Page 1



The Official Magazine of Alumni, Family, and Friends of

Roman Catholic High School

Fall 2012


Roman Catholic High School

Catholic High Alumni Fostering Faith...Expanding Knowledge

President/Rector Rev. John B. Flanagan

Table of Contents Day at the 4 Communion 5

Principal Mr. Robert P. O’Neill

Roman's Olympian Remembers his Roots 6


Wayns ’09 Doesn’t Stray Far from His Old Stomping 7

Alumni Association President Mr. Lawrence J. Elliott ’66 Executive Director of Insitutional Advancement Ms. Denise LePera

GPALA 8 SHOF Memorial Kick 8 Manifesting the Dream of Thomas E. 9 The 10 Roman 11 A Man for All 14

Director of Development and Communications Mr. Steven M. Ziegler ’04

The Year in 15

Coordinator of Development Services Mrs. Terri Evans

In Memoriam Dr. John 18

Bookkeeper Mrs. Kathleen Kelly

The Usuals

A New & Familiar 16

RCHS Hat Trick of 18

From the Desk of the 3


Robert J. Dawson ’57 Lawrence J. Elliott ’66 Rev. John B. Flanagan Tom Kearney ’58 Ed Klitsch ’57 Leo Lynch ’64 John Pensabene William Pilny ’14 Joe Roddy ’52

Editor: Steve Ziegler ’04 Thank you to all Alums who send in their class notes each issue!

A Message from the Alumni 4 Alumni 11 Around 12 Class 14 Roman Catholic High School 301 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 For more information, contact To have your intentions included at daily Mass at Catholic High, contact Please contact Terri Evans regarding omissions or additional deceased alumni, family and friends at or 215-627-5487, ext. 310.


Alumni Arthur J. Higgins ’38 John W. Monaghan ’38 Daniel J. Begley ’40 Joseph P. Barrett ’41 Francis J. Ryan ’42 MSGT Cornelius J. Bonner, USAF(Ret.) ’43 Francis A. Barrett ’45 Stephen Muschynka ’45 James Joseph Gillespie, Sr. ’50 William J. Myers ’50 Donald C. White ’52 Eugene J. Morris ’56 Daniel T. Coll ’57 Robert J. Schock ’59 Daniel F. McGonagle ’64 James Van Osten ’68 James Paul ’78 Nate Thomas ’13 Family & Friends Margaret Bandish mother of Vincent ’73 Ellen R. Bennett mother of George ’64 Rodney Handy former RCHS Assistant Basketball Coach Annamaria Knight wife of William ’52 Mary K. Mc Keever mother-in-law of Suzanne Trotter McKeever Joseph F. McVaugh father of Brian ’93 Nellie Sgrillo wife of John ’53 Dr. John Votta RCHS Faculty Larry Wilson brother of Rodney Wilson, RCHS Staff In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made in the name of your loved one to Roman Catholic High School. Contact Terri Evans for more information.


The Empire

From the Desk of the Rector Dear Roman Family, “Ignite change. Ignite success” was the slogan of the day on August 23 as our administration met for the all day summer planning meeting. The discussion began with each of us offering one or more items that could enhance the lifeblood and adrenalin at Broad and Vine and make Roman Catholic High School a perennial urban success story. And that’s the goal: SUCCESS at every level. That’s part of the reason that 1,027 students from 161 grade schools from across the Delaware Valley converge every weekday for morning prayer and the pledge of allegiance at 8am. Thomas E. Cahill had the vision of a real-life Superman and the current Cahillites live that dream. Now is the time to “ignite success” into an ever-changing world of population shifts, technology and educational environments. So, if you are reading this issue of the Empire, you too are an important part of making the dream come true and making Roman Catholic successful now and forever. Amen to that! Thank you for your interest, passion and continued support of your alma mater.

Rev. John B. Flanagan 13th Rector of Roman Catholic

Times change and people change too. The students and faculty are the major force behind the Cahillite spirit and tradition. Unfortunately, we lost two good men this summer: Dr. John Votta and Nate Thomas ’13. There is a feature article about “Doc” Votta that can be found on page 18, and see the inside back cover as this issue is dedicated to Nate. Both men loved Roman, loved the Roman Family, and we loved them. Their families sat in the front row of the Cathedral for the opening School Mass on September 14th. It was an emotional day as we asked God to bless the Votta and Thomas Families and the entire Roman Family as we began the new academic year. As someone with a vested interest in Catholic High, you’ll be glad to know that this summer was packed with sights and sounds of construction and upgrades, illustrating the constant progress of Roman Catholic. The fire escapes in the courtyard were fully restored to look and function as they once did. Other work included: the Broad Street steps, renovations of the men’s and women’s cafeteria restrooms, patchwork on the roof, modern proximity style access cards to the building, the boardroom doors were fitted with tinted windows, and the faculty lounge and work area received new carpeting and new floors for restrooms. I am also proud to say that the gold cross standing high on the roof was gilded for all to see. The physical enhancements to Roman Catholic are merely a background to the changes in academia. You will be hearing about our iPad initiative on a regular basis because of the enthusiasm both our students and faculty share. We have launched the “1:1 iPad Initiative” for all 257 freshmen. No more book bags for the freshmen. Every textbook is available on their iPad. Continuing this initiative in the coming years will certainly continue the success of Catholic High. While the students are emerged in the digital world, they are also learning what it means to follow the model of Christ when interacting with one another. The spiritual theme this year is “Brothers in Christ”. In line with this, the Guidance Department has implemented a “No Place for Hate” program which will encourage everyone to be respectful and tolerant of our differences. The men of Roman Catholic have been “Brothers in Christ” since 1890 and have come together across the generations to celebrate the love that we have for Catholic High and each other. I hope to see you at a Roman event this year! God bless you and God bless the Roman Family! Peace, Rev. John B. Flanagan, 215.627.1270 ext. 110


