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WINTER EDITION 2015

 

This is the 26th edition of the Golden Burrs Quarterly Newsletter sponsored by the Events Committee Members.  All the committee members wish you and yours a very.... 

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. 

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MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

by

Hector Garrido

 

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" are the Calendar of Events; information about the 2016 Class of 1958 Luncheon; other happenings at West and reports on West Catholic Prep's Varsity Football games.

 

In the "News Features" section you will find pictures of the Papal Visit to Philadelphia, a report about new senior housing in Port Richmond, and the history of The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish.  

 

Sources used for the Visitation article were: "Catholicity in Philadelphia from the earliest missionaries down to the present time"(1909) written by Reverend Joseph L. J. Kirlin; The 2008 publication "Our Faith-Filled Heritage - The Church of Philadelphia, Bicentennial as a Diocese 1808-2008"; a History of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, Volume 1 from 1832 - 1943 and Volume II from 1943 - 1953; and the following publications which are available at the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC) located at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary: "Souvenir Album: Silver Jubilee of Rev. Thomas Barry, Rector of the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation, Philadelphia, 1867-1892"; "Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church: A Century Together in Christ."1974, and the annual Catholic Directories for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  A special thanks to our own Jim Gallagher and Joe Gavaghan for the pictures of the prom and the 1954 graduation class.

 

The Spring 2016 edition will feature St. James the Greater Parish which will be the final parish report in the series. 

 

Sadly, we learned of the passing of our classmate Jim English,  RIP Jim.

 

As always we close with comments from our readers, the "Remember When" section, prayers for our classmates, and "Final Thought" by Rich Buzza

 

PAST AND UPCOMING HAPPENINGS AT WEST PREP

 

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WEST CATHOLIC CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

Alumni Communion Breakfast - Springfield Country Club - Sunday, April 17, 2016

 

Burrs at the Beach - Westy's Irish Pub, Wildwood, NJ - Sunday, June 26, 2016

 

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE NEXT GOLDEN BURRS OF '58 LUNCHEON

 

The GOLDEN BURRS OF '58 will be celebrating the 58TH ANNIVERSARY of their graduation from

 

West Catholic Boys High School

 

On THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2016.

 

All classmates and friends of the Class of 1958 are welcome.

 

Details will be published in the Spring of 2016 Newsletter and invitations will be emails in mid-March '16.  

 

 

INTRODUCING POP'S CAMPUS STORE!

gleaned from West Catholic Prep Website

 

West Catholic Prep now has a new Campus Store named in honor of Frank "Pop" McNally '56. 

 

Thanks to Craig Sabatino and INTECH Construction for building this for the school (pro-bono), just months after completing the state-of-the-art Fitness Center (also pro-bono)!   

 

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Available is all school "spirit wear" - all brands, all seasons, for him and her!  Open to the public! 

 

 

WEST CATHOLIC 2014 - 2015 ANNUAL REPORT OF DONORS

gleaned from West Catholic Prep Website

 

The Class of 1958 (Boys and Girls combined) placed fourth in the Top 5 "By Participation" with 92 classmates making donations to West Catholic.

 

 

WEST CATHOLIC PREPARATORY SCHOLARSHIP AWARD

 

submitted by: FRANK METZLER

 

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia reported on their website on October 16, 2015 that one freshman student from each of their 17 catholic high schools would receive a $3,000 partial scholarship from the StoneMor Company and be recognized as a  StoneMor Scholar for the 2015-2016 school year.


The company was delighted to be able to provide some tuition assistance to talented young people.  The establishment of the StoneMor Scholarship Foundation continues to strengthen the partnership between StoneMor and the Archdiocese.  In 2014, the Archdiocese entered into a long term agreement to turn over the care and management of its 13 Catholic cemeteries to StoneMor.


The scholars were nominated by a committee comprising of the School President, the Principal, Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs, and the Director of Guidance.  The students selected were based on a combination of academic performance, a recommendation from their elementary school teachers and administrators, and a demonstrated need for financial aid.

The scholar student from WEST CATHOLIC PREPARATORY HIGH SCHOOL was Jayla Burnett-Reeves from St. Francis de Sales Parish.  Congratulations Jayla!

 

 

WEST CATHOLIC PREP VARSITY FOOTBALL REPORTS

 

submitted by:  JIM LYNCH & FRANK ADOLF

 

September 24 - West Catholic Prep 6 - Archbishop Wood 48

gleaned from The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

  

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

0

6

0

0

6

Archbishop Wood

14

14

14

6

  48

This neutral non-conference game which was set for Saturday 9/26, had to be rescheduled to 9/24 because of the Papal visit to Philadelphia.

The Vikings quarterback Anthony Russo threw two interceptions on his first six throws, but finished the evening 9 of 14 for 167 yards with a pair of touchdowns.   West Prep manage to get, what would be their only TD, in the second quarter.

 

The Burrs, trailing 28-6 at half-time received the ball to start the third quarter.  After a Burrs fumble, Wood drove 45 yards in six plays and Russo found his favorite receiver Mark Webb in the corner of the end zone for a 22 yard TD.  Two more touchdowns by the Vikings resulted in the final score.

 

October 3 - West Catholic Prep 18 - Lansdale Catholic 2

gleaned from Philly.com

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

6

0

6

6

18

Lansdale Catholic

0

2

0

0

2

 

Lansdale Catholic managed only a second quarter safety in a 18 -2 loss at home in this Philadelphia Catholic League Class AA football action at Wissahickon High School.  The Burrs completed 6 of 9 passes for 129 yards with no TD's.  Forty-three rushing attempts resulted in 232 yards and 3 TD's.

 

October 9 - West Catholic Prep 28 - Neumann-Goretti 0

gleaned from Philly.com

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

6

0

8

14

28

Neumann-Goretti

0

0

0

0

0

 

Craig Jones' 84-yard kickoff return in the first quarter got the Burrs rolling in this conference game at Widener.  The Burrs went on to an easy win against Neumann-Goretti by a score of 28-0.  West is tied atop the Catholic League AA play with their rival Conwell-Egan who they will play against on October 24th.   Go Burrs!  

