Cathy and Dominic Nicastro Saint Peter’s Fiesta 2015
By Ray Lamont
The man who for years was St. Peter’s guardian and played a central role in St. Peter’s Fiesta has passed away.
Dominic Nicastro Sr., 66, who went to work as a commercial fisherman right after graduating from Gloucester High School, died early Thursday morning at the Golden Living Center after a lengthy illness.
For decades, Nicastro played a central role in Fiesta’s salute to the patron saint of fishermen, first as one of the carriers of the St. Peter’s statue and then, from 2000 through 2015, as its primary guardian, said Joe Novello, head of St. Peter’s Fiesta Committee. Nicastro was the statue’s fifth guardian in the festival’s 89-year history, handing over the duties to Joe Orlando in 2015.
“He was a genuine man, just a very good guy,” said Novello of Nicastro on Thursday. “He was a very proud man, but he was very respected as a leader.”
Novello recalled that Nicastro eventually bought his own lobster boat, then later worked as a diesel mechanic with the Cape Ann Transportation Authority. But his heart, he said, was always with Fiesta.
“He so loved St. Peter,” said Sara Favazza, 86, whose father, Capt. Salvatore Favazza, commissioned the statue in 1927 and is among the founders of Fiesta.
Nicastroserved for years as president of the St. Peter’s Club, and played a role in organizing Fiesta’s sporting events. He regularly joined his wife Catherine in attending each night of the nine-day Novena to St. Peter, Novello recalled.
“He was do dedicated, I never saw such a dedicated man,” added Favazza, who is Catherine Nicastro’s cousin. “Even with all the (health issues) he had, he kept going. He took care of St. Peter. He was very very meticulous. After my father, I’d say he was the best guardian we ever had. My father would have been so proud of him to have seen him as guardian.”