Roman Catholic High School

A Message from the Alumni President

Dear Fellow Alums, A new school year is upon us. While the leaves change color and we travel back to our homes with good vacation memories and souvenirs, we realize that one thing remains constant – the success of Roman Catholic High School. It has become commonplace to say that the future of Roman is bright, but truly, the present is brighter than any of us could ever have imagined. During my tenure as Alumni President, I called on many of you to become involved in any way you could, and your work is beginning to pay dividends for Catholic High. Whether you are writing a check for the Adopt-A-Student program or sharing stories through the RCHS Alumni Facebook page, you are keeping the dream and mission of Thomas E. Cahill alive. The Class of 2012 graduated with over $20 million in college scholarships, the largest amount in the history of our school. Without discrediting our students, your annual giving, moral support, and above all, love of Roman Catholic, make this possible. This year, we will continue moving forward in upholding the traditions of our alma mater and providing our students with the education comparable to schools where tuition costs are prohibitive. On October 18th, we will host the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Award at the Union League of Philadelphia for the 21st year. This year’s recipient, Daniel J. Hilferty, is the President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross. In its history, this evening has raised nearly $2 million for Roman scholarships. It is a night for networking, but more importantly, it is a night for our students. Please see the adjacent page for information about the Leadership Award. There are many ways to get involved. Several weeks later, we will host the Roman Run on Kelly Drive (Sunday, November 11th) and then our alumni will gather for my favorite Roman event, the Communion Mass and Breakfast. This year, the Communion Breakfast will be held on Sunday, November 18th. If you have not been back to Roman for quite some time, the Communion Breakfast is the perfect way to get started. Gathering together as Cahillites to celebrate the Mass and a meal is the true illustration of the brotherhood which transcends all class years. We have seen in the past what we as brothers can do for our alma mater when we come together with a common goal. Progress should always be that goal. To see progress in action, visit Roman some time, come to a Trustees meeting or an event. One visit will lead to many more, that much I’m sure of. Have a wonderful fall season and enjoy your holidays. See you at Broad at Vine. Sincerely,

Lawrence J. Elliott ’66 President Roman Catholic High School Alumni Association

Day at the Bay Brings Cahillites Together

On Sunday, August 5th, the warm weather in Wildwood, NJ brought out Roman and Hallahan alums to the annual Day at the Bay at Keenan’s Irish Pub. Alums from all classes joined together to support Roman Catholic. Attendees listened to the sounds of Chico’s Vibe while enjoying drinks and a summer barbeque. This year’s Day at the Bay was one of the best in recent years, with Cahillites still lining up to attend well past four o’clock in the afternoon. Day at the Bay benefits River Field, the practice facility for Roman football, lacrosse, and rugby, located at 23rd and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Save the Date for next year’s Day at the Bay, Sunday, August 4th, 2013! If you did not purchase a Day at the Bay T-shirt and would like to do so in preparation for next year, please contact Steve Ziegler ’04, Director of Development at or 215.627.5487 ext. 311


Christopher J. Ferguson Director, Crew and Mission Operations Commercial Crew Program Space Exploration

Christopher J. Ferguson (Captain, USN, Ret.; former NASA Astronaut) was named Director of Crew and Mission Operations in the Boeing Commercial Crew program, in December 2011. A veteran of three shuttle missions, he reports to John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Commercial Programs. In this essential role in Boeing's human spaceflight program, Ferguson has comprehensive oversight for crew Interface in the design of Boeing's Commercial Crew Transportation System. In this capacity, he works with NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, Johnson Space Center's Engineering, Flight Crew and Mission Operations organizations and Kennedy Space Center's Commercial Crew Program, to ensure Boeing's design supports NASA's Human Rating Requirements. He also plays a key leadership role in the development and testing of system concepts and key technologies for the Commercial Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft and integrated launch and ground systems. By enabling development of a safe, reliable, and cost-effective solution for crew transportation to and from the International Space Station, this on-orbit research facility will continue to fulfill its promise as a world class laboratory. Ferguson was pilot of STS-115 (Atlantis) and commander of STS-126 (Endeavour) and the final shuttle mission, STS-135 (Atlantis). He has logged more than 40 days in space and 5,700 hours in high performance aircraft. He also served as deputy chief of the Astronaut Office and was spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) for the STS-188, 120l, 128 and 129 missions. His experience in crew communications, both on orbit and in the CAPCOM role, is a strong asset in his new Boeing role. Ferguson has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He has been recognized with numerous service awards and citations, including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Strike/Flight Air Medal, NASA Spaceflight Medal (three), Navy Commendation Medal (three) and the Navy Achievement Medal.

Save The Date! Saturday, March 2, 2013

Roman Catholic High School

2012 Communion Breakfast A Tradition That Crosses Generations The Annual Memorial Mass and Communion Breakfast will be held on November 18, 2012 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 9:00 a.m. This occasion is the largest yearly gathering of Cahillites from all generations for Mass, Breakfast, and Homecoming. It is a time for us to come together with our family and friends as Sons of Cahill. Reminisce with your classmates and fellow alums. Share your memories and stories with your friends and reflect on your spiritual wellbeing. Special seating will be provided for the 50th, 25th and 5th Anniversary Classes of 1962, 1987 and 2007. Last year more than 100 students joined us at this signature event! By sponsoring a student, your support will enable more students to attend this year! Breakfast immediately follows Mass at 10:15 A.M. at the Sheraton Hotel, 17th & Race Streets, with time to socialize prior to the program. The cost for breakfast is $25.00. If you have parish commitments (usher, lector, etc.) you may join us for breakfast. This year’s Toastmaster is William Collins ’62. The Principal Speaker, Chris Ferguson, Captain, USN, Retired, former NASA Astronaut (biography left) will undoubtedly regale the Cahillites with stories of his time serving this country both on the sea and among the stars. The annual Homecoming Reunion Reception with a hot and cold buffet, beer and wine for $25.00 per person follows at 1:00. Televisions may broadcast your favorite NFL games. For those of you who have not been to Broad and Vine in a few years, students will provide tours. A reservation list will be available at the entrance to the cafeteria.