 

October 16 - West Catholic Prep 48 - Bishop McDevitt 13

gleaned from Philly.com/rallypa

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

14

6

15

13

48

Bishop McDevitt 

7

6

0

0

13

 

Craig Jones scored five touchdowns, including two on punt returns.  Jones had 6 catches for 191 yards, which is a West Catholic single-game record.  He had 393 all-purpose yards, including the punt returns.  Joshua Evans completed 11 of 15 passes for 285 yards.  Calil Wortham had 8 rushes for 85 yards.  Curtis Fredrick had 2 sacks.

 

West Catholic's Craig Jones silences doubters with 5-TD game

gleaned from Philly.com

Aaron Carter, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 1:08 AM

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West Catholic's Craig Jones has a boulder on his shoulder that he takes with him wherever he goes.

Nearly two weeks ago, the 6-foot, 185-pound senior wide receiver and defensive back took it to the field at Plymouth Whitemarsh High.

"I was there when Archbishop Wood played La Salle and I was talking to a Temple coach," Jones said. "I asked him, 'What do I have to do to get an offer?' Then I told him I would score five touchdowns in one game - seriously."

Jones made good last week at Widener, where the Burrs throttled Bishop McDevitt, 48-13.

Jones notched five total touchdowns, racked up 393 all-purpose yards and set a single-game school record with 191 receiving yards on six catches.

His three touchdown catches went for 41, 74 and 22 yards. He also scored on punt returns of 92 and 75 yards, kicked two extra points and added an interception.

There is no word yet on whether an offer from Temple is forthcoming.

Jones' brother, Tymir Oliver, is a 6-foot-4, 265-pound lineman at West Catholic who has orally committed to Rutgers. For now, Jones has offers from Maine, Stony Brook, Rhode Island, and Central Connecticut.

His touchdown pledge wasn't motivated solely by receiving an offer from the Owls.; proving his detractors wrong, it seems, is what truly fuels him.

"I love doing that," he said. "Even in my schoolwork, if someone says I can't do it, I'm determined to do it anyway."

Evidently, talk about an early season performance stuck with him. "I kept hearing [gossip] that I folded in our game against Wood," Jones said. "People said I cracked under pressure against a good team."

The Vikings dismantled the Burrs, 48-6, in Week 4.

Jones said he played a few early minutes but was forced to sit out with concussion symptoms after he made a hard hit in the first quarter.

He had no such problems against McDevitt. "I was determined to get those five touchdowns," he said.

 

October 24 - West Catholic Prep 23 - Conwell-Egan 6

gleaned from Philly.com

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

6

8

9

0

23

Conwell-Egan    

  0

0

0

6

6

 

West beat Conwell-Egan at Truman HS in Levittown.  This win puts the Burrs at 4 - 0 in the AA Division.  Next week they have a non-league game against Archbishop Ryan.

 

Scoring

- WC: Jameer Bryson #20 pass from Joshua Evans (kick failed) - 6

- WC: Supreme Kemp #14 run (Sharif Fennell run) - 8

- WC: Safety - 2

- WC: Craig Jones #61 punt return (Jones kick) - 7

- CE: Patrick Garwo 1-yd run (kick failed) - 6

 

 

October 31- West Catholic Prep 35 - Arch. Ryan 38

gleaned from Philly.com/rallypa & Rich O'Brien's tweeter page

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

7

21

7

0

35

Arch. Ryan    

  7

14

7

10

38

gleaned from Philly.com and Rick O’Brien’s tweeter page.

West gave Class AAA Archbishop Ryan a good battle; the game came down to the last 7 seconds on the clock.   Ryan beat West on Ryan Stock's 24-yard FG for the game winner.   

 

In the Catholic League Class AA semifinal double-header on Saturday, November 8th, at Cardinal O'Hara, third place Conwell-Egan faces second-place Lansdale Catholic at 3 PM and fourth-place Neumann-Goretti meets first-place (4-0) West Catholic at 7 PM.

 

November 7 - West Catholic Prep 46 - Neumann-Goretti 0

Class AA - Catholic League Semi-Final

gleaned from Philly.com/rallypa

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

6

20

13

7

46

Neumann-Goretti  

  0

0

0

0

0

 

"BURRS BURY SAINTS" - West Catholic made up for last years defeat in the championship game from Neumann-Goretti by completely dominating this playoff game with 420 yards total offense to N-G’s 69.  Josh Evans threw for 5 touchdowns.  Next Saturday West will take on Lansdale Catholic at Cardinal O’Hara at 1 P.M.

 

November 14 - West Catholic Prep 7 - Lansdale Catholic 6

Class AA - Catholic League Final   

gleaned from Philly.com/rallypa

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

0

7

0

0

7

Lansdale Catholic

  0

3

3

0

6

West Catholic didn’t need much offense in Saturday's Catholic League Championship match against Lansdale Catholic to regain the AA League Championship throne.  A second quarter touchdown pass to Crag Jones and the extra point was enough to secure the win.   

West held Lansdale to only 2 field goals and Lansdale couldn’t do anything offensively in the fourth period.

This was the Burrs 9th Catholic League Championship in 10 years; had 8 in a row until last year's loss to Neumann-Goretti. 

 

November 21 - West Catholic Prep 28 - Del-Val Charter 18

District 12 - Class AA - Final - City Championship

gleaned from Philly.com/rallypa & The Philadelphia Inquirer

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

7

14

0

7

28

Del-Val Charter

  6

6

0

6

18

Josh Evans threw four touchdowns Saturday to lead West Catholic to its fifth District 12 Class AA title in the last eight years with a 28-18 win over Del –Val Charter.  The win was the 150 in 16 years for West Catholic coach Brian Fluck. 

 

The Burrs will play District 1 winner New Hope-Solebury next Saturday.

