SPRING EDITION 2020
This is the 44th edition of the Golden Burrs Quarterly Newsletter brought to you by your Events Committee members. From all of us to all of you....May you have a very Happy amd Healthy Easter.
HE IS RISEN!
In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" you will find an article about a zoning change that will allow for the construction of an apartment complex on the parking lot at West Catholic; an article about Paul Colistra's acceptance of a position as President of Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky; articles about the West Lady Burrs Basketball win over Archbishop Wood in OT for the Catholic League title, their City Championship win over Imhotep and their State Championship playoff games; updates on the Class of 1958's luncheon, the Alumni Communion Breakfast and Burrs at the Beach.
In the "News Features" section there is a report on the sale of St. Laurentius Church in Fishtown; a report about the appointment of Bishop Nelson Perez as Archbishop of Philadelphia and a follow-up report about his February 18th installation at the Cathedral.
Sadly, we have learned of the passing of three classmates: Bill Schroeder who came to West from Transfiguration parish, passed away on June 6, 2017; Al Capoldi who came from MBS parish, passed away on December 20, 2019; Bob Di Rita also from MBS parish, passed away on February 2, 2020; and Jim Feighery who was from St. Clement parish, passed away on February 18, 2020.
We conclude this edition with mail received from our Classmates and Friends; a "Remember When" series of newspaper clippings about West Catholic Cross Country and Track events submitted by Gerry Vernot; prayer requests for classmates who are ill; remembrances for our deceased classmates; and Rich Buzza's "Final Thought".
EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH WEST CATHOLIC PREP
7-STORY APARTMENT BUILDING AT 46TH AND CHESTNUT GETS GREEN LIGHT
GLEANED FROM WESTPHILLYLOCAL.COM
Proposed by outgoing Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, the bill passed after extensive negotiations between a group of West Catholic alumni and supporters of the school and the (SHCA). West Catholic wants to lease the land to a property developer to help fund renovations and provide scholarships for students. To make the deal financially attractive, the zoning had to be changed from to so that a developer can build a much bigger structure than is currently allowed.
“Our concern all along was that once they changed zoning, that property would double in value and we wanted to have some control over what kind of development went in there,” said Barry Grossbach, chair of the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee. “We felt that this was a special case because we are dealing with an institution that’s been around here for a long time and is part of the neighborhood.”
West Catholic supporters presented that included a seven-story building with 260 units and ground floor commercial. That was before the inclusion of affordable units and parking, which are part of the deal with the SHCA.
The Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee was willing to change the zoning for the property, which is a block from a Market-Frankford El stop and on a mostly commercial stretch of Chestnut Street. But they wanted some things in return. Here’s what they got:
• Maximum of seven stories.
• Ten percent of the building’s units will be affordable housing.
• 60 on-site parking spots.
• Prohibition of certain commercial uses, including liquor store, vaping or tobacco retailers, night club or other uses “inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
• Consultation on the design of the building, including materials.
• College students not included in affordable unit allocation.
• Property will not be sub-divided or sold on. The Archdiocese retains ownership of the property through a long-term (likely 99-year) lease.
• Three-year expire on zoning change if construction has not begun or substantial plans to begin are not submitted.
• No service entrances on Chestnut Street.
Gleaned from the Philadelphia Inquirer
reported by Joe Fite
photo by Tom Gralish
Tamia Robinson (left) and Destiney McPhaul (right) celebrate after winning
the Catholic League Girls Basketball Championship
Doubt was swirling around the Palestra on Monday evening (February 24, 2020) before the Catholic League girls’ basketball championship game.
Most of that doubt was surrounding West Catholic's Lady Burrs. After all, the Lady Burrs had not been to the championship game since winning the title in 1998. Meanwhile, it was virtually a home game for Archbishop Wood, since the Vikings had appeared in 11 of the previous 12 title games. And playing in the Palestra is a daunting task under the best of circumstances.
It didn’t matter that West had beaten Wood by 10 points on Feb. 4 to hand the Vikings their only league loss. This was different. This was the championship.
But there was no doubt in the hearts and minds of anyone associated with the Burrs, who got 30 points from junior guard Destiney McPhaul to lead them to a 65-60 overtime win. West Catholic also got 16 points from junior guard Ciani Montgomery, and 15 from senior guard Tamiah Robinson to account for almost all of its scoring.