To register online or print a response form, visit or Contact the Alumni & Development Office at 215.627.5487 or


Roman Catholic High School

Roman’s Olympian Remembers His Roots By: Steven Ziegler ’04

_______________________________ Perhaps Roman’s biggest story in athletics in recent years took place this summer at the 2012 summer Olympics in London. Glenn Ochal ’04 competed against the world’s greatest rowers as a member of an underdog crew team that surpassed expectations and came out of the games with a bronze medal. Ochal stopped by his alma mater in the summer and will return to Roman on Tuesday, October 16th as the keynote speaker at the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony. _______________________________ Glenn Ochal ’04 with current members of the RCHS crew team.

“There’s always room to improve,” Glenn Ochal’04 said to a crowd of students and faculty in the McShain Media Center at Roman Catholic High School on Wednesday, August 27th. The Olympic bronze medalist went on to say, “I improved in high school and college to get to this point and I hope to keep improving.” Despite his achievements, Ochal remains humble, always sharing the credit with his teammates and recognizing that he would not be where he is today without the support of those around him. Although he is now among the elite in his sport, things could have gone much differently were it not for a torn ligament in his finger that occurred during his freshman football season at Roman. “I remember Coach Murphy not being too happy when I told him I wasn’t coming back sophomore year,” Ochal said with a laugh. Standing today at 6’4”, 205 pounds, not much larger than he was in high school, his size would have made him any high school football coach’s dream player at a variety of positions. As they embraced in Roman’s library, Murphy and Ochal laughed that the legendary coach had finally come to terms with him leaving football to pursue his calling on the river.

Ochal’s success in rowing came even as a surprise to himself as he often found the sport “boring” as a child watching his older brother Kyle row for Roman Catholic. “I thought, ‘This is it, we’ll stand here for eight hours just to see Kyle row past us for a few seconds,’” Ochal joked. “But, now I’m obviously very happy that my dad took me to all those meets and regattas.” While rowing for Catholic High, Ochal placed 18th in the double sculls at the 2003 World Rowing Junior Championships. He graduated from Roman with honors in the classroom and on the Schuylkill, going on to row for Princeton University, placing 12th in quadruple sculls at the 2005 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. Since then, his accomplishments continued to build and included finishing eighth in the quadruple sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Championships, 11th in the double sculls at the 2011 Rowing World Cup stop in Lucerne, reaching the semifinals of the Double Sculls Challenge Cup at the 2011 Henley Royal Regatta, finishing fifth in the double sculls at the 2011 Rowing World Cup stop in Munich, seventh in the double sculls at the 2010 World Rowing Championships, seventh in the double sculls at the 2010 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, 12th in the quadruple sculls

at the 2009 World Rowing Championships, fourth in the quadruple sculls at the 2009 Rowing World Cup stop in Lucerne, fifth in the double sculls at the 2009 Rowing World Cup stop in Banyole, and 16th in the quadruple sculls at the 2007 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. The work ethic necessary to achieve such feats cannot be questioned. During the winter break of his freshman year at Princeton, he and his teammates were asked by their coach to develop “an absurd workout.” Ochal’s, which consisted of rowing twelve miles on the Schuylkill, biking seventeen miles, running a 10k, rowing 15k on a rowing machine and sprinting the steps of the Art Museum fifty times “because twenty-five wasn’t enough and a hundred was too much,” was published in Esquire Magazine. Hearing about this truly absurd workout, one may find it hard to believe there is still room for improvement, but Ochal is looking forward to working even harder for one goal in particular, “the 2016 Olympics.” “Crew isn’t something you normally do growing up. It is something you get involved with in high school,” Ochal says. “So, I can never mention my achievements without mentioning Roman. This is where it started.”

7 The


Wayns serving as an inspiration to current members of the RCHS Varsity Basketball team.

Maalik Wayns ’09 Doesn’t Stray Far from His Old Stomping Grounds By: Steve Ziegler ’04

Maalik Wayns graduated from Roman Catholic High School in 2009. Since then, the basketball star has been rising fast; first as a point guard for Villanova University and most recently signing with the Philadelphia 76ers on July 31, 2012. On Tuesday, September 25th, Wayns visited Roman Catholic High School to be honored during “Maalik Wayns Day.” As a junior at Roman Catholic, Wayns averaged 22.4 points, 5.1 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 steals. He was also a two-time MVP in the Philadelphia Catholic League and also first team All-City and All-State in Pennsylvania. As a senior, Wayns averaged 19.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists and won a Silver Medal playing for USA basketball at the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Formosa, Argentina. That same year, he was named a Parade All-American and McDonald's All-American at the end of the year. At Villanova, Wayns was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team and won Big East Rookie of the Week three times. Wayns finished with 6.8 points and 1.3 assists. During his sophomore year, success continued as he had a career-high 19 points against UCLA on November 24, 2010 along with 6 rebounds as Villanova won 82-70. During his junior year at Villanova, he was named 2nd Team All Big East, and 1st Team All-Philadelphia Big 5. While visiting Catholic High, Maalik reflected on his days as a student, telling the young men in attendance that at Roman he learned, “More than academics, more than basketball, I learned how to be a man and what it means to step into any role on or off the court.” Wayns answered questions from those in attendance, saying he was excited to play against the likes of Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. “I don’t know how I’m going to act when I’m on the court with them,” Wayns said with a laugh. He also spoke of the humbling experience of attending conduct summer school following his freshman year. “I was real wild as a freshman,” Wayns says. “I was playing freshman and JV ball and I knew I could do better. After conduct summer school, I knew what I had to do to make sure I could play.” Once his conduct was in check, Wayns matured during his time at Roman, becoming a leader at the high school level and subsequently at Villanova University. However, during his senior year, Wayns suffered a knee injury that many thought would hinder his college performance. “After my injury, people doubted me and said I wouldn’t go to ‘Nova. Then they said I wouldn’t start and I wouldn’t get drafted,” Wayns said. “I wanted to prove that I could and I just kept working to do it.” Following his talk with the student body, Wayns told Comcast Sportsnet, “I’m gonna take it all in. Whether Coach Collins plays me for ten minutes, two minutes, or no time at all, I’m accepting my role on a great team. Last year, I didn’t have that, but I was a leader. Now, I’m not a leader, but I’m going to contribute any way I can.” From his days as a Cahillite to his time as a Wildcat and now as a 76er, Wayns has represented Philadelphia well and it is a great thing to see a budding legend stay so close to his roots. Wayns addresses the student body of Roman Catholic.