 

November 28 - West Catholic Prep 55 - New Hope-Solebury 14

PIAA CLASS AA FIRST-ROUND PLAYOFF

gleaned from Philly.com & Philadelphia Inquirer

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

20

21

8

6

55

New Hope-Solebury 

  0

0

7

7

14

West Catholic made an emphatic return to the state playoffs, roaring past New Hope-Solebury, 55-14, in a PIAA Class AA first -round game at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

Craig Jones did much of the early damage for the Catholic League AA champs.  He turned just six touchdowns into 211 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.  Jones rushed for a 31 yard touchdown and had a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter as the Burrs built a 41-0 half-time lead on the District 1 winners.

The interception was Jones' seventh return touchdown of the season.  He had what would have been his eighth - a long punt return - called back on a penalty.  He also had two catches for 91 yards. 

Josh Evans completed 8 of 13 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.  The balanced Burrs (9-4) , who have won eight of their last nine games, compiled 469 yards of offense.

The Burrs will next play Dunmore of District 2 on December 5 at 1 PM at Northern Lehigh High School.

December 5 - West Catholic Prep 28 - Dunmore 10

PIAA CLASS AA QUARTER-FINAL PLAYOFF

gleaned from Philly.com/rallypa

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

6

6

8

8

28

Dunmore 

  0

3

0

7

10

 

Calil Wortham ran for a pair of touchdowns to carry West Catholic to a 28-10 win over Dunmore High School on Saturday in a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal football game at Northern Lehigh.

 

West Game Stats:

Joshua Evans QB: completed on 8 of 12 passes with 98 passing yards - seven rushes for 74 rushing yards and a 15 yard scramble for a touchdown; Calil Wortham: 14 carries, 82 yards; Tre Johnson: 12 tackles; Craig Jones: 11 tackles and an interception; Amir Postley: nine tackles, one TD; Jameer Bryson and Rovny Da'Silda each had a fumble recovery. 

 

The Burrs will play Southern Columbia from Catawissa (13-0) next weekend in the Class AA semi-final.  This is West Catholic's fifth time in eight years that they have made the AA semi-finals. 

 

December  12 - West Catholic Prep 19 - Southern Columbia 34

PIAA Class AA SEMI-FINAL PLAYOFF

gleaned from The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

West Catholic

7

6

6

0

19

Southern Columbia 

  0

14

0

20

34

 

West Catholic coach Brian Fluck struggled momentarily to gather his woebegone team Saturday after the Burrs fell, 34-19, to Southern Columbia in a PIAA Class AA semifinal at Northern Lehigh.

Backsides plopped onto the turf, faces buried deep into hands, and tears, accompanied by sobs, flowed freely.After coaxing a few inconsolable team members back into the huddle, Fluck delivered his message.  I'm proud of this," the 17-year coach told his team.  "I'm proud of you guys. You played your asses off.

"The Burrs (10-6, 4-0) led District 4's Southern Columbia, 19-14, heading into the fourth quarter before injuries, penalties, turnovers, and the Tigers' rugged offense resulted in 20 points in the final period.  "When you lose three or four wide receivers, it's hard to play the rest of the game," Fluck said.  "It's tough when players go out.  I give the kids credit.  Our kids battled all the way through.  I was proud of them.  "The Burrs' most dynamic player all season,  Craig Jones, suffered a head injury in the fourth quarter.  Calil Wortham, the team's leading rusher, didn't play.  Amadou Barry, West Catholic's most effective receiver against Southern Columbia, suffered a head injury in the third quarter and did not play in the fourth.  Ahmad Kent also suffered a head injury and did not play in the 4th quarter.  West Catholic, however, was penalized 13 times for 127 yards.  The Tigers (14-0) were flagged three times for 25 yards.  In the first half, the Burrs were flagged 10 times, and the tigers were ticketed twice.

Southern Columbia finished with 312 rushing yards on 55 attempts (5.6 per attempt) and forced six turnovers (five interceptions).  It appeared the Burrs got fatigued in the second half and succumbed to the Tigers' rushing attack.

Go Burrs in 2016.

 

NEWS FEATURES

 

POPE FRANCIS IN PHILADELPHIA 

 

submitted by: FRANK ADOLF

 

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 MASS AT CATHEDRAL-BASILICA OF STS. PETER AND PAUL

 

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POPE FRANCIS AT INDEPENDENCE HALL - LECTERN USED BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

 

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 MEETING WITH BISHOPS AT ST. CHARLES SEMINARY

 

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SEMINARIANS BID FAREWELL

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BLESSING OF JOSHUA KOFFMAN'S  "SYNAGOGA AND ECCLESIA IN OUR TIME" STATUE AT ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY

COMMEMORATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CATHOLICS AND JEWISH PEOPLE

 

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POPEMOBILE ON BENJAMIN FRANKLIN PARKWAY

 

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 WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES CLOSING MASS - BENJAMIN FRANKLIN PARKWAY

 

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CONSECRATION

 

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FINAL GOODBYE AT PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL

 

 

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS DONATION TO

THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS' RETIREMENT FUND

At the September meeting, the Golden Burrs Events Committee reaffirmed it's commitment to donate $250.00 to the Christian Brothers’ Retirement Fund each Christmas as long as funds are available.  The donation was offered in memory of the deceased members of the West Catholic Boys' Class of 1958.  

 

 

CLOSED PORT RICHMOND SCHOOL CONVERTED TO SENIOR HOUSING

gleaned from CatholicPhilly.com

 

Years ago the Nativity B.V. M. Parish (Irish) in the Port Richmond area of Philadelphia along with two other parishes, Our Lady Help of Christian (German) and St. Adalbert (Polish), educated thousands of children in their respective schools. 

 

With the changing demographics in the neighborhood, in September of 2008 the schools were consolidated into Our Lady of Port Richmond Regional Catholic School at the former St. Adalbert Campus. 

 

On November 6, 2015 Archbishop Charles Chaput formally dedicated and blessed the now-transformed Nativity B.V.M. School as Nativity B.V.M. Place, with 63 single-bedroom apartments for elderly and income eligible residents.

 

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The project, which includes community rooms, elevators and laundry facilities, cost about $12 million and was primarily funded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Philadelphia's Office for Housing and Community Development.

