The Golden Burrs Events Committee members are pleased to bring you this 20th edition of the Class of 1958's Newsletter.  


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" there is a news release about a partnership with Drexel University to develop an open-grass area on their campus for both institutions to use.  


In the "News Features" section you will find a report on the Alumni Association's Annual Communion Breakfast, and the 56th Anniversary Reunion of the Golden Burrs of 1958.  Next, the fourth in our series of historic report on the West Catholic feeder parishes, tells the story of  St. Carthage Parish now known as St. Cyprian.  A special thanks goes to Frank Metzler for his Golden Jubilee Souvenir Booklet which was the primary source for this article.  Gerry Vernot sent the picture of the Church exterior which he took a few years ago.


Also, included in this issue is John Staiber's very interesting report about his family reunion in Ireland, which is a most enjoyable read.


Sadly, we have learned of the passing of three Golden Burr members of the Class of 1958, Don Christy, John "Brag Rag" Gallagher, and Bob McBride. 


The Fall 2014 edition will feature The Holy Name of Jesus Parish.  


If you have any historic information about St. Clement (post 1940), St. Raphael, St. Irenaeus, St. James, Visitation BVM, Our Lady of Loreto, St. Mary of Czestochowa, or St. Barnabas parishes (pictures or anniversary keepsakes), please contact Frank Adolf at, or 610-344-0716 or postal mail the information to Frank at 1539 Ulster Way, West Chester, PA  19380.  Currently, we have a few pictures of each parish, but only limited older historical information.  Your information will be returned to you.




submitted by: FRANK ADOLF



Born:  February 17, 1940


Died:  August 9, 2013


We learned of John's August 9, 2013 passing on the Monday prior to our 56th Anniversary Luncheon.  At the Luncheon, Brother Steven Casale read aloud John's name and the names of all classmates who's passing we learned about since the last reunion.  The above picture and information was included in the Luncheon Program handout.


The luncheon attendees were both shocked and saddened to learn of John's passing.


John "Brag Rag" Gallagher was the one person who the members of the Events Committee can thank for bringing us together as a "Team" in the year 2006. 


The goal established that year, was to plan for and organize the best ever three-day 50th Anniversary celebration that any West Catholic Class attempted to pull off, and without a doubt it was a huge success.  We have John to thank for the role he played in making it all possible.


In a greater sense, the majority of the Class of 1958 owes a debt of gratitude to John for the rekindling of old friendships, and in some cases the establishment of new friendships, that resulted from attending the 50th Anniversary Reunion.


John's Obituary is available on our website at:








PHILADELPHIA (April 2014)—West Catholic Preparatory High School

and Drexel University will enter into a unique partnership that will allow

the development of an open-grass area located within Drexel’s Vidas Athletic

Complex, at 43rd and Powelton Avenue, into a synthetic field for both

institutions to use. A $1.5 million gift from the Maguire Foundation will

make the transformation possible.

“West Catholic Prep is an educational pillar in this neighborhood that Drexel cares deeply about,” said Drexel President John A. Fry. “We’re proud to share this facility with their student-athletes, who learn the values of discipline, collaboration and teamwork while promoting pride and community at their school. And we’re incredibly grateful to Jim and Frances Maguire for believing in and supporting Drexel’s mission of civic engagement.”


The Vidas Athletic Complex currently accommodates Drexel’s eight men’s and women’s varsity, 10 club sports as well as intramural play. The addition of a new synthetic field will give Drexel’s teams another weather-resistant area to practice, which will ease the scheduling burden at the complex and create new opportunities for the University’s student-athletes.


“This is a dream 24 years in the making,” said Brother Richard Kestler, FSC, President of West Catholic Prep.  “Since 1989, West Catholic Prep has been looking for a site to serve as a practice field for its teams. Thanks to this partnership with Drexel and the Maguire Foundation, West Catholic Prep students will have a state-of-the-art facility and a site we are proud to call our home field.”


West Catholic Prep will use the field to practice football. The team currently practices at the Philadelphia Recreation Center Field at 48th St. and Woodland Ave. The close proximity of Drexel’s athletic complex—located at 43rd St. and Powelton Ave.—to West Catholic Prep will allow the school to save on transportation costs and reinvest the funds to support other areas in need.


“As a graduate of Saint Joseph's University I was exposed to the Jesuit philosophy that ‘we must be men and women for others,’ and today this is my core belief,” said James J. Maguire, president of the Maguire Foundation. “In partnership with 22 high schools and 20 universities, I believe our foundation can make a positive impact on the students we serve and on our community at large. The Drexel/West Catholic Prep partnership is a natural fit because of their location and the fact that Drexel is on the academic leading edge. The partnership will serve the West Catholic Prep students and benefit the West Philadelphia community.”


