Father Jose Manuel was born on November 25th, 1980 in Caracas Venezuela to two Portuguese migrants in Venezuela. As the third of four siblings, the family worked day and night to get their family ahead but their mother had to return to Portugal due to the increasingly unstable situation in Venezuela. Father Jose stood fast in his faith and entered the congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 200, taking his first vows on September 29th 2004 and becoming ordained a Priest on December 19th, 2009.
Father Jose was in charge of the pastoral work in the parish of Nuestra Senoral del Carmen in Mariara. After a trip to Rome for the formator's course, he returned to Venezuela and was appointed as a parish administrator at Santo Domingo de Guzman. After some discernment, he left the order and placed himself under the local Bishop who entrusted him to a church in the town of Lagunitas. He was extremely active in his ministry and devotion to the Virgin Mary. He was in charge of the pastoral missionary of the Diocese of San Carlos.
On the night of October 20, 2020, Father Jose tried to prevent the assault of parishoners at the door of his parish heart and was fatally shot. On the page of the Dehonians, the Order wrote the following of Father Jose:
Those who knew José Manuel, know of his charismatic and dynamic spirit, always interested in initiating innovative activities. His affable and relaxed character fitted perfectly with the pastoral work. He knew how to interiorize the “ecce venio” in his life. I personally remember how available he was when it came to help the brothers. Although he was fully immersed in the pastoral work of his parish, he never ceased to have a Dehonian heart. He frequently visited Dehonians and providentially worked alongside our technical school, which allowed him to have a good and close relationship with the community. He was a man of “open doors” to welcome and today we remember his smile and particular charisma. We remember him as a fervent devotee of the Virgin Mary and the Blessed Sacrament, but above all we remember him as a restless man on the move in constant search and as a “good brother”