed it out so I can sit down and read it line for line.  As usual it looks like a lot of work and some beautiful pictures.  The three of us read it, but since Karen went to the School or the Holy Child in Rosemont, she really enjoyed the article about the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Thanks for sharing the Winter Edition with us.


Andy Jaskolka:  I truly hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, Holiday, and I wish you a Happy 2018!  No excuse I can provide will adequately makeup for my neglect in sending my greetings at a more appropriate time.  I hope you can accept my apology. 


We still live in Florida and survived Irma with less than $9,000 damage.  It was our first direct experience with a hurricane. Luckily it was down to a lower category 2 storm when it passed over us.  Our insurance company has been responsive to our needs.


We were able to visit our Son, family and some friends during the past year but my cantankerous disposition and aging body struggles with travel requirements, even with modern amenities.


Cindy continues to teach nursing and health courses part-time at a state college campus in our county.  She also worked part-time as a visiting nurse for much of the year but this has proved more stressful than anticipated, especially because she is expected to treat patients countywide, the fourth largest county in Florida.


You are often in my thoughts and hopes for your well-being and happiness.  I want to express that because those who know me realize I tend to pessimism, and to me the current world and national status is at a stress level and low point I could not have imagined.  The weather hasn't been helping much of the nation either.  We in Florida continue to be spoiled this winter with our nicer weather in general.


What more can I add?  Take good care of yourself and those you love, and when you can, pay it forward too.


All the best to you and yours, Andy


Thank You Card from Barbara Martini




Lillian York:  Thank you for the Mass card.  Your thoughtfulness and kindness is very much appreciated.  Eddie was very proud of West Catholic.  God bless you. 


John Staiber:  To: editors Frank Adolf & Frank Metzler - Many thanks for your interesting and informative article on the Holy Child Nuns. I've passed by Holy Child Academy on Shadeland Ave. and Holy Spirit School in Sharon Hill countless times but was unaware, till now, of the wonderful history behind these schools.  God bless each and every one of the good sisters of the Holy Child.

Also, I am saddened to learn of the passing of Joe Kady and was especially touched reading Dick Boyle's comments in the winter newsletter.  Joe was a very loyal friend to our class of 58.  Rest in Peace, Joe Kady '59.


Mike Mullen '59:  Frank, Frank, Jim, et al:  I always enjoy the Golden Burrs Web Activities.  I am jealous; as a West Class of '59 I look with great envy how effective you are in keeping the spirit alive.  Many of my friends and MBS neighbors are from the WC Class of '58.  (Bobby Doc, Bob Houlihan, Bob Dowd, etc.)


I share your newsletter with many EX BURRS living here in So. Calif. 


Really enjoyed reading about the history of the nuns and school parishes.  Great Research on your part.  God Bless, Mike Mullen '59









submitted by:  BOB DOUGHERTY


While moving, my yearbook surfaced and I came upon some ancient pics that could bring some laughs.  

Hope this comes thru for you, it should be fun.  Let me know.  Thanks Doc




DiRita, me and Leo Marks as altar boys @ MBS




Marks, Gormley and me as altar boys




In leather and very COOL, Johnny Mullen '57, me and a publican friend ( ST. JOHN BARTRAM) Charley Dever.




Behind the bar in my Greenway Ave. cellar at our '58 grad party is me, Sheridan behind me(hidden), George McKnight, "bottle of Cutty", Tom Sweeney, Brother "German John" and George Clifford.




In Cap & Gown - Pete Doyle and Jack Sheridan



Jack Sheridan

 Let us know if you can name any of the altar boys in the above pictures.  




submitted by:  FRANK METZLER


I often thought about Brother Galdrick John, Principal at West and how he knew the name of every student in the school.  My first day at West (Soph C) I was elected by the class to purchase lunch tokens for them.  Going down the hallway and about to pass the Principal's office, out stepped Brother John.  Mindful, I had never met Brother personally.  He said, "You're Metzler from St. Carthage.  He asked where I was going and I told him.  "Hurry along!"  Now how did he know my name? 


His secret... Brother John came to West in 1938 and was Prefect of Discipline until 1948, knowing all the student who were sent to detention.  He was Vice Principal from 1948 to 1954 and Principal from 1954 to 1963.  Brother had his hand in student and teacher's roster schedules.  He surely knew the names of all the students year after year and it sure didn't take him long to get to know the incoming freshman class.  He was certainly gifted with an excellent memory.

Brother John was at West for a total of 24 years and he was also the Director of the Brothers from 1954 to 1963.





submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF


One of my earliest remembrances from the 1940's was walking south on 52nd Street with my Mom and Dad on a Sunday evening in late April of 1945, having just finished dining at Horn and Hardart's Automat at 52nd and Market Streets.  We were passing a store front that had a central entrance with glass enclosed display areas on each side.  The left side enclosure was empty save for a large framed picture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt draped in black with a sign that read "Our Late President".  The right side enclosure had a large framed picture of Harry S Truman draped with the American Flag with a sign saying "Our New President".  My Dad explained to me that President Roosevelt had died and that Harry Truman was the new president.  That was the beginning of my interest in Presidential history. 


Memories are wonderful.  I am thankful everyday that I can still recall things from my past.




WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke, Jim Prendergast who is recovering from several back operations, a heart procedure and recent shoulder surgery, Tom Henry who is fighting Hodgkin Lymphoma, and Bob DiRita who has been sidelined for the past few years with health issues.  


Please pray for all of our deceased classmates and friends, especially Ed York, Chuck Martini, Brother Kevin Strong and Jack Woods.




Edward M. York - December 10, 2017




Charles C. Martini Sr. - January 3, 2018 




Brother Kevin Strong - January 3, 2018




John J. Woods - March 2, 2018


May Ed, Chuck, Brother Kevin and Jack Rest In Peace.





submitted by:  RICH BUZZA


Well, we have been through two Nor'easter's in the past week and we are still here, a bit damaged and shaken but still standing.  My 86 year old aunt spent the last week with Sheila and me as she lost her power with 4 downed utility poles.  No, she does not live in rural Pennsylvania but in Clifton Heights, Pa.

I have always said how much that I enjoy working with all of the guys on the Golden Burrs team and the getting to know guys in our Class of '58 that I did not even know while in school.  I don't know where I was in high school that I did not even interact or even remember meeting Frank Metzler, Johnny Staiber, Jimmy Lynch or our famous Frank Adolf and today I consider them all, some of my best friends.  That is the upside in working to put together these yearly reunions, the downside, however, is the all too often news of a loss of another one of our fellow 58'ers.  Always a little sadness comes with the bad news, a little remembrance of a hopefully laughable situation in high school and a final prayer. 

When this Newsletter is sent out you will only have 15 days to respond to our invitation to the 60th Reunion, so come on guys, and get your check in as soon as you can.

Don't forget Pennsylvania early Trout season starts March 31, 2018, see you all on the stream.



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