The Golden Burrs Events Committee members are pleased to bring you this 33rd edition of the Class of 1958's newsletter.


In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" you will find the following: a letter announcing the appointment of Mrs. Kelly Lanza as Principal of West Catholic Prep, replacing Mr. James Gallagher who is leaving to pursue other career opportunities; an article about the rebound of Catholic Schools in Philadelphia; information about awards given to Herb Magee and Brian Fluck; a report on the 96th Annual Alumni Communion Breakfast; John Staiber's report on the 59th Anniversary Luncheon of the Golden Burrs of 1958, including planning information about the 60th Anniversary Event; the Class of 1958's donation to WCP; the West Catholic Class of 2017 College acceptance and scholarship information; the date and pricing for Burrs at the Beach with an on-line link to purchase tickets.   


In the "News Features" section you will find the following reports: The unveiling of a Sixers Mural with a Class of 1958 connection; and the celebration by 39 priests of significant anniversaries of their ordination, including our classmate Father Richard McAndrews.


Sadly, we have learned of the passing of our classmates Vince DiLoreto and Dr. Ron Miles.


We conclude this edition with Mail received from our Classmates and Friends, a "Remember When".... article submitted by Gerry Vernot; a thank you note from George Light, and Rich Buzza's "Final Thought".











Gleaned from West Catholic Prep Website

Posted 06/14/2017


Dear West Catholic Preparatory High School Community Members,

It is our honor to announce that the Office of Catholic Education, in conjunction with school administration and West Catholic Prep’s Board of Directors have appointed a new principal for the school.  Mrs. Kelly Lanza, current Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs at Cardinal O’Hara High School (Delaware County), will assume the post of Principal effective July 1, 2017. 


Mrs. Kelly Lanza - Principal West Catholic Prep

Mrs. Lanza’s appointment follows an announcement made in March that current Principal, Mr. James Gallagher, who has served our school community since May of 2015, would end his tenure as Principal at the end of this school year in order to pursue other career opportunities.  We know you join us in offering both Mrs. Lanza and Mr. Gallagher prayerful best wishes during this period of transition.

Mrs. Lanza comes to West Catholic Prep after serving since 2013 as an integral part of the Cardinal O’Hara community, as both the Assistant Principal for Student Affairs and Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs.  For a short time she also served as interim Principal at Cardinal O’Hara.  In her dual Assistant Principal roles some of her responsibilities included designing and implementing new academic initiatives to advance the program offerings for students, overseeing the creation and rollout of academic programming geared for student success, working closely with the Athletic Director and supervising all aspects of the Athletic Program, as well as organizing all formal school events including dances, proms, commencement exercises, school productions, formal liturgies, and performances.

Just prior to her time at Cardinal O’Hara she was a Literacy Teacher at Belmont Charter School in West Philadelphia.  She held that position from 2009-2011 and again from 2012-2013.  In addition to her time at Cardinal O’Hara, she also previously served in Archdiocesan high schools as Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at the former Cardinal Dougherty High School and as a 9th and 12th grade English and Technology Teacher at Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls.

Mrs. Lanza holds a dual Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree in English and Secondary Education from Saint Joseph’s University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Cabrini University.  She is also an accomplished vocalist and musician who currently serves on the Board of the “Catholic Community Choir” in Springfield (Delaware County).

As we draw nearer to the close of another very successful school year and prepare for a new year just on the horizon with exciting plans already taking shape please be assured of our prayers for you and your families during the summer season.



Sister Maureen McDermott, IHM

Superintendent of Secondary Schools

Office of Catholic Education

Archdiocese of Philadelphia


Mr. Paul Colistra


West Catholic Preparatory High School




Gleaned from West Catholic Prep Website 

Posted 03/06/2017


By:  Martha Woodall, Staff Writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer



When a blue ribbon commission recommended closing four Catholic high schools and dozens of parish elementaries because of declining enrollment and rising debt five years ago, few schools seemed more vulnerable than West Catholic.

The high school had been a stalwart in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for decades, but enrollment had plummeted in 2012 to 248 students. Its imposing building at 4501 Chestnut St. had once held 900 students. The situation was so dire that West Catholic was the only targeted high school where the president did not file an appeal to remain open.