There was not a shred of doubt in McPhaul. She came alive in the second half, especially down the stretch. She scored 11 of the Burrs’ 13 points in the last 3 minutes, 40 seconds of regulation and, with the sellout crowd rocking the building, McPhaul calmly drained a pair of free throws with 8.2 seconds left to tie the game, 56-56.
“I knew I was going to make them," she said. "But I was like, ‘I can’t miss.’ It was a lot, but I knocked them down.”
The Vikings (18-7) still had a chance to win in regulation. After a West steal and ensuing turnover, Wood got the ball back with 3.2 seconds. But a shot by sophomore forward Ryanne Allen bounced off the front of the rim.
In overtime, McPhaul set the tone early by draining a no-doubt-about-it three-pointer from NBA range to give the Burrs (15-5) a 59-56 lead.
“It was a big one,” McPhaul said of the shot. “I was feeling it. I knocked it down, we got it. I knew if we sent the game to overtime, it was ours.”
The game wasn’t quite in the bag yet. Free throws by Izzy Larsen (20 points) and Kaitlyn Orihel (23) cut the lead to 59-58 with 1:20 remaining in OT. But McPhaul came through once again with a layup with 1:03 left for a 61-58.
Montgomery iced it with a pair of free throws with 42.9 seconds left, and McPhaul and Robinson offset a layup by Orihel with two free throws to close out the scoring.
McPhaul had a little trouble cutting down the net, but she would like to get another shot at it.
“I want to win another one next year,” McPhaul said. “I want to win one every year.”
SECOND ROUND - PIAA DISTRICT XII 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
The Lady Burrs defeated Loyalsock Township 62-39 in the PIAA 3A second round playoff. Destiney McPhaul led with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.
Posted: March 12, 2020
DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS, THE PIAA SUSPENDED ALL BASKETBALL GAMES INCLUDING THE GIRLS STATE TOURNEY.
WEST CATHOLIC CLASS OF 1958 LUNCHEON CANCELED
As previously announced, due to concerns over the Coronavirus, the Events Committee decided to cancel the Class of 1958 luncheon scheduled for May 14. Hopefully, we can all get through this situation and reschedule at another time.
THE ANNUAL ALUMNI COMMUNION BREAKFAST - SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2020
76 INDUSTRIAL HIGHWAY
MASS AT 9:00 AM
$31.00 on-line at www.westcatholicalumni.org
BURRS AT THE BEACH - SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2020
THE INLET ON OLDE
(formerly Westy's Irish Pub)
North Wildwood, NJ
Contact George Light for tickets
We will advise you if the above events are canceled.
ST. LAURENTIUS CHURCH SOLD, ENDING 6-YEAR DISPUTE
By Matthew Gambino and Lou Baldwin - January 17, 2020
Gleaned from CatholicPhilly.com
St. Laurentius Church at Memphis and East Burks Streets in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood.
(Photo by Sarah Webb)
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s role in the long-running drama over St. Laurentius Church has ended, and the question of how to reuse the ornate 19th century structure for a secular purpose — and prevent it from collapsing into the street — will be taken up by a new player.
The sale of the church to 1600 Berks LLC went to settlement Jan. 13, ending the archdiocese’s saga concerning the fate of the church in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia.
St. Laurentius Parish was founded in 1882 as the first of several Polish national parishes in the archdiocese.
The stone church, which was dedicated in 1890, features 150-foot twin spires and it immediately became a neighborhood landmark — and the interior was equally beautiful.
The interior of St. Laurentius Church, closed since 2014 and sold in January 2020. (Facebook)
But by July 2013 few Polish Catholics in the parish remained and it was merged with the territorial Holy Name of Jesus Parish located little more than a block away.
Although St. Laurentius Catholic School remained open with its current enrollment of 200 students, St. Laurentius Church closed in March 2014.
It had deteriorated to the point that it would have been more costly to renovate the church, estimated at about $2 million, which was beyond the means of Holy Name Parish, than to tear it down at a cost of $700,000.
At that time an independent group consisting of former parishioners calling themselves the Faithful Laurentians successfully won historic certification for the church building from the Philadelphia Historic Commission.
