SUMTER—Two new transitional deacons are one step closer to priesthood with the Adorno Fathers, who currently serve in three areas of the Diocese of Charleston.
Deacon Rufino Madridejos and Deacon Kevin Daborbor were ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone during a joyful liturgy held on Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at St. Anne Church.
It marked the first time an ordination ceremony was held inside St. Anne, and hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the occasion. Close to 300 people filled the church and an overflow crowd watched the event on a live stream in the parish hall.
The deacons’ families also watched the video from their homes in the Philippines.
Dozens of people from the Upstate and Goose Creek rode buses to Sumter to show their support.
As transitional deacons, both men will be able to perform new duties in the Church. They can proclaim the Gospel, witness marriages outside Mass, assist during liturgies, give homilies and baptize.
During the ceremony, they prostrated themselves during the Litany of Supplication, and then Bishop Guglielmone laid hands on them, prayed over them and presented them with the book of the Gospel.
During his homily, the bishop reflected on the fact that the ordination was taking place simultaneously with the Guadalupe celebration. He described the two deacons’ response to God’s call as similar to Mary’s affirmative yes to God.
Two dignitaries from the Adorno order in Rome attended the ordination: Father Raffaele Mandolesi, superior general for the Adorno Fathers, and Father John Paul Gasparini, vicar general for the order.
After the liturgy, the deacons took part in a large reception held at the Sumter County Civic Center that featured music and traditional Filipino food. They spent time talking to parishioners from the Sumter churches and greeting well-wishers.
Deacon Madridejos said he was ecstatic to reach this milestone after many years of study.
“God has been so good to me,” he said. “The service was so moving for me because it showed to me the true love God has for his Church and the community we have. I am looking forward to serving God’s people and building up the community. That is what we are all called to do.”
“I am still overwhelmed by this experience and so grateful,” Deacon Daborbor said afterward. “During the ceremony, I was looking up at the crucifix and asking the Lord to provide me with grace since he has called me to this.”
Deacon Madridejos comes from the town of Paracale, located in the province of Camarines Norte on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. He is the fourth of eight children of Rufino and Rita Madridejos.
He entered the Adorno Fathers’ formation house in the Philippines in May 2008 and earned a bachelor’s degree in classical philosophy with a major in religious education at Holy Trinity College Seminary in 2012. He professed his simple vows in 2013 and came to the United States shortly after, where he joined the Adorno community in Ramsey, N.J. He earned a master of divinity degree with a major in pastoral theology in May from Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University. He will serve for the next six months at St. Anne and St. Jude in Sumter.
Deacon Daborbor is also from the Philippines and is one of four children of the late Romeo Daborbor and Zenaida Daborbor. He joined the Adorno Fathers in 2008, completed his college studies in 2012 and professed simple vows in the Philippines in 2013. He came to the U.S. in 2013 and earned a theology degree from Immaculate Conception Seminary School. He has done summer apostolate work at St. Joseph Church in Lodi, N.J., and Jesus Our Risen Savior Church in Spartanburg, and is currently completing his pastoral year at Immaculate Conception Church in Goose Creek.
The two deacons are scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood at Immaculate Conception in June.
Photos by Christina Lee Knauss/Miscellany: Adorno Deacon Rufino Madridejos is vested with his stole and chasuble by Adorno Father Frank Palmieri (left) and Adorno Father Noly Berjuega (right).