Fast forward five years. The school has been reborn as West Catholic Preparatory, and it illustrates how the educational landscape in  the archdiocese has been transformed.

West’s enrollment has rebounded to 410 students. Working with Drexel University, the school has added an engineering technology academy. It also has expanded arts and music programs, boosted fundraising and established its own board. And as West marks its centennial, it’s envisioning the next century.

"Now we’re at the point where the conversation is not just about fundraising and enrollment,” said Paul Colistra, who joined West Catholic’s administration in 2012 and became president in July. “Those two items always have to be present in the conversation about Catholic education, but I think for too long we allowed those two topics to dominate."  Now,  he said, West can focus on academics.

Colistra and others credit Brother Richard Kestler with West’s revival. Kestler left the presidency of the private LaSalle College High School in July 2012 to lead West for a third time. When he retired last summer, he was succeeded by Colistra, who had followed him from the boys’ school in Wyndmoor.

But in early 2012, the prospects for West and for Catholic schooling across the five-county archdiocese seemed bleak.

After spending a year studying how to ensure Catholic education in the archdiocese could survive, the commission issued a report that recommended closing 45 of the 156 Catholic elementary schools and merging others; closing four of 17 high schools and creating a foundation to raise money for them.

When the dust settled in late February that year, many elementary schools were saved.  West and the other imperiled high schools stayed open after business leaders pledged millions to create the Faith in the Future Foundation.  The independent body was charged with implementing business practices and managing the high schools and four special-education schools.

And the Independence Mission Schools network was set up to oversee 15 endangered elementary schools in inner-city neighborhoods.  “I see a system of schools that is 100 percent stronger than we were five years ago,” said Christopher Mominey, chief operating officer and secretary for Catholic education. “I think we are pretty well stabilized.”


Sister Maureen L. McDermott, superintendent for secondary schools, said the increased attention Catholic schools received and the emotional support the report triggered helped save them.  “I think the commission, along with looking at the financials, made people realize how much they valued Catholic schools,” said McDermott.“There was a real outpouring, not only from the people who attended and their families, but from business people who were not Catholic but valued what Catholic education had been able to do.”

H. Edward Hanway, the former CEO of Cigna Corp. who chairs the Faith in the Future board, said both enrollment and finances have improved.

High school enrollment is still decreasing, but the rate has moderated. The current total of 12,947 students - down by 422 students from last year -  is better than the 12,173 projected a few years ago.  “We want to grow the enrollment, and we are working hard to do that,” he said. 

The high schools have increased the number of foreign students and bumped up their share of  graduates recruited from  Catholic elementary schools.

The foundation has boosted annual fundraising from $11 million to $20.8 million, which helps defray tuition, which averages about $7,800.  When aid is factored in, most families paid $5,525 per student last year. Nearly 29 percent of the money  raised is for scholarships funded by businesses that receive state tax credits for their contributions.

As enrollment steadied, operating deficits the commission forecast have not materialized.  “We were able to very quickly eliminate the potential for deficits,” Hanway said. “And over the last couple of years, we have generated a very modest surplus.”

The high schools have improved technology, expanded course offerings and underscored their identities as Catholic  institutions. Each also established a board to set goals and create business plans.  Faith in the Future’s management of the high schools and special education schools has been so successful the contract with the archdiocese was extended last year to 2022. 

The mission  model also has been effective.  The  money those 15 inner-city schools raised for scholarships mushroomed from $1.8 million in 2012 to $10 million, and enrollment has grown from 3,800 to 4,865.  The mission network has provided teacher training, enhanced academics and made investments in technology and capital improvements, including a new building for St. Malachy in North Philadelphia.  “I’m thrilled that our financial to make the schools accessible to the kids who need it,” said Anne McGoldrick, president of  Independence Mission Schools.

Mission students come from low-income families.  McGoldrick said most families pay about $2,000 of the $4,500 tuition and receive aid for the rest.  Since 2012, only three Catholic elementary schools have closed.  There are now 15 mission schools and 104 parish and regional elementaries.  Total enrollment is 42,802 from pre-K through 8th grade.  