Maguire, and his wife, Frannie, are founders of the Maguire Foundation, a philanthropic enterprise that primarily focuses its resources on education. Their focus is to assist children and young adults with an opportunity to benefit from a quality education. The Foundation partners with institutions and families of need and provides tuition, scholarship assistance and grants for education through grade school, high school and college. For more information about the foundation, visit:




After many years of unselfish dedication and commitment to West Catholic, George Light will be leaving his position with the school at the end of June.


George will continue to serve on the Board of the Alumni Association, as a member of the "Burrs at the Beach" organization, and the Class of '58 Events Committee.


After June 30th George may be contacted by e-mail at


We wish George and Barbara all the best in the years to come.




Burrs at the Beach - Sunday, July 6, 2014 - Westy's Irish Pub, North Wildwood, NJ

For more information contact George Light at 

cell 610-996-2015





submitted by: FRANK ADOLF


The 93rd Annual Communion Breakfast and Awards Ceremony of the West Catholic Alumni Association was held on Sunday, May 4th, at the Springfield Country Club.  The Reverend Robert D. Wiesenbaugh S.J. '53 was the celebrant with the Rev. Mr. Joel Ziff '50 as Deacon of the Mass.  Members of the Golden Anniversary Class of 1964 and the Silver Anniversary Class of 1989 assisted at the Mass.  Rich McCann '68 was the Cantor. 


Breakfast was served after the Mass and the awards Ceremony once again provided all with the opportunity to honor the many accomplishments of fellow grads of West Catholic.   Attendance was approximately 350 which included loyal alums, wives, husbands, children, grandchildren and friends of the award recipients. 


The class of 1958 was well represented by the following members:  Frank Adolf, Rich Buzza, Jim Clark, Frank Metzler, Larry Doran, Bob Dowd, Anthony Evangelista, Joe Gavaghan, Charlie W. Johnson, George Light, Jim Lynch, and Bill Marella.  


Tom DeFelice '64, the Master of Ceremonies for many past Communion Breakfasts, came out of retirement to host this year's event. 


Tom introduced Brother Richard Kestler, President of West Catholic, who spoke about several major accomplishments at West.  In connection with Drexel University, a new Engineering Technology Academy will begin in the Fall of 2014, which will prepare students for entry into college engineering programs.  With Lankenau Hospital, West will partner in the introduction of a Health Career Program across the four year curriculum.  This program will give both hands on experience as well as invite exploration of various medical careers. 


Brother announced that Imani Richburg has been awarded the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarships for 2014.  This is the ninth time that a student from West has been awarded a Millennium Scholarship, which covers full tuition and board through a doctorate program. 


Tuition assistance has exceeded $1.1 Million, and 140 new students have been enrolled.  After one year the operating deficit has been reduced by $500,000.


After Brother Richard's comments, Tom moved the program along, interjecting his unique brand of humor throughout the ceremony.  


The Alumni Association has created a new award named the "Blue & Gold Award" which will be given annually to an Alumna who exemplifies the West Catholic Tradition, has achieved success in her chosen field and who has contributed significantly of her time and talents to the West Catholic Community.  The title "Blue & Gold Award" was chosen since blue and gold were the colors of the West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School and are included in West Catholic Prep's colors. 


The first honoree for the inaugural presentation of the new Blue & Gold Award, Ms. Margaret Porter '40, formerly of St. Carthage Parish, was unanimously chosen.  Ms. Porter had a very long and successful career at the Philadelphia Naval Base, beginning in 1942 and continuing until her retirement in 1996.  She was the highest-ranking civilian at the Naval Base.  Ms. Porter has a long-standing and influential involvement with the West Philadelphia Catholic Girls Alumnae Association and is well known to the members of the West Catholic Family.   She served for three terms as President of the Alumnae Association and continues to serve on the Association's Executive Board.


The other awardees were:  Rev. Robert D. Wiesenbaugh, S.J. '53 (Brother D. Aloysius Award), James R. Hopely, '55 (Brother G. John Owens Award); Joseph P. Batory '60 (Brother Anselm Award); Joseph Horning '60 (William McGarvey Award);  John Tomosky '63 (Golden Burr Award); and Margaret (Ford) Rhoades '71 (Bishop McCort Award) . 