Roman Catholic High School

2012 Greater Philadelphia Area Leadership Award Honoring Daniel J. Hilferty

President & CEO, Independence Blue Cross

Presenting Sponsor

Cocktail Reception Sponsor BPG Properties Purple and Gold Sponsor Aegis/UJMN/Keating Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes Philadelphia Insurance Companies PNC Bank Saint Joseph’s University Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP. Richard W. Vassallo, M.D. ’59

Roman Sponsor Blue Cross Broad Street Run Brian Communications Changing Our World Citizens Bank Drexel University Kistler-Tiffany Benefits Bill '64 and George '68 Lex Lexington Technology Auditing, Inc. M&T Bank/Wilmington Trust Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel PECO Union League of Philadelphia

Cahill Sponsor DMW Worldwide, LLC. Drinker, Biddle & Reathe, LLP EMCOR Services Fluidics Parkway Corporation Tower Investments, LLC.

The Greater Philadelphia Area Leadership Award will be held on Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at the Union League of Philadelphia. For more information, visit

Patron Aqua America Avery Foundation Doyle Alliance Group Robert Fahey K. Guller, LLC. Ernest Koschineg Stanley J. Nanczuk ’35 GPCD Partners, LLC Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Sponsors as of October 1, 2012

Memorial Mass and Kick Off Reception Our chapel was maxed out for the 23rd Annual Memorial Mass celebrated by Father John Flanagan for the living and deceased members of the Roman Alumni Sports Hall of Fame Family, extended family, and all of those who champion the cause of positive influence through the heritage of athletics. The Mass is also offered as a special prayer of thanks for SHOF’s many blessings since its inception in 1990. Our 23rd Annual Kick Off Reception was held in the McShain Media Center where we enjoyed dinner and reminisced with alumni family members and planned ahead for our 23rd year. Our next meeting will be held on Thursday evening, October 11, 2012 in the Faculty Dining Room at 6:30 PM. Fides Et Scientia, Tom Kearney ’58, Corresponding Secretary, To nominate someone for the Sports Hall of Fame, contact Tom Kearney ’58 at

John Livewell ’91, Steve Paul ’83 and Pat Mundy ’75 discuss great memories of Catholic High outside the chapel at Roman Catholic High School.

9 The


Catholic High students march to the Cathedral on the way to the opening of school Mass.

Manifesting the Dream of Thomas E. Cahill By: William Pilny ’14

The essay below earned William a scholarship from the Philadelphia Phillies and he was named an ‘Extraordinary Scholar’ by the organization.

I am a motivated, hard-working student who believes in giving back to his community. This ethic was instilled in me by my parents, developed while playing travel sports and grew while attending St. Monica School in South Philly. Since my arrival at Roman Catholic High School, the dedication to my studies has continued, as I have earned the #1 class ranking during my freshman and sophomore years. I have remained active in my community while working to maintain my academics. I am a member of the RCHS Student Ambassadors. Roman Ambassadors promote student leadership and avenues of service through real and practical public activities. We are trained in all the rules of etiquette and proper deportment that pertain to school leadership and a positive image, because Roman Ambassadors represent RCHS at all public functions and activities. This past Christmas, I took part in the collection and distribution of food and toys to the needy families and children of our community. I am also a member of Roman Catholic’s S.A.D.D. Club. Students Against Destructive Decisions participate in various activities that heighten the level of awareness of drunk driving and other negative behaviors within the school community. Recently, I took part in International Cultures Club Night, where a variety of international customs and traditions were presented at a school dinner. I was proud to have been chosen as my school’s class coordinator to SpeakUp! - a joint program recently held between Roman Catholic and Hallahan High Schools that provided our students, educators and parents the skills, opportunity and support to SpeakUp! and be heard on the critical issues of today. Outside of school, I helped to coordinate and run a Pitch Hit & Run Contest for the boys and girls ages 7–13 of Glassboro Little League. I also taught baseball skills to younger players at GLL last summer. Finally, I have served as youth assistant for the U11-U12 SJSL Soccer Teams that my father has coached the past two years. Twice a week, I help teach soccer skills, referee scrimmages and act as a role model and mentor to these young soccer players. As I look ahead to my upperclassmen years at Roman, I hope to be accepted into the Big Brother Program, become a member of Student Council and earn acceptance into the National Honor Society. I look forward to becoming a role-model for our underclassmen by maintaining my academic standing and continuing my activities within and outside of our student community.


Roman Catholic High School

The Disposition By: Robert J. Dawson ’57

The 1926 Baseball Team together as one.

