Living the Faith: Michael and Louise Scipione

STOUGHTON -- “The doors are never closed at Immaculate Conception,” according to Michael Scipione, who has been a parishioner for the past 43 years.

Scipione referred not only to the doors of the church itself, which his wife Louise said are always open “from dusk to dawn,” but also to the feeling of being a part of a “warm, faith-filled community of believers.”

Michael and Louise Scipione, both originally from Boston neighborhoods, have been parishioners at “the Immaculate” for most of their 48 years of marriage, bringing up both their children, now ages 47 and 44, in the faith at the parish. Michael currently teaches the 11th-grade confirmation class. He also helps out at the St. Anthony’s Market Food Pantry, where he picks up food donated by Second Harvest, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. Louise is the religious education coordinator for the younger children of the parish. She is also a lector and an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. With her grandchildren, who live with the Scipiones, she is also involved in the parish’s LifeTeen program.

“To me my faith is about being a part of a community, not just attending Mass on Sundays,” she said. “Being able to receive the sacrament of reconciliation and the Eucharist is a strong part of who I am as a person.”

Michael agreed. “I depend on the Lord for everything I do. He comes first in my life.”

Michael praised his pastor, Father Joseph McDermott, for being the glue that holds the parish together.

“Father is the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet,” he said. “He knows everyone by name.”

According to Michael, it is Father McDermott’s devotion to his parishioners that has brought together the various ethnic communities that are present in the parish.

“Our parish is unusual because we are very diverse -- with a big Portuguese community, and now a Brazilian community and a Haitian one as well, but everyone gets along,” explained Louise. “Everyone is very involved, even in the ethnic feasts, such as the Portuguese feast that the parish holds twice a year.”

To foster that unity, important liturgies, such as those of Holy Week, are all bilingual -- even trilingual -- to ensure that all parishioners feel a part of the liturgy.

“Holy Week is the most important week of the year in my opinion,” Michael said. “And it’s just done beautifully.”

“I am very proud of the fact that we have a wonderful diversified parish,” he added. “Who could ask for more?”

Immaculate Conception Parish, Stoughton

Year established -- 1872

Pastor -- Father Joseph McDermott

Parochial Vicar -- Father Felix Filho

Deacon -- Francis Hefferman

Religious Education Directors -- Alice Bachant, grades 3-11; Louise Scipione, grades K-2

Music Director -- Robin Cedrone

Youth Minister -- Linda Paine