WINTER EDITION 2020
This is the 47th 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
In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" you will find a letter from Andrew Brady Interim President of West Catholic Prep, a picture of the Burrs at the Beach Committee's check presentation to Andrew Brady, and an article gleaned from WEST NOTES about a gift of $1 million to West Catholic from the estate of a deceased member of the Class of 1952 and his wife.
In the "News Features" section you will find an article about the closing of St. Gabriel's Hall and two Catholic High Schools.
Sadly, we have learned of the passing of three classmates: Gene Carroll who came to West from St. Clement Parish. Until a few years ago, Gene was a regular attendee at Burrs at The Beach. Also, he attended several of our annual class luncheon. Ed Gannon who also came to West from St. Clement Parish passed away after a long illness. Doris Pavonarius wrote to advise that her husband Rich Pavonarius passed away after a short battle with lung cancer. Rich came to West from St. James Parish. His family moved into St. Carthage Parish when he was in high school.
May Gene, Ed and Rich Rest in Peace.
Rich Buzza once again closes the newsletter with his "Final Thought".
EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH WEST CATHOLIC PREP
Tom McGinn, Peggy Panichelli, Andrew Brady, George Light
GIFT FROM THE ESTATE OF PASQUALE AND BARBARA FRATTURA
Gleaned from the Fall/Winter Edition of WEST NOTES
ST. GABRIEL'S HALL TO CLOSE
Gleaned from CatholicPhilly.com
By Gina Christian Posted September 25, 2020
A long-running Archdiocese of Philadelphia program that has served thousands of troubled youth over more than 122 years will soon be discontinued.
In a Sept. 25 statement, the archdiocese announced the closure of the St. Gabriels System (SGS), a multi-service agency of Catholic Social Services (CSS).
Currently, the SGS program comprises St. Gabriels Hall (SGH), an Audubon-based residential and educational program for Philadelphia court-adjudicated youth ages 13-19; the Mitchell Program, an intensive 120-day residential treatment program within SGH; and De La Salle Vocational (DelVoc), a day treatment center and educational program located in Bensalem.
The archdiocese said it will work with the City of Philadelphia over the next 60 days to ensure a safe and healthy transition for the 30 young men currently enrolled in the SGH and DelVoc programs. As part of that effort, the youth will receive six months of community-based aftercare services through SGSs intensive Reintegration Services program.
Long-term social welfare trends, combined with the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompted the decision, according to the archdiocese.
Over the past decade, public policy has been directed at reducing the number of youth committed to congregate care facilities such as SGS, the statement noted.
A 2019 Youth Residential Placement Task Force convened by the City of Philadelphia identified a 72% reduction in the number of delinquent youth committed to such settings, from 867 in December 2014 to just 244 in April 2019.
Over the course of several recent meetings, the archdiocese communicated with Philadelphias Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding the sharply decreasing census numbers at both SGH and DelVoc. Since March, the number of young men assigned by the Philadelphia courts to the programs has dropped by 70%.
In response to the decline, the archdioceses Catholic Human Services (CHS) division had contributed more than $3 million over the past five years to support the SGS mission.
However, the supplemental funding was insufficient to offset a pandemic-related drop in census that, along with an ongoing budgetary shortfall, threatened the programs financial solvency, said the archdiocese.
At current levels, the SGS program is projected to sustain a $3 million loss for the first six months of 2020. DHS has not indicated the number of court-adjudicated youth assigned to SGS will increase in the foreseeable future.
Although both DHS and CHS have worked collaboratively to find a viable financial solution, said the archdiocese, no pathway has emerged that is tenable for either party.
The approximately 180 employees of SGH and DelVoc have been notified of the closure in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), said the archdiocese, adding that it would work to provide staff with alternate positions or severance packages.
The SGS ministry was initially established in 1898, when Philadelphia Archbishop Patrick John Ryan invited the Christian Brothers to administer the Philadelphia Protectorate for Boys in Audubon, offering education and care for at-risk youth.
In 1960, the ministry was renamed as St. Gabriels Hall and extended under the SGS umbrella to multiple sites within the archdiocese, drawing its guiding principles from the work of St. John Baptiste de La Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers and a pioneering advocate of education for impoverished and at-risk youth.
Over the ensuing decades, SGS developed close, collaborative relationships with Philadelphia agencies such as DHS, Family Court and Community Behavioral Health, as well as state educational entities.
In particular, the ministry along with all CSS outreaches has focused on providing youth with trauma-informed care, a treatment modality that addresses the core reasons why clients engage in at-risk behavior. As part of the approach, staff focus on fostering communication skills, emotional intelligence, non-violence and a sense of social responsibility among students.