Roselee Maddaloni, principal of Nativity of our Lord in Warminster, said her parish school has 496 children, including students from nearby schools that closed.  Nativity has attracted students by opening a pre-K program for 3-year-olds, hiring a reading specialist and adding band and arts programs.  The school has a marketing director these days and a staffer to  help raise money and apply for grants.  “We realized that it cannot be the old parish model,” Maddaloni said. “We have to know how to market.”

Colistra, the top official at West Catholic, said his school had been a powerhouse in the community for decades.  But times had changed.  “I think the blue ribbon commission…really forced the schools to realize we can no longer sit back,” he said.  West forged partnerships with area Catholic elementaries to recruit more graduates, like senior Erica Watson, 17, who came from St. Cyril in East Lansdowne and plans to study biology at LaSalle University in the fall.  West also now attracts 40 percent of its students from district and charter schools.  Junior Ty’Nief Blakeney, 17, came from Hardy Williams Academy in Southwest Philadelphia to play basketball and won a coveted spot in West’s engineering  program.  Senior Cyrie Bogg, 17, transferred to West from Bodine, a district magnet school, to play football.  “This is the best decision I made,” said Bogg, who wants to study business in college.  “West Catholic has the great balance of great athletics and great education.”



Gleaned from West Catholic Prep Website

Posted 2/23/2017




Herb Magee, West Catholic '59, was honored on Tuesday, February 21st before his Philadelphia University Rams took on Wilmington University.  This season marks Magee's 50th year at the helm of Philadelphia University.  West Catholic Administrators, Coaches, and current basketball players attended the event.  Magee was presented with a framed West Catholic Jersey by Athletic Director Kyle Sheafer who addressed the crowd.  Magee in his remarks commented on how he's received many awards over his long career but the one from West Catholic meant a lot to him.  He remarked about how West Catholic was the place where he became a man, and where his love of basketball grew.

Magee is one of the most successful NCAA Coaches in history.  He currently holds 1032 wins and is one of only two coaches in NCAA history to reach the 1000 win total.  In Magee's 50 seasons as Head Coach he has amassed as record of 1032-409.  Philadelphia University beat Wilmington after the event to take first place in the CACC South.  Good luck to Coach Magee and his team on the rest of their playoff run!




Gleaned from West Catholic Prep Website

Posted 4/20/2017




West Catholic head football coach Brian Fluck was recently inducted into the City All-Star Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

A graduate of Temple University, Fluck has guided the West Catholic program since 1999 while winning nine PCL titles and the 2010 PIAA (AA) Championship.  The Burrs have claimed District XII crowns in each of the past two seasons, advanced to the 2015 PIAA  (AA) semifinals, and have notched double-digit wins eight times in Fluck's tenure.  




SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017



submitted by: FRANK METZLER


The 96th Annual Alumni Communion Breakfast and Awards Ceremony was held on a sunny morning attended by over 200 West Catholic supporters. 


The Mass was celebrated by Msgr. Robert Carroll, a graduate of the 50th Anniversary Class of 1967, and Pastor of St. Maximillian Kolbe Parish in West Chester, PA.

Mr. Paul Colistra, President of West Catholic Prep, gave an update on the progress of West.  He stated that West was the only Archdiocesan High School that had a continuous increase in enrollment over the past 5 years.  The present enrollment is in the 400's and the school would like to maintain an enrollment around 600 students.  Other West Prep faculty members were in attendance.

After the breakfast, the Presentation of Awards took place.  Fran Crowley '77, Master of Ceremonies, presented the awards to Helen Sheridan '55 who received the Margaret Porter Blue and Gold Award; Thomas McGinn '65 received the William H. McGarvey Award; Tia Noelle Pratt Ph. D '95 received the Brother Martin Strickroth, FSC Award; Linus McGinty '64 received the Golden Burr Award; Rev. Msgr. Robert Carroll '67 received the 50th Anniversary Golden Burr Award; John A. Raimondo '67 also received the 50th Anniversary Golden Burr Award; John D'Alonzo '90 received the Brother Aloysius Lumley, FSC Award; and Joseph Dietzmann '92 received the 25th Anniversary Silver Burr Award.  Brother Edward Gallagher, FSC was to receive the Brother Edwin Anselm, FSC Award, but Brother was unable to attend the Communion Breakfast.