The following members of the Golden Anniversary Class of 1964 and the Silver Anniversary Class of 1989 were honored: Charles "Bucky" Antell '64, Thomas Connell '64, and Michael Hisler '64, received the 50th Anniversary Golden Burr Award.  Brian Joslin '89, and Matt McCauley '89, received the 25th Anniversary Silver Burr Award. 


Each recipient expressed his and her thanks to the Alumni Association for their award and in many cases spoke about their personal experiences at West and the impact that West and the Christian Brothers made on their lives. 


On behalf of the members of the Golden Burrs Class of 1958, a donation of $125.00 was made to the Alumni Association, representing the proceeds from the sale of the 55th Anniversary Commemorative Plaques.


Rich Buzza was the winner of a $100.00 drawing prize and promptly gave the money to Brother Richard as an additional donation.  


Unique to this events at the closing, the Alumnas in attendance sang the Girls' school song, which was followed by the singing of the Boys' school song by the alumni present.





submitted by: FRANK ADOLF



Brother Steven Casale (partially hidden) Sam McGhie, Rich Buzza (hidden in back), Joe Grimley, Tom Wallace aka German John speaking with Dennis O'Leary, Frank Metzler (in back), Tom Sweeney, Bob Dowd (sweater), Frank O'Keefe, Tom Kohlenberg



The Golden Burrs of the Class of 1958 held their annual luncheon reunion at the Clarion Hotel in Essington, PA on Thursday, May 15, 2014.  A total of 50 classmates and friends of the class were in attendance. 


During the cocktail hour, all had the opportunity to view the parish posters and remembrances of the Christian Brothers created by Jim Clark and Frank Metzler.


It was our honor to have in attendance several special guests including, Brother Richard Kestler, President of West Catholic, Mr. Tom Wallace aka Brother “German” John, and, from the class of 1958, Brothers' Steven Casale and Larry Dempsey.


Once again George Light was the Master of Ceremonies.  George welcomed everyone and introduced our honored guests.  Then, Brother Steven offered the invocation.


After a most enjoyable lunch, Brother Richard provided everyone with an enthusiastic update on the good things that are happening at West Catholic.  Brother remarks mirrored  those he made at the Communion Breakfast as reported above.


George advised everyone that Frank McDonnell, who was called away for a meeting in Washington, has written an autobiography which will be published shortly.  A draft copy of the book and posters advertising the future sale were available for all to review.  Frank donated enough hats for everyone and a number of sport shirts, that were left over from the West Catholic St. Patrick's Parade contingent.


Feedback from our classmates indicates that many are unable to attend the luncheon in May because the snowbirds aren't back from Florida, others are on vacations, attending graduations, weddings, and other Springtime events.  In an effort to increase attendance,

a proposal to move the next annual luncheon from May to September of 2015 was discussed and voted upon.  The overwhelming

majority opted to keep the luncheon in the month of May.  The committee will plan for the next luncheon in May, 2015.


As always, the highpoint of the day was the feeling of friendship and camaraderie while meeting-up with old friends from so many years ago.  The time from Noon forward just seemed to fly by as everyone was engrossed in talking about their remembrances of the four short years at West, years that mean so much to all of us. 


This year's winner of the 50-50 drawing was Ed Alioto.  Ed donated $30.00 of his winnings. 


The 50-50 proceeds and contributions made by Frank O'Keefe, John Staiber, Joe Gavaghan, Tom Henry, Jim English and Ed Alioto will be added to the WC Class of '58's account to be used for future charitable distributions in the name of the Class and for St. La Salle Auxiliary perpetual enrollments for our deceased members.  Thank you for your participation in the 50-50 and also to our donors for their generosity.


Also, thank you our loyal attendees and to the Events Committee for organizing this annual event.

Hope to see you next year for the 57th commemoration of the Golden Burrs of 1958's graduation from West Catholic.  Remember, that next year most of us will be turning 75 years of age, so we will have another reason to celebrate.

For more pictures of the luncheon visit our website at:



On behalf of the Golden Burrs of 1958, a portion of the proceeds from the May 2014 Luncheon, in the amount of $250.00, has been donated to West Catholic Preparatory High School. 


Bucks County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:

Saint Mark (Bristol) and Saint Ann (Bristol) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Mark Parish.  The two parishes are located ..49 miles from each another.  The Saint Ann church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

Saint Charles Borromeo (Bensalem) and Our Lady of Fatima (Bensalem) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Charles Borromeo Parish.  The two parishes are located 2.78 miles from each other.  The Our Lady of Fatima church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

Saint Thomas Aquinas (Croydon) and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (Bensalem) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish.  The two parishes are located 1.2 miles from each other.  The Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

Saint Frances Cabrini (Fairless Hills) and Saint Joseph the Worker (Fallsington) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish. The two parishes are located 3 miles from each other.  The Saint Joseph the Worker church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.