TWO CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOLS TO CLOSE IN 2021
Gleaned from CatholicPhilly.com
By Matthew Gambino Posted November 18, 2020
Citing declining enrollment and underutilized buildings, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Nov. 18 that John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School in Philadelphia and Bishop McDevitt High School in Wyncote, Montgomery County will close at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.
Faith in the Future Foundation, which operates the archdiocesan high schools and schools of special education, said in a joint statement with the archdiocese that a committee of business executives had analyzed the high schools last summer to gauge sustainability as part of a strategic planning process.
The group studied current and projected student enrollments, student retention, demographic trends, capacity of buildings and financial solvency for each of the 17 schools and across the system.
Faith in the Future leaders along with the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education and senior archdiocesan leaders recommended the closure of Hallahan and McDevitt, which Archbishop Nelson Pérez accepted.
Hallahan, located in center city Philadelphia on Wood Street between 18th and 19th streets, is operating at only 36% of its building capacity.
At the end of the 19th century several wealthy individuals saw a need to educate Catholic young women, and they led the development of five small sites in Philadelphia in 1901.
In 1911 they had grown into Catholic Girls High School, on the corner of 19th and Wood Streets just one block north of what today ins the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Credit to founding what would be the first all-girls diocesan high school in the United States goes not only to the aegis of then Father Philip McDevitt, the superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, but especially to benefactor Mary McMichan. Upon her death and at her request, the name of the school was changed to John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School in honor of her brother.
Bishop McDevitt, located at 125 Royal Avenue in Wyncote, is at 40% of capacity.
McDevitt was founded in 1958 and saw its first graduating class in 1961. Traditionally it has been one of the more modest archdiocesan high schools. Its peak enrollment in 1968 was 2,086, at a time when Cardinal Dougherty High School, not far across the Montgomery County line in Philadelphias Olney section, boasted more than 4,700 students. That school closed in 2010.
As a point of fact, Bishop McDevitt High School shares a historical link to Hallahan High. The former was named for a Philadelphia priest who would go on to be bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese (where another high school named for him still operates today), and the latter was begun through his encouragement.
MAIL FROM CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS
Ann Cahill former teacher at St. Gabriel's Hall: Hi Rich, For me, the Christian Brothers' presence was the heart of that very successful program.
Jim Maynes: Another wonderful newsletter just brings back so many good memories of West Catholic and the great brothers and teachers we had who molded us into men. God Bless West Catholic.
Joe Grimley: Thank you.
Charles Porrini WC '49: Thanks Frank for sending this to my Dad! Have a great day! Karen
Joe Semeister: Frank, First of all, you have done another great job. I do have, I think all or most of the Sr. Class Cards. Now, I have to locate them. As soon as I locate them, I will try to send them off.
Stay well, Joe
Andy Thompson: Thank you Frank for producing and sending the 46th edition which is thoughtfully written and very much appreciated. Andy (Don) Thompson
Andrew Brady: Frank, I just wanted to send you a thanks for all of the hard work that goes into this newsletter. What is happening here at West Catholic would not be possible without our committed and loyal alums!
Andrew Brady 02
West Catholic Preparatory High School
George Light: Frank, you have again put out a great news letter. Thank you for all your hard work. George
Frank Murphy WC '56: Just came across your newsletter, really enjoyed the read thanks. I graduated West in 1956 went to Our Mother of Sorrows in Philly, we moved to Drexel Hill in '52; St. Bernadette parish. We lived at 1229 Bryan St. right off Township Line; enjoyed growing up in the area from 7th grade. Enjoyed some conversations with your classmate John Gallagher when we could communicate over West email. Understand he passed? Thanks again, can you add me to your list if continued? Best Regards, Frank Murphy '56
:Brother Steve Casale: Frank, Thank you for publishing the newsletter. I appreciated having it and reading about what is going on as well as former classmates.
The Lord's blessing on you and yours. Steve Casale FSC
Frank, As always another great and informative
edition. Thank You. Joe
Tom Hughes: Hi Frank, Great info on the last newsletter, your team always does a great job in collecting interesting info for the newsletter.
Missy Light Dougherty: Thanks, Frank! Hope everything is good with you during these crazy times.
Brother Kevin Stanton: Dear Frank, Thanks very much for the Fall issue of Golden Burrs. I thought I would let you know that its arrival coincided with the death of Brother Thomas Caldwell who served at West as Vice Principal from 64-66 and Principal from 68-70. He died at 93 after 75 years as a Christian Brother, 30 of which were at St. Gabriel's Hall (the former Catholic Protectory for Boys). He was there with your recently deceased classmate, Brother Lawrence Dempsey, who also worked with the boys there for 25 years. May they rest in the peace of our Risen Lord.
