Dr. DeFabio credits Father Juan Daniel Peirano, former pastor of Nativity Parish, for introducing him to the Order.
“We discussed the role of the Order and Father Daniel felt that I would be an active member and strong supporter,” Dr. DeFabio said, noting that Father Peirano, who is now pursuing studies in Rome, was responsible for the nomination and served as his sponsor.
Dr. DeFabio grew up in New York and is a graduate of Newark Academy, Livingston; Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt., and Georgetown School of Dentistry, Washington. Since 1980 he has been in private practice dentistry in Colts Neck. He and his wife have been married 37 years, are the parents of two married daughters and have three grandchildren. His family has belonged to Nativity Parish since 1998 and prior to that had worshiped in St. Mary Parish, Colts Neck.
Noting his longtime involvement with Sisters Academy of Asbury Park, a middle school for girls and outreach program of the Mercy Center, Asbury Park, Dr. DeFabio told of how he provided the initial funds 20 years ago to create the sport of fencing as an after-school activity and he continues to fund the program and act as its director and instructor on a weekly basis.
Dr. DeFabio regards his nomination and acceptance into the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre as a privilege and honor, then noted that if he had not developed a “wonderful relationship” with Father Peirano, he would not have known about the Order or its mission.
“It’s hard to describe the spiritual impact I have already experienced from attending the day of formation, vigil conferences, Vesper Services and investiture ceremony and Mass,” he said.
“It is so important to maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land, the actual birthplace of our faith,” he continued. “The charity provided by the Order sustains the cultural and social works and churches all with the hope of achieving peace and providing protection for all those persecuted. This is the message that needs to be told here in the [United] States and around the world.”