Recognition is part of the “Purple and Gold” family. In 1992, I attended a Hall of Fame Dinner in Horsham, Pennsylvania honoring our current and former athletes. The audience experienced a special account of a Roman Baseball victory in 1926 over our ancient foe, St. Joe’s Prep. The speaker and a main participant was Msgr. Francis Hickey, who pitched the game. He delighted us with his amazing memory of the conquest. The issue was the Catholic League Baseball Title. At the time, the league consisted of a much larger geographical area with fewer schools. Our official name until the 1950’s was Catholic High. The league total was seven, namely: Catholic High Camden Catholic in New Jersey St. Joe’s Prep Salesianum in Delaware West Catholic High Trenton Catholic in New Jersey La Salle High His first words after thanking everyone were, “I didn’t have a thing on the ball, but the Prep pitcher was worse. Besides, this was the championship and our opponent was our old nemesis, St. Joe’s. We didn’t want to lose the game, especially to them. The game was a slugfest with the score being 15 to 9, with 24 hits, more like a football game.” The newspaper accounts of the Philadelphia Bulletin and the Philadelphia Ledger were detailed and complete. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s account barely mentioned the game, reporting it more of a loss for the Prep as opposed to a victory for Catholic. The following is this writer’s composite of their accounts. “The Purple and Gold pounded Mulvenna, the Prep’s starting pitcher, for six runs in the first three innings and O’Brien for nine more completing the 15 run total. Catholic had a balanced attack with 14 hits and RBI’s by eight members of the starting nine including the pitcher, Hickey.” The heroes of the game were Catholic’s dual captains, shortstop James “Jimmie” Kane and catcher Joseph “Tubbie” Walker; both of quiet demeanor and fierce determination, excelling in baseball, football and basketball, as well as high scholastic honors. Walker, All-Catholic in both football and basketball in our dual championship city titles, as a stellar fullback on the playing field, shooting guard in basketball, and a tough receiver and home run hitter in baseball. Kane was an outstanding defensive shortstop and clutch hitter in baseball, a regular end on the gridiron, and a clever ball-handling guard on Catholic’s championship five.” In the contest, “Tubby” Walker started the scoring in the second inning, hitting a home run with Cahill aboard. He later singled with the bases loaded scoring two more. “Jimmie” Kane shared in the attack, driving in four runs with three hits. The additional eight runs were provided by the rest of the team. Hickey finished the contest as the winning pitcher.” After Msgr. Hickey’s narrative, the applause was deafening. The entire 1926 Baseball Championship Team was inducted into Catholic’s Hall of Fame. The playing lineup was as follows: Kane, SS Cahill, LF Doherty, RF Alminde, 3B Kelly, 2B Junkers, P Cosgrove, 1B Connelly, CF Hickey, P Callahan, 1B Walker, C Lally, P John Junkers stands Calter, RF Dohentz, C Williams, P stoically on the mound The tribute was to a great team for a splendid season and their gutsy winning performance for the title in that long ago at Cahill Field. forgotten victory.


Class of 2002 10 Year Reunion October 13, 2012 The Irish Pub 12th and Walnut Streets 7:00 to 11:00 pm

Alumni Calendar

2012 Greater Philadelphia Area Leadership Award October 18, 2012 Union League, Philadelphia, PA 6 PM

Communion Breakfast November 18th Mass 9:00 AM at Cathedral-Basilica Breakfast 10:30AM at the Sheraton Blue Mass of Thanksgiving November 21st Cathedral-Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul 10 AM

Roman Run 2012 November 11th Lloyd Hall, Kelly Drive 7:30 am

Cahill Chance Drawing December 14th RCHS 3 PM

May 2013 - Alumni Golf Outing Details to Follow Cahill Cup Classic May 7th Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 1 PM Cahill Club Dinner May 22nd 6 PM

The Empire

Cahill Chance Drawing June 14th RCHS 1 PM

John Hoban ’59 Golf Outing June 24th Center Square Golf Course 8:30 AM

Baccalaureate/Graduation June 7th Cathedral-Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul 6:30 PM

Roman Run MMXII

Are You Ready for Some Football! Join Us for Our 4th Annual Regional Reunion 5K (3.1 Mile) RUN & ONE MILE FUN RUN/WALK (Rain or Shine!) SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11th (Starting at Lloyd Hall on Kelly Drive) 7:30 a.m. Registration 8:45 a.m. Starting Point 9:00 a.m. Start Roman Run Sponsorships $100 •Your business name printed on every Roman Run t-shirt •A profile of your business in our Roman Run booklet

•Registration for 1 to participate in the Roman Run or walk $250 •Same as above with your business logo as well Entry Fee and Registration $25.00 if postmarked by November 6, 2012 $30.00 if after November 6, 2012 $15.00 for all students 18 & under Make checks payable to Roman Catholic High School.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 Chickie’s & Pete’s Roosevelt Blvd. Location Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys $30.00 per person (includes beer, wine, & buffet) 7:30 P.M. – 9:30 P.M. Register online www.RCHSAlumni. org/chickies2012


Roman Catholic High School

Attention Alums! Come Back to Broad and Vine and Connect with Your Alma Mater Having a Reunion? Make sure you let us know. Contact Steve Ziegler ’04, Director of Development and Communications, 215.627.5487 ext. 311 or Upcoming Reunions Class of 1947 Chairperson: William Barrett ’47 Class of 1950 Chairperson: Harry Spearing ’50 John Jungers ’50 Class of 1952 Co-Chairperson: James G. Heil ’52 Co-Chairperson: Barry Siegfried ’52 Date: Friday, November 16, 2012 Place: Overbrook Country Club 779 Godfrey Road, Villanova, PA 19085 Time: 12 Noon Cost: $50 per person (guests are welcome) Class of 1962 - 50th Reunion Chairperson: John Malloy ’62 Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012 Place: Roman Catholic High School Time: 7 -11 PM Cost: $75 per person (guests are welcome) Class of 1972 Chairperson: Tom Johnston ’72 Date: October 20th, 2012 Place: Roman Catholic High School Time: 7-11 PM Class of 1977 Chairperson: Mike Pelone ’77 and Rev. Joseph W. Bongard ’77 Class of 1982 Chairperson: John J. DePaul ’82 Class of 1987 Chairperson: Paul Zakrzewski ’87 Class of 1992 Chairperson: Dan Hoban ’92 Class of 2002 Date: October 13, 2012 Place: Irish Pub (12th and Walnut Streets) Time: 7:00 P.M. Cost: $35.00 Chairperson: George Beerschank ’02