Blessings on all your good work. Brother Kevin
Gleaned from LASALLIAN NOTES
Joe Semeister: Frank, I have found the cards. I have over 40 of them. It may take me a little more time to send pictures. My wife, Elaine has had open heart surgery for six different procedures. After 7 days she has be sent from CCU to a Step-down unit. She had a rough time.
My sister informed me that Gene Carroll past on Sept. 26. One more of us checking out. I hope ALL IS WELL, Joe
Joe Gavaghan: Hey Frank, The Phillies offered these cutouts all around the ballpark to fans for a $40 donation to Phillies Charities. You supply the picture and they do the rest.
My niece Peggy had a picture of me wearing a t-shirt from the Eagles Super Bowl win in 2018. The shirt pictured the famous "Philly Special" and was a birthday gift last year from my nephew Jim in Atlanta. Their mothers and my wife Jeanne were sisters. Peggy gave the cutout to me for an early 80th birthday gift. It was displayed in the outfield to the left of the right field fair pole in the back row. I never saw it watching the games but a friend of Peggy's did see it. I think they were out there for about 25 of the 30 games played this year at Citizens Bank Park. My friend Kathy, a Phillies VP, called me last week telling me that she had my cutout and this morning we met for breakfast and she gave it to me. Kathy said the Phillies were very happy with the response to the program which added more funds for Phillies Charities. Joe Gav
Bob Dowd: Frank - I don't know if this is what you were asking for in the past newsletter or if I am late in getting it in...? If so just ignore.
Anyway this is the Bronze medal (3rd place) I received still in its original box from Jewelers row in Philadelphia.
I was in my junior year and was on the track team. Brother Luke said anyone on the team who had not earned their letter was eligible to participate- ! Never did earn it (strict)....!
Anyway the story was the kid that beat me and earned the silver was wearing his school shoes and kept his tie on....he later told me he always wanted to participate in track but had to work in-town after school. But just this once told his work that he would be coming in late that day. The race he decided on was the 110 low hurdles....I was humbled-I always thought I was the fastest kid ever-but it was my neighborhood that I hung in with some of the slowest guys on the block....until I got to WC and I became the slowest sprinter on the team. ! I never found out who the kid was who got the Silver!
EARLIEST MEMORIES FROM THE 1940's and 1950's
submitted by: FRANK ADOLF
WHERE LIFE BEGAN FOR MANY OF US
Misericordia Hospital - Circa 1950's
Captain and Mrs. Noah, Larry Ferrari, Al Alberts, Chief Halftown
Dick Clark on ABC's Bandstand
The Wanamaker Monorail
1956 - Demolition of the El at 30th and Market Sts.
The Wanamaker Christmas Display
PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS
Care for the Sick -Transfiguration Church
WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke, Tom Henry who is battling Hodgkin Lymphoma, Brother Robert Sentman who is dealing with back problems, Father Richard McAndrews who has Parkinson's disease and now resides at Little Flower Manor Nursing Home, and Barry Carey who suffered a heart attack in May.
Our Webmaster Jim Prendergast completed Chemo and Radiation treatments in February. A post treatment Cat Scan and other test revealed that the cancer has spread. Jim is receiving additional chemo treatments and is in need of your prayers.
Two former teachers from West are in need of prayers; Brother Gregory Cavalier has moved to the nursing home in Lincroft, NJ, and former Brother Gratian Joseph (John Gardiner) is in the beginning stage of Alzheimer's disease.
WE REMEMBER and pray for all of our deceased classmates who have gone to their eternal reward, especially Gene Carroll, Ed Gannon and Rich Pavonarius.
EUGENE J. CARROLL JR. - SEPTEMBER 26, 2020
EDWARD J. GANNON - NOVEMBER 28, 2020
RICHARD N. PAVONARIUS - NOVEMBER 30, 2020
submitted by: RICH BUZZA
I saw in the news that Kevin Dobson has passed away on September 6, 2020. Who was Kevin Dobson? You might remember him as "Crocker" on the old Kojak TV series. I remember our John Gallagher telling me that he was best friends with Kevin. One day when John and I were swapping war stories about our time in the Army, he told me that he and Kevin were MP's together and after they got out of the Army, he and Kevin traveled Europe via MATS staying at different Army installations. A good memory of John and Kevin.
As this is our Christmas newsletter my thoughts of Christmas' past become more precious every year, and I cherish these later in life Christmas's more and more. I have a friend who lost his wife a few years ago, and every time we talk on the phone he tells me to hug my wife and appreciate her love. I do!
We at the Golden Burrs appreciate your loyalty and supporting of our Newsletter and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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