2017 Awardees

Helen Sheridan, Joseph Dietzmann, Tia Noelle Pratt, Thomas McGinn, Linus McGinty, John Raimondo,

Msgr. Robert Carroll, John D'Alonzo (not pictured - Brother Edward Gallagher, FSC)


The Class of 1958 was represented by Rich Buzza, Anthony Evangelista, Bill Marella, and Frank Metzler.

The closing prayer was offered by Brother Brian Henderson, FSC, following by the singing of  the Prep Alma Mater, the Girls Alma Mater and finally the Boys' Alma Mater.





submitted by: JOHN STAIBER


May 11th 2017 saw another great Golden Burrs reunion luncheon at the Clarion Hotel in Essington.  This one marked the 59th anniversary of our WC graduation in 1958. It was wonderful and truly remarkable to see so many old friends again.




Rich Buzza, Frank Metzler at the Registration Desk


In attendance were a total of 48 classmates, guests and friends.  And, it was particularly nice to see George Light back at the podium as MC.  George has recovered very nicely from his recent hospital stay.



George Light to the Podium


After George Light's welcoming remarks and Brother Steven Casale's  invocation we all enjoyed a delicious buffet luncheon. 


Following lunch we had the pleasure of hearing from Paul Colistra, the new President of West Catholic Preparatory High School. 




Paul Colistra speaking at Golden Burrs Luncheon


Paul was kind enough to take the time to give us an update on the present conditions and the outlook for our school.  Paul came to WC from LaSalle College High where he worked under Brother Richard Kestler. He is a very positive gentleman and has an upbeat attitude which bodes well for the current and future students at WC.  But he made clear that it is a very different time from our WC of 1958.  There are only a handful of healthy feeder parishes.  Paul mentioned the great work that St. Francis De Sales in West Philly is doing to prepare students for a high school education.  Additionally, St. Barnabas and St. Laurence in Upper Darby are the other major feeder parishes for West.  And he pointed out the severe financial challenges families face in order to send their children to a Catholic High School with tuition as high as $9,000 per student.  Just about all current students need financial aid.


The present enrollment is over 400 and the goal is to get to 600 and that includes both boys and girls.  Paul took quite a few questions and from his answers it was clear that he has a vision and a plan to move WCP ahead.  He told us that 100% of this years class will go on to college.  That is pretty impressive and it got a nice round of applause.  Many thanks to Paul Colistra and his staff at WCP.


A Special Award - Quote from Frank Metzler:  "The Golden Burrs Events Committee for the class of 1958 would like to recognize an unsung member of our class who is truly loyal and supportive of West Catholic.  This gentleman makes a sincere effort to attend our class luncheons, flying up from Florida in the morning and returning home the same evening.  He also attends Burrs at the Beach as often as weather and circumstances permit.  We are proud to present this St. John Baptist De LaSalle plaque to a true loyal son of West Catholic, Al Gresh."



Al Gresh receiving the St. John Baptist De LaSalle Award from Frank Metzler 







George Light, Frank Adolf, Jim Lynch



Bob Dowd, John Staiber



Angelo Sivieri, Bob Schaefer, Bobby "Doc" Dougherty (from So. California), Bob Houlihan



Visitation Boys - Joe Gavaghan, Joe Grimley and Jim Gallagher



Don "Andy" Thompson, Tom Hughes, Jim Clark



Standing: Larry Signora, Tom Hughes, Charlie W. Johnson, Vince Leonetti

Seated: George Light


Planning for the 60th


Frank Adolf provided an update on the events committee's planning for the 60th anniversary reunion. 