 

REMEMBRANCES OF "OUR LADY OF THE VISITATION PARISH" 

aka

"THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY PARISH"

 

submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF

 

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1854 - The consolidation of the city and the county of Philadelphia resulted in the absorption of the District of Kensington.

 

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The population of Philadelphia, which had been around 100,000 in 1815, grew to 400,000 by 1850 and, following the consolidation of the city and county of Philadelphia in 1854 and according to the 1860 census, the population reached 565,000.

 

So many English immigrants settled in Kensington in the nineteenth century that it became known as “Little England.” 

 

German immigrants found work in the yarn and knitting mills and tanneries. 

 

The Irish, who represented half of Philadelphia’s nineteenth-century foreign-born population, dominated areas such as Northern Liberties, Fishtown, and Harrowgate, finding work in a variety of trades, including textiles.  Irish immigrants did much of the bricklaying for the industrial buildings, bridges, and railroads necessary for Philadelphia’s next industrial boom. 

 

This industrialization overtook large swaths of open land quickly attracting residential development as workers drawn to factory jobs came to settle in the region.  In the 1830's, Baldwin Locomotive Works transformed the farms around Broad and Spring Garden streets into an expansive steam-engine manufacturing empire.  Companies such as Nicetown’s founded in 1867 as Butcher Steel; the large textile mills and tanneries of Kensington; Port Richmond’s ; and hundreds of other manufacturing and other cottage industries scattered throughout North Philadelphia created a vast array of goods and supported the mercantile culture that earned Philadelphia the nicknames “” and “.”

 

  was established in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood in 1863 but moved several times thereafter, eventually settling at its present location on Olney Avenue in 1930.

 

September 22, 1872 - On this date Bishop Wood appointed the Rev. Thomas W. Power, who had been pastor of St. Dominic parish in Holmesburg, to organize a new parish in the former "District of Kensington", out of portions of the parishes of

St. Edward, St. Michael and St. Anne. 

 

Father Power was ordained on June 22, 1865.

 

 

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Bishop Wood designed the pastor of St. Anne, the Reverend Thomas Kieran, to select a site for the newly created parish on "Rose Hill", at Cambria and C Streets, and it was here that Father Power erected a frame-chapel 40 feet by 90 feet, capable of seating about 350 persons. 

 

Christmas Day 1972 - The new parish was dedicated under the title of St.Cecilia.  

  

September 2, 1874 - Father Power was succeeded by the Rev. Patrick J. Garvey, D. D.

 

Father Garvey was ordained on June 6, 1868.

 

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Rev. P. J. Garvey, D.D.

Pastor: 5 weeks in 1874

 

After only five weeks at St. Cecilia's, Father Garvey was named pastor of St. Peter's Parish in Reading, PA. 

Note: In 1882, Father Garvey was named pastor of St. James the Greater Parish, and in 1898 was named the fourteenth Rector of St. Charles Seminary.

 

October 10, 1874 - Father Garvey was succeeded by the Rev. Aloysius D. Filan who stayed for approximately four months.

 

Father Filan was ordained on October 9, 1863.

 

February 12, 1875 - The Diocese of Philadelphia was elevated to the rank of an Archdiocese.

 

February, 1875 - Reverend Thomas J. Barry, who had been senior assistant pastor at the Annunciation parish, was named pastor.

 

Father Barry was ordained on October 18, 1867.

 

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Pastor: 1875 - 1894

 

Father Barry was gifted with more than usual administrative ability, and with almost superhuman energy.  To many in the parish, because of the short tenures of the first three pastors, Father Barry was considered the true founder of the parish. 

 

His first decision after his appointment was that a new and better site for the church should be secured, and accordingly the present church property, at Lehigh Avenue and Leamy (now B Street), was purchased for $16,000 by Archbishop Wood. 

 

Summer of 1876 - Preparation for the church foundations was begun, and in order to save money, Father Barry along with the help of his parishioners worked day and night in digging out the basement until a solid basis was reached and all the loose earth was removed. 

 

September 22, 1876 - On the fourth anniversary of the founding of the parish, the cornerstone of the new church was blessed by Archbishop Wood.   

 

 

THE STORY BEHIND THE PARISH NAME CHANGE FROM ST. CECILIA TO 

OUR LADY OF THE VISITATION

 

It was around the time of the fourth anniversary when an eerie event happened one stormy night after Father Barry had retired.

 

Father Barry was awakened by his housekeeper who said that she had heard the bell in the sanctuary ringing.  He told her that she must have been dreaming, but she stoutly denied this and bade him to listen.  Sure enough, they soon heard the bell ringing with great urgency.  Thinking there must be burglars in the church, Father Barry dressed hastily, took a light, and boldly entered the building. 

 

To his surprise, he found kneeling before the altar two small, poorly clad children, their faces wet with tears, who seemed to have been praying.  When he asked what they were doing there at such an unearthly hour, they reported that their father was dying in the Episcopal Hospital and that they had come for the priest to administer the last Sacrament. 

 

Father Barry took the name of the dying man and went in haste to the hospital.  When he explained his errand, the superintendent expressed great surprise.  He said that there was a patient of this identity dying in the hospital, but that no one had been sent for the priest.  Father Barry was taken to the side of a cot on which lay a man with a wan, wasted face. 

 

"Who are You?" the man asked him.  Father Barry explained that he was a priest and asked him if he had sent for him a few moments ago. 

 

"You are mistaken," the man whispered, "I did not send for you.  I have no one to send - I am all alone in the world - I am dying." 

 

"That is strange," replied the priest, "for I found two children in the church.  They had rung the bell and they told me that their father lay here dying and gave me your name." 

 

"That's impossible," gasped the man, pulling himself up in the bed.  "What did they look like?"

 

Their appearance was described in a few words, and as the man listened his head dropped upon his bosom.  Tears poured from his eyes and he tried to speak.  At last, with a great effort he cried: -

 

    "They were my children - the children buried - came back from heaven to help save my soul."  With this he fell back dead.