Queen of the Universe (Levittown) and Immaculate Conception (Levittown) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Queen of the Universe Parish. The two parishes are located 3 miles from each other.  The Immaculate Conception church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 

Delaware County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:

Saint George (Glenolden) and Holy Spirit (Sharon Hill) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint George Parish.  The two parishes are located 1.3 miles from each other.  The Holy Spirit church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.


Saint Gabriel (Norwood) and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (Essington) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Gabriel Parish.  The two parishes are located 2 miles from each other.  The Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

Our Lady of Peace (Milmont Park) and Notre Dame de Lourdes (Swarthmore) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Our Lady of Peace Parish.  The two parishes are located 1.4 miles from each other.  The Notre Dame de Lourdes church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.


Montgomery County Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014:


Sacred Heart (Swedesburg), Saint Augustine (Bridgeport) and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Bridgeport) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Sacred Heart Parish. Sacred Heart is located less than a half mile from the other two churches.  The Saint Augustine and Our Lady of Mount Carmel church buildings will become worship sites of the newly formed parish.  


Saint Matthew (Conshohocken), Saint Gertrude (West Conshohocken), Saint Mary (Conshohocken) and Saints Cosmas and Damian (Conshohocken) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Matthew Parish.  Saint Matthew is located less than 1 mile from the other three churches.  The Saint Gertrude, Saint Mary, and Saints Cosmas and Damian church buildings will become worship sites of the newly formed parish.

Queen of Peace (Ardsley) and Saint John of the Cross (Roslyn) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Queen of Peace Parish.  The two parishes are located 1.6 miles from each other.  For the time being, the Saint John of the Cross church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish. 


City of Philadelphia Parish Announcements Effective July 1, 2014

Saint Monica (South Philadelphia) and Saint Edmond (South Philadelphia) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Monica Parish.  The two parishes are located less than one mile from each other.  The Saint Edmond church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.

Saint Richard (South Philadelphia) and Holy Spirit (South Philadelphia) Parishes will merge at the location and keep the name of Saint Richard Parish.  The two parishes are located one mile from each other.  The Holy Spirit church building will become a worship site of the newly formed parish.





The establishment and growth of parishes in West Philadelphia was in answer to the spectacular immigration of Catholics from Europe in the late 1800's.  In 1886 Our Lady of Rosary Parish was founded in West Philadelphia,  The population explosion was answered by the addition of more row-homes, and the need grew for more churches and schools.  St. Francis de Sales parish was founded in 1890, Our  Lady of Victory in 1899, Most Blessed Sacrament in 1901, Transfiguration in 1905, and St. Carthage Parish in 1915 when the Reverend Patrick F. O'Neill was named as the founding pastor.


Rev,  Patrick F. O'Neill

Founder and First Pastor, 1915-1931


Frank Metzler's great-grandparents lived at 63rd and Catherine Streets and walked each Sunday to Our Lady of Rosary to attend Mass.  In 1905, with the opening of a small chapel at the new parish of Transfiguration, they walked to 55th and Cedar Avenue, where Frank's grandparents were married and where his mother was baptized. 


Their weekly journey ended in 1915 with the establishment of St. Carthage at the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Cobbs Creek Parkway - part of the western border of the City of Philadelphia.  The church was named after a sixth-century Irish abbot and Bishop of Lismore.  The "Moving Picture Theatre" at 60th and Spruce Streets was the site of the first Mass. 


September 1916 - During his tenure Father O'Neill built the school which was staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph.  In 1916 Mass was held in the school basement.


The convent was located in two row homes in the 400 block of South 62nd Street, near Larchwood Avenue. The initial eleven Sisters were the Principal, one Sister for grades 1 to 8, a music Sister, and Sister Pastor who was the convent cook.  Sister Pastor called all students "Paddy", when they  visited the convent, regardless of gender.



1924 - The Church Cornerstone was blessed.

1925 - A new permanent church was built and opened in this year.  Its very prominent tower was a response to the Ku Klux Klan's burning of a cross on the parish property. 


Bell Tower Construction - October 24, 1925


After fifteen years of dedicated service to St. Carthage parish, Father O'Neill passed away in 1931. 


Rev. Joseph B. McShea

Second Pastor, 1931-1942


The second pastor, Reverend John B. McShea served from 1931 to 1942 and among other achievements was responsible for installation in 1932 of the Marble Pulpit in memory of Father O'Neill. 