Block Pool to Benefit Catholic High Contact Leo Lynch ’64 • 215.844.5769 Last Year’s Winners: First Half - Larry Ryan ’64 • Second Half – Chuck Sebastiani ’66



The Empire

Roman Senior Gives a Senior Citizen a Chance

During the summer, Robert Pallister ’13 of St. Cecilia’s Parish was playing hockey with his friends at the Northeast Racket Club when an elderly man watching the game dropped to the ground due to cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. While there were many adults around, Robert, who has been working as a volunteer fireman, was the only person to come to the man’s aid. He performed CPR, keeping the man alive until an ambulance arrived. Sadly, the man who was in his eighties passed away later that night in his hospital bed. Robert’s quick thinking and bravery gave the man a chance to be surrounded by his family at the hospital when he passed.

Freshman Orientation the Most Successful to Date

For the fourth consecutive summer, the Roman Catholic High School freshman class attended a two-day orientation in August in order to become acclimated to Roman while getting to know their fellow classmates. This year, 94% of the students enrolled in the Class of 2016 attended this orientation on the originally scheduled day with the rest making up the day the following week. Roman’s iPad initiative (see below) was believed to be part of the reason for the increased attendance.

iPad Initiative Enhances Roman’s Curriculum

The 2012-2013 class year marks the first year in the Roman 1 to 1 iPad initiative. This initiative is designed to move Roman Catholic into a fully digital classroom as the Class of 2016 is the first to embark on this academic journey. Every student in the freshman class is required to have an iPad which they have purchased in conjunction with Roman. Upperclassmen also have the opportunity to purchase the iPad although it is not required of them. Just one month into the school year, both the students and the faculty are impressed with the iPad, which has eliminated textbooks and workbooks and connected them in a way that a few short years ago seemed impossible.


Roman Catholic High School

Class Notes…And So Much More! 1953: Jim Dougherty - representing Fairmount - was added to the Brewerytown Fairmount Cathedral & Schuylkill Navy All Timers & Friends Honor Roll at their recent October luncheon at Cannstatter's. 1955: Joe Casee - representing Brewerytown - was added to the Brewerytown Fairmount Cathedral & Schuylkill Navy All Timers & Friends Honor Roll at their recent October luncheon at Cannstatter's. 1959: Bill Klusman - representing Cathedral - was added to the Brewerytown Fairmount Cathedral & Schuylkill Navy All Timers & Friends Honor Roll at their recent October luncheon at Cannstatter's.

1959: Skip Peszka ’59 and the love of his life, Carol (Gunther) Hallahan ’60, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Brigantine, NJ. The “young” couple has traveled extensively far and wide over the years but decided to return to where they enjoyed their first vacation together as well as many vacations in Brigantine with their four children.

2004: Olympic Bronze Medalist Glenn Ochal representing The Schuylkill Navy - was added to the Brewerytown Fairmount Cathedral & Schuylkill Navy All Timers & Friends Honor Roll at their recent October luncheon at Cannstatter's. 2008: Congratulations to Louis DiCicco ’08 who is now a journeyman in Carpenters Union Local 1050 after graduating in May 2012.

A Man For All Reasons

Sending Our Prayers

Joseph A. Fox, Class of ’38 suffered a stroke on 9/8/2012. He spent four days in Holy Redeemer Hospital and was returned to his residence, Southampton Estates, 238 Street Road, Southampton, PA on 9/11. He no longer resides in his apartment, B-211, but is in the medical section of the retirement complex called Willowbrook Court. Joe is wheelchair bound but is fully alert to his circumstances and is able to speak, although his speech is very weak. He is undergoing speech therapy and they get him to balance himself, only momentarily, on a walker. Joe would appreciate visits from his ’38 classmate.

By: Joe Roddy ’52 I was really a loner in my youth, except for baseball. I didn’t participate in after shool activities because I delivered papers that took most of my time and occasionally worked in the movies across the street in the evening. Besides I wasn’t allowed out at night to keep me out of trouble. To be truthful I did not hang out with Jerry and his crowd due to the above and the fact I was painfully shy. So I knew Jerry McEntee from afar for the most part. He lived near me and we walked home together for lunch in grammar school. Once he told me his mom said we were the poorest family in the parish. For some reason I was proud of this perception, even though it was far from the truth. He exhibited signs of leadership early on. When mischief occurred, which often did, you could be sure Jerry was the instigator. He was fun, dynamic, and full of energy. While at La Salle College Jerry lived down the shore during the summer, I believe Gerald W. McEntee ’52 recently retired after 31 years Wildwood, New Jersey. He rented beach chairs and umbrellas on the boardwalk. as the President of AFSCME. In a press release from Some dispute developed between the employer and his many employees. Jerry the AFL-CIO, they said of McEntee, “He may be led a strike that lasted some time, eventually hitting the newspapers in Philadelphia. known as Mr. Politics for his leadership as chair of And so started Jerry on his life long profession of union organizer and leader. the AFL-CIO Political Committee, but he has always Before assuming the International Presidency of the American Federation of State, spearheaded organizing, too. He has been the first to County, Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME), McEntee began his distinguished embrace new visions and new ideas—he co-founded the career as a Labor Leader in Pennsylvania. He was elected Executive Director at the Economic Policy Institute, threw his passion into health Founding Convention of AFSCME Council and an International Vice President in 1974. care reform and became an early champion of Working Shortly thereafter he bacame the International President of the 1.6 million member America, helping drive its phenomenal growth and sucorganization-(AFSCME), one of the most aggressive and political active organizing cess…he deserves equal praise as guardian of the soul unions, still growing. It is the second largest union in the country. of the proud union that empowered Memphis sanitaJerry is a well respected union leader in Washington for his integritty, honesty, tion workers to assert “I Am a Man”; the union that fairness and total passion to the union cause. It is his passion to the average working virtually trademarked the struggle for dignity for all individual that drives this leader to work ten, twelve hour days for years even today, work and just rewards for all workers; and the union that has enabled city, county and state workers to turn for the causes he deeply believes, guided by the concept of Social Justice, enumerated government jobs into the noble professions of public in The Sermon on the Mount. service that we know today.” Jerry became friendly with Bill Clinton early on and lent his entire staff to the Presidential Nominee in 1992, free, during Mr. Clinton’s drive for the nomination. As a result of his efforts, loyalty and heritage, he accompanied the President to Ireland in the attempt to end the conflict among the Northern Ireland people. It was about this time I was reunited with Jerry at the 40th anniversity of our high school reunion. We reminisced about the old neighborhood and enjoyed the entire evening along with Jerry’s other friends. We have since enjoyed a warm friendship, although sparingly as Jerry’s activities keeps his leisure time to a minimum. I attended Jerry’s 60th birthday party at the Hilton Hotel in Washington in January, 1995. He had many celebrities speak in front of representatives of his union troughout the country; John Sweeney, Richard Gephart, Bob Reich and others. At eight o’clock in the evening President Clinton entered the hall and gave an uplifting speech on Jerry’s behalf that lasted 20 minutes, citing Jerry’s loyalty and passion for the union cause. He was again elected President in 2008, thirty four years and still going. This story is another inspiring career emenating from our wonderful neighborhood, Swampoodle. Mr. McEntee lives with his wife Barbara in Washington, D.C.