 

Some say that this "visitation experience" caused Father Barry to change the name of the parish.

 

December 1877 - Work progressed so rapidly after that event that the basement was opened as a chapel for Divine Service on the first Sunday in December.  The dedication marked the cessation of St. Cecilia's Parish and the beginning of the Parish of Our Lady of the Visitation.

 

The present rectory on B Street was built before 1878, and in that year Father Barry began the work on the superstructure of the upper church. 

 

September 6, 1878 -  A cyclone blew down most of the completed work at the point where the roof was being put on, but Father Barry, undeterred, had the damage repaired and the work was continued. 

 

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Picture of the church before Lehigh Avenue was dug out and lowered.  At that time the church did not have a front street-level entrance to the lower sanctuary, only side entrances.

 

The Church is Gothic in styling and is notable for its brownstone construction with copper spires.

 

The interior is cruciform in design featuring huge marble stations of the cross and a grand organ.

 

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On the first Sunday in October, 1880, after four years of construction, the church was dedicated by Bishop William O'Hara, the first Bishop of Scranton.  Bishop Jeremiah Shanahan, the first Bishop of Harrisburg, preached the sermon. 

(Note: Bishop Jeremiah Shanahan is not the namesake for the High School in Chester County, rather the school was named after his brother, Bishop John W. Shanahan, who was the first superintendent of Schools in Philadelphia and the third Bishop of Harrisburg.)

 

March 31, 1881 - Less than a year after the church dedication, a parish school was opened in the original chapel. 

 

1882 - The erection of a permanent school building was begun. 

 

1883 - The school on Lehigh Avenue, consisting of two stories, was completed and opened under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Child of Jesus.  Attendance averaged over 900 pupils.  It’s style is Gothic, with a brownstone exterior, matching the design of the Church.

 

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1883 - Visitation Church and the new two story School

 

May 20, 1892 - The founding pastor, Father Power passed away.

 

August 5, 1892 - Planning began for the celebration of Father Barry's 25th anniversary as a priest. 

 

October 17, 1892 - The children of the parish held their celebration for the pastor's anniversary in the basement of the church.  The girls presented Father Barry with a large bouquet and a silver salver on which was a chamois bag containing one hundred dollars in gold.  The boys presented him with a silver service. 

 

October 18, 1892 - Father Barry celebrated a Solemn High Mass for the parish.  In the afternoon, the visiting clergy held a dinner and a reception in Father Barry's honor.  Heartfelt congratulations were offered in speech and song, and a purse containing five thousand dollars was given to Father Barry by his grateful parishioners.

 

January 1894 - Father Barry was appointed to the position of irremovable rectorship of St. Anne parish.

 

The  Reverend Alexander A. Gallagher, who had been assistant pastor at the Cathedral, replaced Father Barry.

 

Father Gallagher was ordained on December 21, 1878.

 

August 21, 1901 - Father Barry passed away.

 

October 22, 1904 - Father Gallagher died and was succeeded by the Rev. James C. McLoughlin, who had been assistant pastor at Visitation since 1893.

 

Father McLoughlin was ordained on May 20, 1888.

 

Father McLoughlin's administration has been fully occupied with many needed improvements to the church. 

 

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The basement of the church was reconstructed and made into a large chapel.

 

 

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1907 - The interior of the church was beautifully remodeled, and a handsome marble sanctuary and marble altars were installed.  

 

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Beautiful Murals decorate the Apse

 

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Decorative panels depicting scenes from the Bible are part of the Main Altar 

 

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Our Lady of the Visitation Stained Glass Window

 

Sunday, March 29, 1908 - The formal re-opening of the church was celebrated by Archbishop Ryan. 

 

1911 - Change in school administration - The Holy Child Sisters were succeeded by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

 

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1914 - During the Reading RR and Frankford El bridge construction, Lehigh Avenue was escavated and lowered to allow vehicles to pass under the El.  Two front entrances to the lower church and steps to the upper church were added, a rare feature, only to be found at St. Martin of Tours, and the now defunct Immaculate Conception and Transfiguration of Our Lord parishes. 

 

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Take notice, back then Lehigh Avenue was paved with cobblestones as were many major road in the area, including Aramingo Avenue and Delaware Avenue, now known as Columbus Boulevard.

 

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Father McLoughlin turned his attention to improving the school by the erection of an additional story, which provided much-needed space adding 12 new classrooms for the children of the school.  The added story has a copper spire that matched the church spires. 

 

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Visitation School after the third story was added.

 

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April 10, 1920 - The parishioners came to the aid of their pastor through contributions to a much needed fund raising campaign.  It was supported whole-heartedly by the parishioners, resulting in a total contribution of sixty-seven thousand dollars.  Some gifts were as little as two dollars, while others were well over five thousand dollars.

 

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1920 - Bowling Team

 

 

March 30, 1923 - Father McLoughlin passed away.

 

Following Father McLoughlin's pastorship, two pastors served the parish in rather quick succession. 

 

Reverend Henry A. Naylon 1923 to 1926 (ordained Jan. 8, 1895), followed by Reverend Joseph B. McGarry 1927 to 1932 (ordained Jan. 6, 1903).

 

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March 1932 - Father McGarry was transferred to the pastorship of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Reverend Elmer Maria Stapleton was named pastor of Visitation. 

 

October 16, 1873 - Father Stapleton was born in Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, PA.   

 

May 24, 1902 - Father Stapleton was ordained at St. Charles Seminary Chapel by Auxiliary Bishop Prendergast.  

 

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Pastor: 1932 - 1963

Pastor Emeritus: 1963 -1967

 

Father Stapleton was to enjoy the longest pastorship in the history of Visitation.

 

March 16, 1932 - Father Stapleton arrived to take up his duties as pastor.

 

Sunday, May 24, 1942 - A triple anniversary was observed by the Visitation B.V.M. Parish on this date: 

 

Father Stapleton observed his fortieth anniversary of ordination, his tenth year as pastor, and the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the parish in 1872.  The triple celebration was marked by a Solemn Mass at 11:15 AM offered by Father Stapleton.  Auxiliary Bishop Hugh L. Lamb. D.D., V.G., presided. 