Rev. George W. Shay

Third Pastor, 1942-1943


The Reverend George W. Shay succeeded Father McShea in 1942 and served as pastor until 1943.


Rev, John J. Toner

Fourth Pastor, 1942-1955


In 1943 the Reverend John J. Toner became pastor and served until 1955. 


1945 - The Little Flower Shrine was completed and dedicated.


1948 - Due to the overcrowding at West Catholic Boys and Girls High Schools, the ninth grade students remained at St. Carthage and Sister Joseph Leona was assigned to teach all subjects.  Sister Joseph was replaced in September 1951 by Sister Mary Nicholas, who taught the last high school class in 1955, (Frank Metzler's class), afterwards all freshmen from   

St. Carthage went directly to West Catholic.


1954 - The original rectory, housing five priests, was located in the 500 block of South 62nd Street, near Cedar Avenue, until the new rectory, located at 525 South Creek Parkway, was built behind St. Carthage Church, and the new convent, located at 6225 Cedar Avenue, was built next to St. Carthage School.



Rev. James J. Marley

Fifth Pastor, 1956 - 1968 


In 1956 the Reverend James J. Marley was named pastor


1956 to 1958 - The Parish School was renovated, the basement was converted into classrooms, and the church basement was converted into a new Parish Hall. 


A point of interest...when Cardinal O'Hara visited each parish for Confirmation, he made it a point to visit the convent.  When the Cardinal went to St. Hugh of Cluny Parish at Front and Tioga, he asked the Pastor to take him to the convent.  The Pastor told him that the nuns probably retired for the evening.  He said, call them and tell them I am coming to visit.  The convent was located a block away from the church and on the second and third floors above a tavern, and of course the bar was open for business.  The smell of beer and smoke filtered upward.  Cardinal O'Hara was not a happy camper.  He told the Pastor to obtain the blueprints of the St. Carthage Convent and build a new convent in the school yard ASAP.  Frank Metzler heard this story, when he visited his seventh grade nun at St. Hugh's convent in 1956.


May 9, 1965  - The parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee at a Solemn Pontifical Mass of Thanksgiving with Archbishop John J. Krol as the principal celebrant.  Auxiliary Bishop Gerald V. McDevitt (knelling right of the altar) was the homilists. 




May 19, 1965 - Archbishop John J. Krol celebrating the Jubilee Mass



1965 - Sisters of St. Joseph


June 1968 - Father Marley was transferred to the pastorship of St. Philomena Parish in Lansdowne, PA.  


Rev. James A. O'Connor

Sixth Pastor, 1968 - 1982


1968 - Reverend James O'Connor was named to replace Father Marley and served until 1982 when he retired at age 75 to Villa St.  Joseph, Darby, PA. 



Rev. Charles H. Diamond

Seventh Pastor, 1982 - 1989


1982 - Reverend Charles H. Diamond  was named pastor of St. Carthage, having served at a number of parishes as assistant pastor since his ordination in May of 1961.


May 1985 - St. Carthage, three blocks from the MOVE row-houses bombed by police, served as a Red Cross shelter after the ensuing fire destroyed 53 houses, damaged eight others and left 270 people homeless.  Residents of the neighborhood ravaged by fire in a police confrontation with the radical group MOVE filed into churches the following Sunday to seek solace, offer assistance and look ahead.  More than 300 people gathered for a ''Mass for Support and Hope".  


Just before 11 A.M., a single bell began tolling in the tower of St. Carthage Roman Catholic Church, which has been sheltering refugees from the devastation of Osage Avenue and Pine Street, three blocks away.

Every 10 seconds it rang softly, a hushed, almost humble bell summoning the neighborhood to what the pastor, the Rev. Charles H. Diamond, called a ''mass of hope and support.''

As Father Diamond and two priests celebrating the Mass approached the altar, the bell stopped and the organ and choir began a rousing rendition of ''Amazing Grace.''  Father Diamond spoke in his sermon of the world's empathy for the homeless of Osage and Pine and their need for unity.  He mentioned a newspaper headline about the devastation that said, ''A neighborhood has vanished.''   'We Are Together' Father Diamond paused and then said firmly: ''This neighborhood has not vanished.  This neighborhood is not houses.  It is us. We are together.''

He said people throughout the world knew of the suffering on Osage and Pine.  ''We in this community are good people,'' Father Diamond went on.  ''We in this community have great values.  We in this community have touched the world because they would like to be like us.  Reflect to the world all the goodness they see in us.''