Because of the excellent menu selections, reasonable pricing for both food and room accommodations, and the hotels proximity to the airport, we plan to return to the Clarion for the 60th Anniversary celebration.  We learned that most classes celebrating 60th or 65th anniversaries usually plan for a luncheon in order to accommodate those who cannot drive at night.  But, since we always have an annual luncheon and since the 60th is another milestone for us, we are planning for a buffet dinner event with a start time in the mid-afternoon which will allow sufficient time for cocktails and a leisurely dinner with an end-time while it is still daylight.


As with other significant anniversaries like the 50th and 55th reunions, wives or significant others are welcome as are those who would rather attend alone.  We are looking to have a relaxed, casual, all-inclusive event where everyone feels welcome.


The date of Saturday, May 5th, 2018 has been reserved with the hotel, so mark your calendars. 


Thanks to donations received from Larry Signora, Tom Henry, Frank O'Keefe, Charlie Johnson, Joe Gavaghan, and Denny Brennan, we have covered all additional expenses for this luncheon while leaving a small profit.  Added to our checking account balance and the 50-50 proceeds, we are in a position to continue our annual charitable donations to the school and the Christian Brothers on behalf of the class, and to offset some of the expenses for the 60th anniversary, keeping the ticket price as low as possible.  The committee will meet in September to finalize the menu selections and other arrangements.


Details will be published in the winter newsletter and invitations will be e-mailed and snail-mailed in early March 2018.


2017 Luncheon Attendees:


Frank Adolf, Ed Alioto, Jack Andiario, Dick Boyle, Joe Bradley, Denny Brennan, Mike Bresnahan, Charlie Brett, Des Butler, Rich Buzza, Brother Steven Casale, Jim Clark, Paul Colistra, Bob "Doc" Dougherty, Bob Dowd, Anthony Evangelista, Jim Gallagher, Joe Gavaghan, John Gillespie, Al Gresh, Joe Grimley, Bob Houlihan, Tom Hughes, Joe Inemer, Charlie W. Johnson, Joe Kady '59, Tom Koch, Bill Kohlenberg, Bernie Lawless, Vince Leonetti, George Light, Jim Lynch, Bill Marella, Charles McClelland, Sam McGhie, Frank Metzler, Frank Miller, John O'Connell, Frank O'Keefe, Bob Schaefer, Joe Semeister, Tom Shinn, Larry Signora, Angelo Sivieri, John Staiber, Joe Storniolo, Don "Andy" Thompson and Bob Ward.



The Golden Burrs of 1958 - May 11, 2017


Many thanks to our guests Brother Steven Casale & Paul Colistra and all our classmates and friends who came and supported this event.  It is always a great pleasure to reconnect and to see how everyone is doing.  With luck we will see many more of you in May 2018 at our big 60th reunion.  


More pictures are available on our Website at:





A donation in the amount of $200.00 was made on May 15, 2017 to West Catholic Preparatory High School on behalf of the Golden Burrs Class of 1958. 




The West Catholic Class of 2017 has announced their college decisions.  100% of the class has been accepted to college and they have received $13,402,992 in total college scholarships.  West Catholic since it's inception has always been focused on preparing students for life.  The Class of 2017 is proof that we are continuing to live that mission. 


Total Academic Scholarships: $13,403,992

Average Scholarship: $152,318

Percentage of Students Accepted to College: 100%

Percentage of Students Attending College: 98%

Percentage of Students enlisting in Armed Forces: 1%

Percentage of Students attending a Prep school: 1%






30th Annual Burrs at the Beach - June 25, 2017


Tickets from an Alumni Member - $20.00 

Tom Dorrian 484-431-0781

George Light 610-996-2015


Tickets Online - $22.00:


Tickets at the door -  $25.00








A Julius Erving mural has been looming over Philadelphia for years but now the good Doctor has some teammates.

The 76ers and Mural Arts Philadelphia unveiled a new Sixers mural at Broad and Federal Streets.  It includes Dr. J and a number of other Sixers legends.

Joining Julius are Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Bobby Jones, and Allen Iverson among other imagery.

According to the official press release:

The mural depicts incredible moments in Sixers history, including the Sixers 1982-83 and 1966-67 NBA Championships, as well as the organization's commitment to the community where its fans live, work and play.