15 The

For More Great Pictures, Visit


For More Great Pictures and Stories, look for your Annual Report and visit

Top row left, Assistant Principal for Student Services & Disciplinarian Mr. Terry Kane at graduation with some of the students he kept on the right track for four years. Top row right, Vince Ferraro ’14 and Gaetano Sabelli ’15 clown around at the Homecoming Dance. The social life at Catholic High is one of the most important aspects to sustaining the brotherhood that has come to be synonymous with the Roman experience. Right, Jim McShane ’12 treks through Belmont Plateau.

Above, Pat Paul ’12, Ed McGovern ’12 and Justin Wolfington ’12 gather around the Cahillite during the annual Universal Visitation Day for 8th graders. Each year, the presence of seniors and the Cahillite gives potential students the opportunity to feel as though they are already a part of the Roman family. Right, Mark Amorosi ’12 lights a candle representing one of the Four Pillars of the National Honor Society at the 2011 induction ceremony. Earning a place on the National Honor Society is the goal of many students from the first day they step foot in Catholic High.


Roman Catholic High School

A New & Familiar Place By: Steve Ziegler ’04

Earlier this year, the term “a new and familiar place” was thrown around when speaking about why Roman appeals to so many students in the Delaware Valley. So, I used this term when marketing to potential students. The more I thought about what it meant; I realized that it applies to all of us who have been connected to Catholic High in one way or another. When entering Roman Catholic from elementary school, it is a new and overwhelming place, but the feeling of warmth and acceptance is immediate. As alums, when we come back and see the changes at our alma mater, we

again have those feelings that we hold so dear to our hearts. The roots of Roman are deep. Tens of thousands of men have roamed the halls of Roman Catholic for more than a century and their legacy still lives on in the Cahillites of today. Roman Catholic is successful today because of the men who came before; men willing to take charge and ensure that Thomas E. Cahill’s dream remain intact. Today, the students at Roman bond from the moment they sit down at their first lunch until they march out of the Cathedral on graduation night singing “The Purple and Gold.”

This bond is what has held us together as the Roman family for generations. Roman Catholic High School has set solid foundations for many men who have come before you. The Roman family is dedicated to ensuring that you enjoy the same success as our alumni. I believe I speak for all alums when I say that just passing by Broad and Vine conjures up memories of friendships and brotherhood that developed over four years of high school. This new and familiar place is undoubtedly a second home for those who have experienced what it means to live Thomas E. Cahill’s dream and benefit from it.

Don’t Just Make a Gift – Plan ItEE 17 The 17 The

mpire mpire

• Guarantee that Roman will be successful for generations to come. • Plan for your own financial future, save taxes, increase retirement earnings, and protect your assets. • Gain extra tax benefits and help us more generously. • Make a gift we can count on in the future, but that costs you nothing during your lifetime. For More Information Visit


Roman Catholic High School

In Memoriam–Dr. John Votta

John Votta epitomized the phrase “a gentleman and a scholar.” His professionalism, dedication to his students, and preparedness were hallmarks of his personality. As a very successful A.P. Biology teacher, John inspired his students with his wealth of knowledge and gentle wit. By the time his students took the advanced placement exam in May, they were not only well-prepared but confident that Doc Votta wouldn’t steer them the wrong way. With a double doctorate in podiatric medicine and zoology, one would think that John would want all the advanced science courses. However, John always asked for the freshman physical science course because he felt that is where he could help the most students. He believed that he could instill in them a strong foundation and love of science. He was right. John didn’t merely teach his students; he cared about them and their success. If there was any question about the positive impact that he had on them, it was erased when so many of his students came to his funeral during the summer dressed in their school uniform as a final tribute to a man who had done so much for them.

By: John Pensabene His loss was not only felt by the students, but the faculty as well. John was beloved by his colleagues. He could be counted on to offer guidance, advice, and constructive criticism. If John said something, it was taken to heart by everyone around him. John’s presence in the faculty dining room can never be replaced. Not only could John speak intelligently on just about every topic from history to sports to pop culture, he was always able to add humor to his opinions. John’s lunch table was never empty. This small, humble man became the center of attention, and it was easy to see that he enjoyed the company of those around him as much as we enjoyed him. Toward the end of Pope John Paul II’s life, it was said that he first taught us how to live, and now he is teaching us how to die. It was obvious that John took this example to heart. Although frail and visibly in pain, John put on a jacket and tie and came to Roman every day. Low on energy but full of heart, John taught his five classes, viewing his responsibility to his students as a reason to keep going. He was always the consummate professional. Each day when he left or spoke to any one of us on the phone, he would finish with the words, “love ya!” To the very end, John remained a man for others. Although John is no longer physically with us, his life lessons, humor, and love with remain with us forever.