That made it practically impossible to tear the church down even though city building inspectors found serious structural problems that would have to be addressed if it were ever to be used.
Meanwhile hearings of the city’s Historical Commission and Zoning Board ensued, along with lengthy court battles over zoning, and discussions with neighbors and a buyer planning redevelopment of the church into apartments all dragged out over the next six years. And the church crumbled further still.
Finally in February 2019, a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court opinion quashed an appeal of an earlier decision against the Faithful Laurentians, paving the way to redevelopment of the church.
The completed sale of St. Laurentius Church to 1600 Berks LLC, a Pennsylvania firm that according to published reports is owned by New Jersey developer Humberto Fernandini, means that the reportedly $135,000 spent last summer by the Philadelphia Archdiocese to stabilize the church’s façade and prevent its tragic collapse was money wisely spent.
The new buyer reportedly intends to transform the church into offices and consult with engineers over whether its imposing twin towers can yet be saved.
BISHOP NELSON PEREZ APPOINTED ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA
By Matthew Gambino - Posted January 23, 2020
Photos by Sarah Webb
Gleaned from CatholicPhilly.com
Proclaiming his successor as “exactly the man our church needs,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput introduced Archbishop-elect Nelson J. Perez, whom Pope Francis named as the next Archbishop of Philadelphia, at a Jan. 23 press conference in Philadelphia.
Archbishop-elect Nelson J. Perez is introduced Jan. 23 in Philadelphia as the next archbishop of Philadelphia following the appointment by Pope Francis. (Photo by Sarah Webb)
He will be installed as archbishop Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.
The pope had announced the appointment while accepting the resignation of Archbishop Chaput, who last September turned 75, the customary age for retirement by Catholic bishops.
Gleaned from CatholicPhilly.com
He thanked many planners for the liturgy and its participants in a relaxed style and physical warmth as he roamed the polished marble floor.
He noted the presence of Philadelphia's now two retired archbishops, Cardinal Justin Rigali and Archbishop Charles Chaput, whom he praised for his "great steadfastness" in making difficult decisions regarding parish life and archdiocesan finances during his eight-year administration, which "brought him great suffering and criticism/" He praised his predecessor's "faithfulness and courage," and said the archdiocese "owes this man a debt of gratitude," for which the congregation stood in applause.
Besides the more than 50 bishops from across the country, Archbishop Perez addressed the hundreds of priests and deacons in attendance directly, telling them "I need you, I can't do this alone", and referring to his brother priests as "us."
As to his plan for a pastoral vision as he begins to shepherd the Philadelphia Archdiocese, "I have no plan" he said. "I want to visit, listen and learn. I do embrace the vision of Pope Francis in "The Joy of the Gospel."
Archbishop Perez closed his homily with the following: "Never underestimate the power of the Spirit of God working in you, through you and despite you."
Papal Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Archbishop Perez, Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop Chaput
Recessional of Bishops
Archbishop Perez recessing from Cathedral
MAIL FROM CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS
Jim Clark: Thank You Frank, Metz, Buzz, Lynchy, for another GREAT NEWSLETTER. Clarkie
Stan Faust '62: Thanks Frank, I am still well enough to put in a 60 hour work week including commute time for a 40 hours of pay. I commute in my airplanes to near the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and go to my sites for my Army work. I still live in Nashua, New Hampshire. Dynamic Aviation | Innovation Takes Flight is one of the place I go to two days a week to do my Army stuff.
One of my current hobbies is study of the Sumerians from about 10,000 BC through about 500 BC in the area we now call Iraq. I sure wish that West Catholic would have taught some classes about early cultures like the Sumerians, because it would have helped me understand more about the cultures I grew up in and why we do what we do now as to religion, politics and engineering. Thanks again, Stan
Elizabeth Didlake: Morning, I just read WC news letter, lots of pictures of the school that I went to. Your final thoughts was so beautiful. I enjoyed reading it.