The people in the congregation joined in, and music filled the 75-year-old church to almost deafening levels.  Thus was St. Carthage transformed from a haven for the anguished and bewildered homeless of Osage and Pine into a place of robust worship.

1989 - Father Diamond left St. Carthage and the priesthood.  He joined La Salle University Campus in Bucks Co., PA, married, and died in New Hope, PA on March 17, 2012.  After his more than 3 decades as a priest, his career spanned many different professions.  For the 10 years prior to his death he has been Executive Director of the Bucks County Housing and Development Corporation, a non-profit corporation that provides housing for low and moderate income families throughout Bucks County, which owns and manages over 26 properties in the County.  He was also the recipient of the Community Service Award, West Philadelphia Branch of N.A.A.C.P., WCAU-TV-10- Spirit of Philadelphia Award and the Philadelphia Tribune Charities Humanitarian Award.  The City Council of Philadelphia commended him for his work in helping the community during and after the MOVE confrontation in 1986.


Rev. Albert V. Norrell (later Msgr.)

Eighth Pastor, 1989 - 1998


August 1989 - Reverend Albert V. Norrell was appointed pastor of St. Carthage. 

May 29, 1991Father Norrell was named an Honorary Prelate to His Holiness, with the title of Monsignor.  He was the first African-American in the Philadelphia Archdiocese to be named a Monsignor.  Frank Metzler attended the Parish reception in his honor.  Frank said, "during the procession to the main altar, he spotted me and came over to shake hands.  We had known each other as parishioners". 


Monsignor Norrell also served as Archdiocesan Director of the Legion of Mary.   Frank Metzler attended the Legion of Mary monthly meetings before he entered the Brothers. 


1998 - Msgr. Norrell was named Pastor Emeritus of St. Carthage, retiring to Villa St. Joseph in Darby.  He died on March 25, 2009 and his funeral Mass was held at St. Cyprian Church. 


Rev. James R. Bajorek 

Ninth Pastor and last Pastor- 1998 - 2000


1998 - Reverend James R. Bajorek was the last Pastor of the parish under the name of St. Carthage.  


July 1, 2000 - After years of being successful and loving parishes, the membership of many parishes declined.  On this date Transfiguration Parish (56th Street and Cedar Avenue) was suppressed and merged with St. Carthage and the parish name was changed to St. Cyprian after an African nobleman born about 200 A.D.  This is the official founding date of St. Cyprian Parish and the date that St. Carthage Parish ceased to exist.  Msgr. Frederico A. Britto was named pastor of the newly created parish. 


After his time as pastor of St. Carthage, Father Bajorek served as pastor of Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish, Philadelphia; Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, Philadelphia; and Saint John Chrysostom Parish, Wallingford. PA.  He was stricken with a seizure on July 8, 2011 and was diagnosed with brain cancer, resigning his pastorship at. St. John's in September, 2011.  He died on April 3, 2012 after a 9 month battle.


About St. Cyprian:

St. Cyprian converted to Christianity in his middle age and distributed all of his wealth to the poor.  He was ordained a priest in 248 A.D. and later was consecrated as Bishop of Carthage.  As Bishop of Carthage, Cyprian played a leading role in the history of the Church.  During the time the emperor Decius persecuted the Church, Cyprian went "underground" and directed his clergy and laity from a place of hiding.  Through many trials, Cyprian emphasized the UNITY of the Church.  His writings were followed by St. Augustine and are read to this day in the Church.  Cyprian was beheaded during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian circa 258 A.D.  His feast day is September 16.




A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by the new and first pastor of St. Cyprian, Monsignor Frederico A. Britto,

on July 2, 2000.



St. Cyprian Parish


The two former schools of St. Carthage and Transfiguration, with a combined enrollment of over 600, continued to offer a quality Catholic education to the community at their respective locations under the new name of St. Cyprian Parish School.  Later in the decade the former Transfiguration school, and the other parish buildings, were sold to the Boys' Latin of Philadelphia Charter School for Secondary Education.


2005 - Our Lady of Victory Parish was suppressed and merged with Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and was renamed Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish. 


April 2013 - Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish (originally Our Lady of the Rosary) was suppressed and merged with St. Cyprian (originally St. Carthage).  The church will remain a worship site of St. Cyprian.   According to a present parishioner, all Sunday masses are filled to capacity and the parish is happy with the merge.  These West Philadelphia parishes have come full circle with the mother parish (Our Lady of the Rosary) merging with its daughter parish (St. Carthage).


June 10, 2011 - Due to declining enrollment, St. Cyprian school was closed.