RCHS Hat Trick of Miracles

Back in the 1980ʼs, I worked steadily for the Phillies TV broadcast at the Vet. While there, I met Jim Murray, an engaging man of strong faith. Not only was Jim the former GM of the Eagles, but more importantly, he was the founder of the Ronald McDonald House. Jim was looking for a ʻTV Guyʼ and we connected. Even though he is a ʼ56 West Catholic Grad, he hired me. Jimʼs new company was a key player in the Ladies Professional Golf Associationʼs tour stop at White Manor CC in Malvern. The LPGA McDonaldʼs Championship benefitted the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Once, as we were inside the CBS-TV truck on the course, Jim said, “Who could ever picture...a guy from West and a guy from Roman in the middle of all this?” However, months before that happy day, Jim had picked me up one gloomy January morning on the Ridge. We were on our way to Washington for meetings. But the bad news had hit. Roman would close its doors in June! Jim and I commiserated on our way to pick up the third member of our travel team, Ed Piszek... there it was on the nightly TV news with a picket line of moms in front of the Cardinalʼs residence! ʻNobodyʼs ever done this before...Roman is history!ʼ I was the designated driver that day. This would free up Jim and Mr. Piszek

By: Ed Klitsch ’57

to work during the trip, using the then new gizmo, the car phone! Who was this third party? Ed Piszek was an energetic man of faith, a philanthropist, the founder of the Mrs. Paulʼs Frozen Food brand, ʻThe FishKingʼ, PLUS a man of action! As soon as he got into the car he wanted to know why I was not my cheery self. Jim explained. Piszek was a man with many friends in high places. They included Pope John Paul II and the Archbishop of Philadelphia, John Cardinal Krol. He grabbed the phone and called the Cardinal. After some pleasantries he got right to it. He said something like... ʻIʼm here with a Roman alumnus who is very unhappy with the announced school closingʼ... he listened a bit and then said, “Well, your Excellency, you can tell him for yourself... if you wish?” He pushed the speaker button and the car was filled with, “Young man, if you can get ʻthose womenʼ off my front walk, weʼll see what we can do!” I gulped, “Iʼll try my best.” “You DO that!” CLICK!

The next day, I met up with Jim at the Spectrum. He was grinning, “Way to go Eddie! You ARE good, howʼd you do it?” I was puzzled? He leaned in, Come on, ʻthose womenʼ did NOT show at the Cardinalʼs residence knew that, right?” He and Piszek had talked. I had NO clue.

Miracle number 1. I spent the rest of the day in D.C., parked outside of the meetings. I wondered what to do? I could not picture going up to ʻthose womenʼ in the midst of their brave picket line stance and telling them to stop? (What? are you kidding?) It was a long day. I got home far too late for anything.

Miracle number 3. THE HAT TRICK! Soon after, Cardinal Krol announced that RCHS would remain open if the Trustees met his proposal. The Alumni delivered. You know the rest. Miracles or coincidence? Iʼve heard that coincidence is just Godʼs way of remaining anonymous. I believe it.

Miracle Number 2. Later that month I had some biz at the Inquirer. There, at the corner of Broad and Vine, was Phillyʼs Finest Traffic Officer – Ed Haynes, RCHS class of ʼ57. He was just going on his break from his daily magic show directing 12 lanes of traffic at Broad and Vine. His stylish flair had made him famous. He was now in a national Philadelphia TV spot along with Bill Cosby and Patti LaBelle. I told him about Mr. Piszek, the phone call and ʻthose womenʼ. “No kiddin?, he said, “maybe thatʼs why Piszekʼs been down here at school a few times recently?”

19 The

Andrew Heldrich, Inventor


Class of 1894

Andrew Heldrich, a student in the first graduating class of Roman Catholic High School, went on to become an engineer and inventor of note. Many of his inventions are in use today. Google Patents' lists some of these inventions. On his way to Long Island one evening to work on a patent, the car in which Andrew was a passenger was struck by a train. He and his friend, the driver, were killed. He was 46 and left a wife and five sons. After graduating from Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia, Andrew Heldrich earned a degree in mechanical engineering from a college in Worchester Mass. He became a production engineer, as well as a designer and builder. Andrew first made his living as the proprietor of a mechanic company (A. Nacke & Son, S. 9th St. Phil.) where he built people's inventions. An advertisement for his business appeared in a 1910 Popular Mechanics magazine. It read, “Inventors: Our Brain Belongs to You.” Andrew was recognized by the Manufacturing Association of Philadelphia after patenting a lighting ring for egg incubation. He sold his business and took a position as manager of the American Incubator company in New Brunswick, N.J. which at the time was the largest incubator company in the world!

Above: Heldrich ’94 with his wife and 4 Sons

Listed below are some of Andrew Heldrich's patents: 1912 Type Cast Machine parts 1916 Key Cutting Machine 1917 Automatic Register 1919 Shock Absorber for motor cars 1928 Lighting Ring for incubators

For additional information, contact Roman Catholic High School 301 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 Admissions Office: (215) 627-1270 Ext. 159 Fax: (215) 627-4979 E-Mail: Like Us on Facebook Roman Catholic High School Alumni Association Follow Us on Twitter @RomanCatholicHS Watch Us on You Tube RomanCatholicHS

Roman Catholic High School The Empire 301 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

This issue of The Empire is dedicated to

Nate Thomas ’13 Forever a Cahillite

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Philadelphia, PA Permit No. 201

The Empire Fall 2012  

The Empire, The Official Magazine of Roman Catholic High School Alumni, Family, and Friends

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you