 

During Father Stapleton's pastorship a shrine was dedicated to the men who fought for the cause of freedom for the United States. 

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"The Shrine of Our Lady of the Armed Forces", beautifully depicts two members of the armed forces kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Mother holding her beloved Son. 

 

 

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November 1946 -  Fund raising effort to replace the convent was started with a banquet.

 

The old convent was torn down and the new convent was built on the same site.  While construction was in progress the Sisters stayed at St. Theresa's Convent on South Broad Street. 

 

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1950's - Find yourself or a friend opportunity

 

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1952

 

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June, 1953 Graduation Class

Fathers Chapman, Larkin, Stapleton and ?

 

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June, 1954 - Graduation Class

Fathers Stapleton and Connelly

find a classmate opportunity

(can you name the grads marked ??)

 

Graduates left to right - West Catholic Class of '58 grads highlighted in Blue:

1st Row - George Bohnenberger, Jack Quinn, ??, John Brannigan, Bill Cook, Nick Tyciak

2nd Row - Joe Slater, ??, John Cleary, John Heft, J. Gauss, Jerry Michener

3rd Row - Terry Hughes, John McIntyre, Joe Gavaghan, Dick Junod, Joe Grimes, Chick Fowler

4th Row -??, Al Bocchicchio??, Jim Gallagher, Joe Murray

5th Row - Frank O'Boyle, ??, ??, Joe O'Kane, Tim Hoffman

6th Row - James "Bud" Miller, ??, ??, Arthur "Bud" Seeger, Jim McKee

7th Row - Bob Killian, Dan "Nat" Dunn, Jerome Heavy, Tom Keegan 

 

October 24, 1954 - Monsignor Francis J. Furey, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, officiated at the solemn dedication and blessing of the new convent cornerstone.  After the cornerstone blessing, a Solemn Benediction was held with His Eminence Cardinal Agagianian, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians as the celebrant. 

 

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Sister Mary Gregory

8th Grade Boys Teacher

 

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Father Garvey and Father Chapman

Note: In 1966 Father Chapman became the founding pastor of St. Irenaeus Parish.

 

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1958 Senior Prom - Three Golden Burr Classmates 

right to left Joe Grimley, Joe Gavaghan, Bud Seeger and their dates

 

April 8, 1960 - Assistant pastor, Reverend Leo A. Garvey (pictured above at the picnic) was appointed administrator of the parish. 

 

Father Garvey was ordained on May 21, 1932. 

 

May 4, 1961 - Father Garvey passed away. 

 

May 5, 1961 - Reverend Joseph A. McCloskey was appointed administrator of the parish.

 

Father McCloskey was ordained on June 3, 1939.

 

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Administrator: 1961 - 1963

Pastor: 1963 - 1977

 

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1961 - First Communion Class

 

September 11, 1963 - Father Stapleton was named pastor emeritus and Father McCloskey was named pastor.  

 

Father McCloskey was the pastor who led the parish through the introduction of the New Liturgy and the many physical alterations resulting from Vatican II. 

 

September 16, 1967 - Father Stapleton passed away one month shy of his 94th birthday.  He was a priest for over 65 years. 

Father was buried on the grounds of Visitation parish in a plot that he had chosen years before his death.  His Brother, the Reverend Thomas Stapleton, was previously buried at the same location.

 

During the 1950s and the 1960s, the shuttering of many of the factories that residents had long depended upon for work, increased stress on neighborhoods already marred by poverty.  De-industrialization eventually took its hold, leading to a significant population loss, high unemployment, economic decline, and the abandoning of homes in the neighborhood.  

 

The neighborhood changed from mostly whites of European ancestry, to a mixture of Latinos/Hispanics and Blacks.  After the Vietnam War there was an influx of Southeast Asians into the neighborhood.

 

Visitation B.V.M. adapted to the changing environment and welcomed the newly arrived Catholics by offering religious services in the native tongue of the parishioners. 

 

September 23, 1973 - Centennial Celebration

 

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1973 - Pastor and Assistant Priests

 

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Priests who served at Visitation B.V.M. from 1872 to 1973  

 

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Celebrating 100 Years

 

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1977 -  Father McCloskey was transferred to the pastorship of St. Dominic's Parish.

 

1977 - Msgr. Edward J. Flatley was named pastor of Visitation.

 

Msgr. Flatley was ordained on June 7, 1941.

 

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Msgr. Edward J. Flatley in 1943

Pastor: 1977 - 1985

 

Monsignor Flatley served in the Second Armored Cavalry in Germany for three years and volunteered for tours of duty with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam for 1966-67 and again in 1969-70.  Msgr. Flatley retired from the chaplaincy in 1977 with the rank of colonel.  For his service he was awarded the Legion of Merit with an Oak Leaf Cluster, two Meritorious Service Medals, a Bronze Star with five clusters, an Army Commendation with three clusters and a Vietnamese Medal of Honor.  When he returned from Army duty he came back to Philadelphia and was named pastor of Visitation serving the parish until his death. 

 

July 13, 1985 - Msgr. Flatley died at Fitzgerald Division of Mercy Catholic Medical Center.

 

September 1985 - Reverend Edward B. Cahill was named pastor of Visitation.

 

Father Cahill was ordained in May of 1960.

 

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Rev. Edward B. Cahill

Pastor: 1985 - 1989

 

September 1989 - Father Cahill was transferred to the pastorship of Holy Cross Parish, Springfield, PA.  

 

 1989 - Reverend Vito Carbone was named pastor of Visitation B.V.M. parish. 

 

Father Carbone was ordained on May 19, 1962.

 

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Rev. Vito Carbone

Pastor: 1989 - 1993

 

1993 - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia closed two nearby parishes, St. Bonaventure and St. Edward, sending parts of the largely Latino congregation to Visitation parish.

 

Msgr. Edward M. Deliman, pastor of St. Bonaventure, was named pastor of Visitation B.V.M. parish.