The 31'w x 37'h mural required 127 gallons of paint and 1,270 hours to paint and install. The design for the mural was inspired by Brendan Dougherty, an 11-year old student at Waldron Mercy Academy, who submitted the winning entry in the Sixers Mural Arts Contest.


Ernel Martinez, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, incorporated elements of Brendan’s original artwork, hidden basketball plays and Sixers community initiatives into the mural.


Ernel Martinez and Brendan Dougherty

Brendan Dougherty is the grandson of our own George Light. 

A special thanks to Missy Light Dougherty for sending us this information.

The Sixers mural joins the massive Eagles mural near the Linc and the Phillies mural in Center City.




A total of 39 Priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are celebrating their 25th, 50th and other significant anniversaries of  ordination to the priesthood.  


Among the priests celebrating their ordination is our classmates, the Reverend Richard J. McAndrews who was ordained 50th years ago on May 20, 1967.  



Reverend Richard J. McAndrews

Address: Regina Coeli Residence for Priests

685 York Road

Warminster, PA 18974

   PRIMARY POSITION(S)                                                    DATE ASSIGNED           

                        Pastor Emeritus, Epiphany, Norristown                                              06/15/2009                                                


Date of Ordination: 05/20/1967                        Ordaining Bishop: John Cardinal Krol


 La Salle University                                            1975                                      M.A.                 

St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook                      1963                                       B.A.                                   


 Assistant Pastor, Epiphany, Norristown    06/1967

Faculty, Cardinal Dougherty High School, Phila    06/1968

Assistant Pastor, SS. Peter & Paul, West Chester    06/1982

Assistant Pastor, St. Monica, Phila    06/1987

Assistant to the Secretary for Clergy, Secretariat for Clergy    06/1989

Parochial Vicar, Blessed Virgin Mary, Darby    06/1992

Pastor, Nativity B.V.M., Phila    06/1995

Pastor, Epiphany, Norristown    06/2002

Senior Priest, Corpus Christi, Lansdale    06/2009

Senior Priest, St. Isidore, Quakertown    06/2011


Assistant Pastor, St. Cornelius, Chadds Ford    06/1968 - 09/1968

Chaplain, Catholic Home-Marple    06/1968 - 09/1968

Chaplain, Discalced Carmelite Monastery    09/1968 - 06/1982




25 Years

Father Timothy J. Buckley
Father John P. Hutter
Father William S. Lange
Bishop John J. McIntyre
Msgr. Joseph A. Tracy
Joseph G. Watson

50 Years

Father Vincent P. Burns
Father Robert J. Chapman
Father John J. Farry
Father Peter J. Foley
Father H. James Hutchins
Father Richard J. McAndrews
Father Charles J. Noone
Father Leonard N. Peterson
Father Salvatore J. Pronesti
Father Frederick J. Riegler

55 Years

Msgr. Francis A. Carbine
Msgr. John J. Conahan
Msgr. Philip J. Cribben
Father Anthony W. Dieckhaus
Father Raymond J. Himsworth
Msgr. John J. Jagodzinski
Msgr. Donald E. Leighton
Msgr. Richard Malone
Father John F. McBride
Father John R. McFadden
Father Edward A. Pelczar

60 Years

Father Robert H. Breen
Msgr. Paul F. Curran
Msgr. James T. McDonough
Msgr. Ignatius L. Murray
Father John J. Nevins
Msgr. Francis X. Schmidt
Father Joseph C. Stec

65 Years

Bishop Louis A. DeSimone
Father David B. Machain
Msgr. James E. Mortimer
Msgr. William J. J. O'Donnell

70 Years

Father Joseph T. Murphy




Charles Porrini '49:  Thanks Frank. A great Spring edition.


Frank O'Keefe:  Frank, thanks for placing my picture in this edition.  It brought back many memories, gained a few pounds and my hair is now grey, but I still have the same moves, but a little slower. As always, the group does a great job.  Hope to see you at the luncheon, I will forward a check to you to help for the expenses, same as last year.

Brother Kevin Stanton:  Passing on another issue of the Golden Burrs to keep everyone up to date on West Catholic.


