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EAST WEYMOUTH ? The roots of Peg Fasino’s family run deep at Immaculate Conception Parish in East Weymouth.
Almost since the parish’s beginning, her family has been worshipping there. In fact, Fasino’s father was baptized at Immaculate Conception Parish in 1897.
So it was no surprise when, at 16, she began teaching religious education at the urging of the Sisters of St. Joseph who staffed the parish school she attended.
For the next 20 years, Fasino taught religious education. She ultimately helped the parish write the curriculum for its confirmation program. She also served as a teacher coordinator and consultant.
“I was involved my entire adult life in the religious education program,” Fasino, 79, said speaking from her Weymouth home.
However, Fasino is quick to add that her years in the religious education program would not have been possible without the help and support of her late husband, James.
Particularly when they were raising their four children, “James would rearrange his whole life so he could be home with the children when I had to be at the parish,” she said. He would often have to leave work mid-afternoon and return in the evening, once her classes were finished.
But Fasino’s involvement did not stop with religious education. Fasino and her husband also were on the team of presenters for the parish’s marriage preparation program. Indeed, for several years the couple served as the main marriage preparation contact for the Quincy vicariate.
“I did what I think the Lord wanted me to do,” she said meekly. “I would be remiss if I didn’t.”
However, her involvement in the parish had to be significantly cut back when her husband fell ill with Alzheimer’s disease. After 20 years of being a stay-at-home mother, Fasino had to become the family breadwinner, taking a job with the Weymouth public schools as the district’s first English as a Second Language teacher. When not working, Fasino cared for her husband throughout his long illness until his death in 1997.
Since her retirement five years ago, Fasino has renewed her involvement in parish programs. She is the chairperson for the adult faith education program in her parish. In addition, she represents her parish in the Weymouth cluster of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). She also serves as a lector at Mass, a duty she said she enjoys tremendously.
According to Fasino, her faith has carried her through her life.
“It affects everything I do in my life,” she said.
She admitted she is “saddened” by the number of people who have left their faith in recent years because of the turmoil in the Church, and “would like to see more outreach for those who have left.”
She praised her pastor, Father Bill Salmon, for his ability to “build community” within the parish with events such as a monthly family breakfast which “brings the parish together socially.”
“The faith is beautiful here,” she said.