 

Msgr. Deliman was ordained in 1973.

 

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 Msgr. Edward M. Deliman

Pastor: 1993 - 2004 

Note: Msgr. Deliman is currently pastor of St. Charles Borromeo in Bensalem, PA.

 

Father Carbone was transferred to the pastorship of Our Lady of Loreto where he served until that parish was closed in June of 2000.

 

 

Sunday, October 3, 1999 - 125th Anniversary Celebration

 

Visitation B.V.M. celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding with a trilingual Mass in Vietnamese, Spanish and English. 

 

Anne Barnard, Inquirer Staff Writer, reported on the celebration: ..."outside, cars lined the median strip, South Philly style, on Lehigh Avenue, and inside nearly 1,000 people - Latino, Asian, and White - packed the blue-vaulted sanctuary, holding hands to say the Lord's prayer, each in his or her own language". 

 

Even those who didn't speak Spanish could follow Msgr. Deliman as he spoke of Faiths power to unite, "los italianos, los polacos, los hispanos, and los asiaticos".  Then he switched to English.  To the Old-timers he said, "We are proud of our history, but there is no past without the present and the future". 

 

The trilingual Mass displayed the parishes three cultures.  The Vietnamese choir sang chant-like hymns, the Spanish choir was accompanied by maracas and 12-stringed-guitars, and the English choir by organ music.

 

Fittingly, the service ended with a mixed children's choir singing "Hail Holy Queen" to a standing ovation.

 

November 8, 2003 - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia opened the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center to provide recreational, educational and social services programs for the community.  It has a full-size gym and three floors of multi-purpose rooms.  The center was managed by Catholic Social Services and the programs were developed in partnership with Visitation B.V.M. Parish.  The Center brought new life to an abandoned building, once famously known as the Starlight Ballroom.  At the dedication, a Spanish choir performed and readings were conducted in Spanish, Vietnamese and English, the languages of this diverse community.   At the same time, Visitation Home, a transitional housing facility for women and children who are homeless was opened.  The facility can accommodate eighteen families, the first of whom moved into the facility in September 2003.  During their stay, the mothers work toward securing permanent housing for their families. 

 

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2004 - Msgr. Deliman was transferred to the pastorship of St. Agnes Parish.

 

Reverend Gary J. Kramer was named Administrator of Visitation.

 

Father Kramer was ordained in 1993.

 

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Rev. Gary J. Kramer

Administrator: 2004 - 2006

 

March 15, 2006 - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province announced that St. Boniface Parish (Diamond and Hancock Streets) would close on June 30, 2006 and unite with Visitation B.V.M. parish. 

 

The archdiocese wanting to find a way to allow the Redemptorists to continue their pastoral care to the community, invited the Redemptorists to accept the care of Visitation B.V.M. under the pastorship of the Reverend Bruce Lewandowski, C.Ss.R. then the pastor of St. Boniface.  

Father Lewandowski was ordained May 7, 1994.

 

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Rev. Bruce Lewandowski

Pastor: 2006 - 2011

 

Father Kramer was named pastor of St. John Bosco, Hatboro, PA.

 

April 17, 2009 - Former pastor, Father Carbone passed away at the age of 72.  He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon.

 

July 2010Catholic Social Services transferred the management of the Center to Visitation B.V.M. Parish.  The Community Center at Visitation (CCV) has embarked on an exciting new course with a renewed hope and dream guiding its steps to facilitate a better quality of life and meaningful possibilities for our neighbors, and to become more integrated within the community of Kensington.

 

As of the 2010 Census, Kensington as a whole, was 38.9% Hispanic of any race, 37.4% non-Hispanic white, 14.8% non-Hispanic black, 6.2% Asian, and 2.7% all other.

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Visitation B.V.M. welcome signs in English, Spanish and Vietnamese

 

June 2011 - Father Lewandowski was named the first vicar for cultural ministries in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

 

The Reverend John Olenick, C.Ss.R. was named pastor.

 

Father Olenick was ordained on May 10, 2003.

 

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Rev. John N. Olenick, C.Ss.R.

Pastor: 2011 - present

 

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2015 Parish Calendar - Our Lady of the Armed Forces Shrine is still a worship site at Visitation B.V.M.

March 16, 2015 - In his annual Catholic Charities Appeal letter, Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M. Cap., reminder the readers that Visitation B.V.M. calls itself a "Beacon of Hope", noting that the parish through the tireless efforts of its pastor, Father John Olenick, C.S.s.R. and the support of the Catholic Charities Appeal, is able to offer this immigrant Catholic community a rich diversity of services --- liturgical, educational and social. 

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Challenged by issues of language, poverty and hunger, Visitation B.V.M. offers Mass in three languages, English, Spanish and Vietnamese and educates 464 students in its school.  The Community Center provides a safe-haven for after school activities.  Adults in the community are offered workshops in Spanish, literacy education, computer classes, and English as a secondary language.  They distribute coats to the poor and food is made available through their Fresh Choice Food Pantry.  The parish is part of a program for autistic children called "Connecting the Pieces".  Visitation parish is partnering with the Office for Community Development and Catholic Social Services to build a senior housing facility. 

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This Place Matters in Three Languages

MASS SCHEDULES

Vigil Mass, Saturdays, 5 PM (English) - lower Church

Sundays, 8 AM (Spanish)

9:30 AM (English)

10 AM (Spanish)

Noon (Vietnamese)

1:15 PM (Spanish)

Holydays, 8 AM (Vietnamese)

8:30 AM (English)

Noon (English)

7 PM (Spanish)

Weekdays, Monday - Saturday, 8:30 AM in the Chapel

Tuesday, 7 PM in the Chapel

 Wednesday, 7 PM (Spanish prayer group) - lower Church

MAIL FROM CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS

Frank Cubbage:  Frank, great job again.  I am continually amazed at all the information and history you and the committee find.  Thanks for your efforts.  Even though I was in Good Shepherd parish, I remember St. Clement Parish because in my very early years we lived on Woodland Avenue which was almost as close to St. Clement church as Good Shepherd. 

