On Our Bookshelf:    Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories

Migiore DiPierro e announce




“You can read about the special relationship between the Italian people and the Catholic Church over the years.”

Fr Evo DiPierro has two special books on his shelf: one he co-authored and co-edited 18 years ago, and a new second edition which includes his story now as well.

Now pastor of four parishes in our diocese (Holy Rosary, Ballantynes Cove; St. George, Georgeville; St. Columba, Lakevale and St. Mary, Maryvale), Evo DiPierro was a new university graduate headed to law school when approached by Dr. Sam Migliore to coauthor a book chronicling the stories of Italian immigrants on Cape Breton Island: their immigration experiences and family life; working in steel, coal, politics and law, commerce, medicine and religion; their skills in music, art, sports and food; their treatment during the Second World War; discussions about cultural identity; and more.

Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories was published by UCCB Press (now CBU Press, cbup.ca) in September 1999; the 1,200-title print run sold out soon after. “There were not a lot of books in Canada profiling communities that way, with people describing their businesses and families in their own words.” Now 18 years later, the book has been updated and re-released both in print and electronically via Amazon. In the 2nd edition, Fr. Evo is again co-author but now one of several Italian priests profiled in its pages, including Frs. Viola, MacLean, D’Intino, Marinelli and Gatto. “It continues to be a gratifying project for me,” he says.


 Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories
Cape Breton University Press, 2017

“I always say I’m Italian, but I’m Canadian first….I don’t think there is anything wrong with holding on to your culture or heritage. No matter what nationality you are, I think everybody looks back and says these are my roots….”  Rose DeLorenzo, p.373


From the back cover:
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, is most often associated with a version of Scottish culture that
has evolved in its own unique ways. Though worthy of celebration, that perception tends
to overwhelm the realities of everyday life experiences by people from a variety of ethnic
backgrounds. A strong and vibrant Italian presence on the island, for instance, dates back more
than 150 years.
Italian Lives, Cape Breton Memories
conveys the rich and varied experiences of Italians living in
Cape Breton in their own words—the immigration experience; work experience in the home,
the steel plant and the coal mines, and life in business, politics and other areas of endeavour.
As ethnographers, editors and analysts, Sam Migliore and Evo DiPierro help illuminate a
variety of other important and sensitive subjects: the
treatment of Italians during the Second World War; the
maintenance of a sense of cultural identity and traditions;
and the sorrow of watching family and friends leave the
island for employment elsewhere.

Available at:
Emmaus Bookstore, Diocesan Pastoral Centre, 200 Churchill Dr., Membertou
CBU Press: cbup.ca or call 902-563-1604 for orders
Cape Breton Curiosity Shop, Charlotte St., Sydney
Amazon.ca, Amazon.com and Amazon.it