Charlie W. Johnson: Frank, Another great work on the Winter Edition of the Newsletter. I thought Rich Buzza comments and very thoughtful and spiritual prayer was very moving and to the point. Good writing Rich. Hope all enjoy Christmas 2019. And as Rich pointed out, prayers for our deceased classmates and the families they leave behind, not easy for them for sure. Charlie "W"
Jim Lynch: Frank n Frank, Just a line to let you know how much I enjoyed the Newsletter; especially enjoyed the article on the WC school tour, the photos were great and it was very informative. Thanks all. Lynchie
Bob Dougherty: (Dec. 18, 2019) Hey Frankie, Just had my left hip replaced (anterior) and they kicked me out the next day @ 1:30 in the afternoon, very mobile, only pain at the stitches that'll go away, and had to leave a hospital room with an ocean view of the Laguna Beach. Absolutely astounding. Lots of prayers, an awesome God and great doctors.
Just had to Christmasize my walker to lite and laugh the way! This is on Wednesday two days after surgery.
Today is Wednesday, 9 days later, I'm fully mobile, no pain, not even at the stitches, and about to give up the walker that I pledged to use for two weeks......not ready to give up the 3 naps a day that were part of the rehab prescription tho.
Probably ready to go back to painting after the holidays to put some gas in the boat. Thanks for your prayers. Holy and Happy Holidays, Bobby Doc
Bob Giampietro WC 1968: Frank, Happy New Year! Thanks for the newsletter! I appreciate being on your list. Cheers!
Joe Myers: Frank, Glad to hear you're back on your feet literally.
Really enjoyed all the photos showing the very positive things that are happening at West these days. They also greatly serve to encourage us alums to continue our financial and spiritual support of our alma mater.
Heard from Rachel, Dan Remy's daughter and from Bill Campion confirming receipt of the last Newsletter which included a memorial tribute to Dan. Thanks for sending it to them.
Saddened by the news of Brothers Gregory and Gratian Joseph. These two men are among my fondest memories of some of the finest teachers at West in the mid fifties.
Thank You from Betsy Powers
Thank You from the Di Rita Family
EARLIEST MEMORIES FROM THE 1940's and 1950's
submitted by: GERRY VERNOT
These are the clippings I have on cross country and track. Hope you can use them.
WEST CATHOLIC CROSS COUNTRY
WEST CATHOLIC TRACK
PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS
Care for the Sick -Transfiguration Church
WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke, Tom Henry who is battling Hodgkin Lymphoma, Bob Dougherty who had a total hip replacement in November, Brother Larry Dempsey who is suffering from dementia and now resides at the Lincroft, NJ nursing home, Brother Robert Sentman who is dealing with back problems, and Father Richard McAndrews who has Parkinson's disease and now resides at Little Flower Manor Nursing Home.
Our Webmaster Jim Prendergast completed Chemo and Radiation treatments in February and will be tested again in March to determine if he requires follow-up treatments. Jim said he did pretty well so far and that with our prayers he will beat this problem.
Two former teachers from West are in need of prayers; Brother Gregory Cavalier has moved to the nursing home in Lincroft, NJ, and former Brother Gratian Joseph (John Gardiner) is in the beginning stage of Alzheimer's disease.
WE REMEMBER and pray for all of our deceased classmates who have gone to their eternal reward, especially Bill Schroeder, Al Capoldi, Bob Di Rita and Jim Feighery.
WILLIAM J. SCHROEDER - June 6, 2017
ALBERT E. CAPOLDI - December 20, 2019
ROBERT A. DI RITA - February 2, 2020
JAMES J. FEIGHERY - February 18, 2020
May Bill, Al, Bob and Jim Rest In Peace.
submitted by: RICH BUZZA
It is the 12th of March and I am sad in the fact that I am writing this article regarding the canceling of our Annual Luncheon. I want everyone of our guys to know that this decision to cancel was the best and only action that the committee could possibly take under the circumstances. As we all know we, as a group being 80 years old, are most susceptible to this virus and it looks like this will keep going right through to the end of April or even later, therefore the committee felt that it was better to cancel the luncheon now, rather than later. So, with the most overused statement this year "it is with an abundance of caution" that we canceled the luncheon. Any of you who have sent in your checks, rest assured that Frank Adolf will shred them, and we can only hope that next year brings better conditions the world over and this we pray. Amen.
Wishing you a prayerful and joyous Easter. He has Risen...He has Risen Indeed!
God Bless WEST CATHOLIC! Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever.
KEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVE!
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