Former St. Carthage/St. Cyprian School 


September 2013 - St. Cyprian School was leased by the Boys' Latin Middle School (6th, 7th, and 8th grades). 




St. Cyprian's Children Center (also known as 3 C’s) aims to provide efficient, affordable pre-school services in a warm nurturing environment.  The Center is housed in the former Convent of St. Carthage Parish The pre-school population consists of children from families in West Philadelphia, Upper Darby, Yeadon, and other regional neighboring communities.  In addition to meeting the standard requirements of the state of Pennsylvania, St. Cyprian Children’s Center is a participant in the Pennsylvania Stars Program and offers a variety of activities designed to meet the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, language and spiritual development of children ages two and a half to five years old.




Sundays: 8:00 AM & 11:00 AM

Nigerian Mass: 1:00 PM

African French Speaking Mass: Every 1st, 2nd and 4th Sunday 3:30 PM

Weekdays: 7:00 AM in St. Josephine Bakhita Chapel
(8:00 AM during the Summer)

Sacrament of Penance - Sundays before Mass



















Br. Robert Sentman:  Dear Frank,  Thank you for the invitation to attend the anniversary luncheon in May, but I will be unable to attend.  I will be keeping all of our classmates in my prayers.

In Christ, Br. Robert, OCD


Bob Malachy Ward:  Will be disembarking in Cobb Harbor (Ireland) completing reverse immigration voyage.  Cobb to NYC 1949, NYC to Cobb 2014.  Greetings to classmates.

Tom Wallace aka German John:  Frank, Thanks for the invitation.  I am happy to receive it and happy to say that I will be there.  Your class has always been the best reunion class.  (German John does not kid!)


Gerry Vernot:  Frank, Thanks for the invitation, but I will be on a cruise to Europe at that time.  Hope all is well.

Best wishes, Gerry


Bob Dougherty:  Thanks Rich, Ann & I will not be able to attend (the luncheon).  I know I'll be butt deep in upgrading projects around here in preparation for our move to California later this year.  Going out to be with our 2 kids and 3 grandchildren while they might still want Granny & Pop Pop around.  We figure we have a 6 year window with them and Lord knows how much of a window with our own least we going pre-walker. And, yes we're taking the boat .....just can't see myself 3 miles from the Dana Point Marina and the Pacific without at least trying to swing keeping it.  If it's too expensive then I'll at least know I've tried.  THANKS TO ALL INVOLVED IN KEEPING OUR CLASS AND SPIRIT APPRISED AND ALIVE.  YOU DO A GREAT JOB AND IT'S FUN FEELING RECONNECTED TO SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR PAST.  ANN & I TRULY VALUE YOUR EFFORT !!!  I'll keep you posted. Sláinte, Doc


Des Butler:  Thank you for continuing this wonderful service to our class and our Alma Mater.  If possible pass my address along to Frank Gindhart.  What a wonderful age we live in when I am sitting on a beach in western Mexico reading about classmates and friends from childhood.  Sent from my iPad.  DES


Joe Myers:  Frank,  Great job putting together the Spring Edition 2014 of the Golden Burrs.  Especially enjoyed reading the history of my old parish, St. Francis De Sales.


Made me realize once again how lucky and blessed we were to have grown up in that era.  We never worried or even were aware of how our high school tuition was beings paid.  Never thought about how those over crowded Sunday masses with their brimming collection baskets, and parish events (De Sales Night), not to mention the many unpaid teachers (Nuns, Brothers and other religious) made our primary and secondary education experience affordable.  We, indeed, have a lot to be thankful for and a lot of people to thank.

Frank Metzler:  Thanks again, Frank, for all the time and effort in pulling the Spring newsletter together.  I now have a greater admiration for St. Francis Parish and all that has been accomplished there.  They sure do have a rich history and I'm so glad you have shared it with all of us to see.  Over the years I have met Msgr. Sefton, Father Fitzmaurice, and Father Hilferty, the last 2 before they were made monsignors.   


Bob Giampietro:  Hi Rich, Thank you for the Spring 58 Newsletter.  I really enjoyed it.  Great study of St. Francis de Sales, and a wonderful photo of you & your team mates, too.  Also, I saw my post was used on the attachments.  It was the one about block collection with Bing Crosby in it. Cool. Thanks.

Hope you are well.  All the best, Bob G. 


Ann Cahill:  Thanks, Rich. I remember that we used to go to dances at De Sales when we were in high school.  Ann

Bill Marella:  Frank, Another outstanding job.  Well done.