Andy Marino:  Frank Thanks very much to you and your team for all the work involved in assembling the newsletter.  It's important, on many levels, to look back and remember, and the newsletters help make that possible.  It's been quite a ride, and it's not over yet!  Andy

Bob Giampietro '68:  Thank you very much, Rich.  You guys do a great job with this newsletter.  I appreciate your efforts and those of your class team.  Very nice job on the St. Clement's history, too.  Thanks!  Regards, Bob Giampietro

Ann Cahill:  Thanks, Rich.  This edition is enjoyable as are they all!  Glad to see you got to Burrs at the Beach.    

 

Brother Gregory CavalierFrank, Thanks for the Golden Burr.  I enjoyed the pictures of some of our distinguished alumni...or is that "extinguished"?  I recognized a few.  Give George Light my warm greetings.  I wish I could have made it to the "Burrs at the Beach" to  see you guys, but I have  a lot  of pleasant memories.  West was a special place.  Peace, Bro. Greg


Joe Gavaghan:  Hey Frank, I finally read the latest Golden Burrs Newsletter.  As with the previous issues thank you, Frank Metzler and all who contributed to this effort.  The info you've gathered on all the feeder parishes is amazing.  For example, Father Chapman who was in charge of the  altar boys at Visitation became founding pastor of St. Irenaeus.  I know this because of the newsletter you put out.  I can't wait to see what "gems" you guys have in store for us Viso grads in the next edition.  Again thank you, Joe

 

Tom Hughes:  Hi Frank,  I want thank you and the committee that help you put together the quarterly newsletter.  The last two were very interesting to me, especially the histories of Sts. Barnabas and Clement parishes.  I attended both grammar schools and I have a lot of friends and fond memories from both those schools.  I lived close to the boundary between the two parishes so I played with guys from both parishes.  Then I moved to St. Barny's in 1951. I met many friends from Bartram Village and then I started to hang out at Ma Fagen's candy store across the street from St. Barny's school yard.  The histories of the development of the two parishes into southwest Philly is amazing.  It just shows how the migration of the catholic Irish, Italian, Polish and other families moved west from south Philly.  I can remember a lot of the priests from both parishes but I would like to forget a lot of the good Nuns who whipped us into shape.

 

Keep the good work up and I hope to see you.  Stay healthy and best regards.  Tom Hughes       

 

Thank You Note from Carole Gormley: 

 

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submitted by:  FRANK ADOLF 

 

 

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Class of 1958 - Senior Prom - May 2, 1958

 

 

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Get the Steel Wool out!! Clean those floors!!

 

 

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1940's Home Entertainment Center

Southwestern Florida Museum, Fort Myers, FL.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR REMEMBRANCES OF THE 40'S AND 50'S, ESPECIALLY YOUR PARISHES AND NEIGHBORHOODS?  SEND THEM TO US FOR PUBLICATION IN A FUTURE NEWSLETTER AT: fjapfa1539@comcast.net

 

PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS

 

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

 

Please pray for all of our classmates who have gone to their eternal reward, especially James W. English.

 

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James W. English - November 23, 2015

 

May Jim rest in peace. 

 

The complete listing of our honored deceased and their high school graduation pictures can be found on the Golden Burrs Website at: www.goldenburrs-1958.com   Thanks to John Staiber, many of the pictures are accompanied by complete obituaries.

 

FINAL THOUGHT

 

submitted by: RICH BUZZA

 

The news which we received just before Thanksgiving certainly put a damper on our yearly celebration, for our friend and classmate, Jim English had passed away.  We suspected that something was wrong when John Staiber went to visit him at his new nursing home and he was not there and John could not get any information as to his whereabouts.  John immediately contacted me as to this situation and I began some checking only to find out the news which we dreaded.    Jim was an avid Scouter and volunteer fire fighter, but more than that, Jim was a mover and shaper of many young lives in Sea Isle City.  The tributes which he received from his friends, fellow scouters, and people whom he never met in person was so gratifying and a testimony to how he lived his life, I have included a few out of the hundreds that were received: 

 

R.I.P. to the most noble, upstanding man I've ever met.  The world will be a sad place without you, but now you sit at God's table, Amen.  Lawrence Bash 

 

Spent the day celebrating the life of James English.  I can't even put into words what an amazing man he was.  He was a mentor to my son in Boy Scouts...He will surely be missed and talked about for many many years to come...he was a legend... Winnie Winters-Craft 

 

You were ornery and opinionated but had the best sense of humor.  The name Jim English will forever be intertwined with the term shoobie.  Memorial day was a bitter sweet affair for Jim.  He loved honoring our fallen soldiers but it also marked the beginning of shoobies pouring into Sea Isle City.  Julian Scavetti

It is with a very heavy heart that we have to say "Goodbye" to a very dear friend.  I know he will continue to watch over my son, PJ Short, whom he loved dearly, and will finally join his life long friend, Blanche Short and my Mom, Martie Fay, in heaven.  I'm sure that the party will continue around the best campfire ever.  Keep the home fire burning my friend, until we meet again.  You were loved and will be missed greatly.  Dawn Fay

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Jim was remembered at a wonderful memorial service as a dedicated leader of the Boy Scouts of America and was honored by his scout troop 76 with the draping of the original troop scout flag which will now be loaned to the city of Sea Isle Museum.  We, the Golden Burrs of '58 will always remember Jim English for his wry sense of humor and his loyal friendship.  Amen.

 

 

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

 

 KEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVE!

 

 

THIS E-MAIL IS BEING SENT TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE WEST CATHOLIC BOYS' CLASS OF 1958 AND FRIENDS OF THE CLASS.  IF YOU NO LONGER WISH TO RECEIVE OUR COMMUNICATIONS OR IF YOU ARE RECEIVING UNSOLICITED E-MAILS FROM ANYONE PERTAINING TO THE CLASS OF 1958, PLEASE NOTIFY FRANK ADOLF AT:  FJAPFA1539@COMCAST.NET

 

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