Ed Kerr '60:  Rich,  Your Team at '58 Central  IS…A..FIRST CLASS TEAM…FOR SURE!  Thank you for including me on your mailing list.  LONG LIVE WEST CATHOLIC…


Jim (Dutch) O'Malley:  Will not be able to make the Luncheon.  I get all your communications and I thoroughly enjoy them. The series of stories about the collapse/ merger / etc of the old parishes and the series on the stained glass windows in our churches and their redistribution far and wide were brilliant. Also enjoy the updates on people and current happenings.  You and the editorial staff and the writers do a great job.  Happy Easter from Houston.

Charles W. Johnson:  Frank, once again you and your group made for a wonderful afternoon.  Please let them know how much they are appreciated.  Happy you take my "ribbing" in good humor - it is always good to see you.  Best to you and your family, Charlie






submitted by:  GERRY VERNOT


Frank,  In response to your request for memories from the 1940's and 1950's, I thought I would share my earliest recollection from the 1940's.

It is the day World War II ended with the announcement that Japan had surrendered, August 15, 1945. 

I was playing outside in the park area near 56th and Baltimore Avenue in the early afternoon that day when all of a sudden people came out of their row homes screaming,"the war is over, the war is over," while banging pots and pans.  No doubt, they had been listening to their radios anxiously awaiting that news. 

While people were celebrating, I went back to my family's apartment at 5906 Baltimore Avenue.  My next recollection is looking out my front window at all the people and traffic on Baltimore Avenue, as cars would come to a stop at the red light at 59th Street, kids would run up to the rear bumper of a car and tie empty cans to the bumper.  Then when the car would move when the light turned green, it would make lots of noise as the cans bounced on the street.

In recalling this memory, it was like a New Year's Eve celebration, but with a lot more meaning.  The United States of America had won the war and could look forward to peace.

An aside note, in 2013, I had the honor and privilege of visiting the USS Missouri where the surrender documents were signed on September 2, 1945 officially ending the war.

Best wishes,

Gerry Vernot






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 his third back surgery, Tom Wallace, aka German John, who is battling cancer, Tom Henry who is fighting Hodgkin Lymphoma, and Bob DiRita who has been sidelined for the past two years with health issues.   


Updated on George Light:  On March 29th George had a successful operation to remove blood clots from his lungs, he was released from the hospital on April 11th and is recovering at home. 


We were pleased that George was able to attend the Class of 1958's annual luncheon and the fact that he resumed his MC duties at the luncheon with gusto.  George has a series of routine follow-up tests scheduled for July 5th and afterwards plans to spend the summer at the shore.  


George submitted this thank you note to all his friends and classmates.





Please remember in your prayers all of our classmates who have gone to their eternal reward, especially Vince DiLoreto and Ron Miles.





Vincent J. DiLoreto - April 7, 2017 




Ronald D. Miles M.D.  - May 24, 2017


May Vince and Ron rest in peace.




submitted by: RICH BUZZA


I have been receiving many congratulatory phone calls and emails on the success of our  luncheon celebrating the 59th year of our graduation from West Catholic.  It was particularly enjoyable this year with the return presence of our esteemed master of ceremonies George Light, to his duties and leading us in our school song.  And a special thank you to Paul Colistra President of West Catholic Prep who was kind enough to say a few words about the school and it's mission.  Paul's enthusiasm generated so much interest from our attendees, whose questions really kept Paul busy, but Paul being Paul, hung in there and answered every question with clarity and much detail.  Thank you again,  Paul,  for going above and beyond the call of duty. 


Well, so much for the 59th and onward to planning the big 60th.  Our Golden Burrs committee has already begun that task.  We will be meeting over the upcoming year to plan a pre-evening dinner with the special emphasis on bringing your significant other as it does get a little dull looking at you guys every year and the girls always add a special touch to our gatherings.  As always, Frank Adolf will keep everyone informed via e-mail with all of the pertinent information but plan to keep open the first Saturday in May 2018. 


We have been planning these reunion gatherings, as a group, for over 12 years, and I know that I have said this before but I can not say it enough, I have never met nor worked with a finer group of men than the members of our Golden Burrs Committee and I am proud to be part of this group.   


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