Brother Richard Kestler:  Frank, I want you to know how much I enjoy reading your class notes.  I like the content and the message.  I did not realize that this was number 19 and wonder if you could forward past issues my way.  I would also like to include these and future issues in our developing school archives.  Thank you and the committee for all the hard work and for something very special.  Know I am one who enjoys reading.  Brother Richard


John Staiber:  Hi Frank, Enjoyable newsletter and very informative also.  I can tell your heart as well as your hand goes into these articles.  My home parish for the past 50 years is St. Charles in Oakview (aka Kellyville to us old-timers).  Our current pastor is Fr. Slobogin who is mentioned in your article as being the last pastor of MBS.  So a big thank you to MBS.  And, thank you Frank and all others who had a hand in contributing to the newsletter.  Watson


Jim Clark:  Yo Frank,   TOP NOTCH.    GREAT WORK.     Clarkie


Gerry Vernot:  Frank, Thanks for the class of 1958's Newsletter. Again, you and your fellow classmates did a great job.  I see that you are going to feature St. Carthage (St. Cyprian) In the summer edition.  Attaching some pics I have from a visit there a few years ago.  Feel free to use them if you want.  Gerry 


Sr. Jeannette and Sr. Constance:  WOW, FRANK, this is WONDERFUL!!!!!  You have a GREAT gift!!  Sr. Jeannette

and Sr. Constance.  We've been here for 30 years now and love every single inch of it!!!  We'll see you at the reunion.  Blessings.


Vince Leonetti:  Frank you and the guys keep putting out the HITS.  ANOTHER GREAT EDITION!!!  Vince


Tom Hughes:  Hi Frank, Unfortunately, I will not be able to make the luncheon on May 15th.  But I want to inform you and guys that the work on the news letter for the class of 58 is really outstanding.  The info you pulled together about MBS and DeSales parishes was very interesting.  Hope to see you at Burrs at the Beach.

Best Regards, Tom Hughes


Joe Grimley:  Thank You members of the Event Committee for a very nice luncheon affair.  Everything was perfect.


Mike Bresnahan:  Frank,  Glad to hear you are feeling better, but I don't think your statement to that fact will satisfy everyone.

Sister Rose Angela made a surprise visit to the luncheon, and she wanted to know where the young Mr. Adolf was.  We told here you were sick, but that did not seem to appease her.


She wants a note from your doctor stating just what was wrong, and an explanation as to whether that ailment actually kept you from the luncheon.


Better get that note to her right away or you will be held after school cleaning blackboards for a long time.  Mike


Joe Gavaghan:  Hey Frank, Thank you and your crackerjack committee for a very entertaining & happy luncheon reunion of our '58 grads.  I know you were under the weather but everything was carried out successfully which made the day for the rest of us.  Your photo team also deserves kudoos for their outstanding work in taking, developing and posting the pix.  Cheers, Joe


Vince Leonetti:  Had a great time (Golden Burrs Luncheon)....sorry you were unable to attend but glad to hear your find now.  See you at the B@B .......until then stay healthy.  Best wishes, Vince




submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF



Before Light Switches



1950's - Classic Shore Motel



Two Great Cars  of the 50's and McDonald's original Golden Arches too!!



Can you name this place?  Hint it was in New Jersey.






WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke. 

Please pray for all of our classmates who have gone to their eternal reward especially  Don Christy, John Gallagher, and Bob McBride.







Donald F. Christy - November 3, 2012



John J. Gallagher - August 9, 2013



Robert J. McBride - March 20, 2014


May Don, John, and Bob rest in peace.



                  submitted by:  RICH BUZZA           

It is always a sad time at the end of each Newsletter to have to report on the passing or illness of one of our fellow classmates. 

As we report each classmates passing, I am sure that each one of us recalls some time in our life which involves a special moment or happening remembering our classmate, which brings a smile to our face or a tear to our eye.  Remembrance always leads to a short prayer. 

The Golden Burrs Events Committee has a special fund set aside which is maintained with the small profits derived from our yearly luncheons and any contributions received from our classmates.  Each Classmate who passes is remembered by the Golden Burrs Events Committee on behalf of the Class of 1958 with an individual enrollment as a perpetual member of the Christian Brothers St. La Salle Auxiliary.

It is the hope of the Committee that this remembrance of their loved one and of a fellow classmate will bring some comfort and consolation to a grieving family.

The complete listing of our honored deceased and their high school graduation pictures can be found on the Golden Burrs Website at:   Thanks to John Staiber, many of the pictures are accompanied by complete obituaries.



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