Michael Manuel Introduces himself and his family and shares his hopes for his diaconate ministry.


Michael will be ordained to the permanent diaconate by Bishop Gregory Bennet on Friday, 16th December 2022, at St Michael's Church Berwick. 

Michael Manuel is the youngest of 11 children, all born in Madras, India. He migrated to the UK with his parents Bernard and Marjorie Manuel in the late 70’s. Michael lived in London with his parents, although his father Bernard passed away in April 1980. Michael worked as a Civil Servant with various Government departments while also studying law, eventually being admitted to practice in England. He still has roughly half of the family in the UK. Michael migrated to Australia with his wife Pam (and their two children Rebecca and Catherine) in late 1999, initially living in the Cranbourne (attending St. Agatha’s Parish, where both girls were confirmed) before moving to the Narre Warren Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians in April 2007. His interest in the Permanent Diaconate began and was encouraged since late 2010 by the late Fr. John Allen, then Parish Priest at Narre Warren.

Michael’s journey to ordination as a Permanent Deacon has been a long and protracted one, with studies in Theology having to be undertaken whilst in full-time work, with further delay caused by the appointments of both Bishops Chris Prowse and Pat O’Regan from Sale Diocese to other arch-dioceses and the subsequent waiting for their replacements. Through the efforts of Fr. Peter Slater, Administrator of Sale Diocese in the intervening periods, Michael was able to attend the monthly formation meetings as part of the Melbourne Arch-diocese program since 2015. In December 2021, Michael completed a 6-month period of pastoral placement at the Warragul/Drouin parishes (with some impact due to COVID-19) followed by a further placement at St. Michael’s, Berwick since March 2022, both of which he has enjoyed. Michael and Pam are extremely grateful to the Bishop of Sale, Greg Bennet, for progressing Michael’s journey, in the two years since Bishop Greg’s episcopal ordination as Bishop of our Diocese.   

Pam, Rebecca and Cathy have been an absolute rock of encouragement and support during Michael’s long journey to ordination and the delays caused by the Diocese’s movement of Bishops during that time. Michael and Pam have been married for 40 years, having celebrated that wedding anniversary in December 2021. Their daughters, Rebecca & Catherine are both married, with Catherine now living in the Czech Republic with her husband Pavel. Rebecca and her husband Jan live in Melbourne with their two children, Alexander (7) & Annika (5) whom Pam and Michael absolutely dote on. Alexander and Annika spend time with them regularly each weekend.  Michael is a Solicitor by profession, having been in practice in the U.K. and since 2001 in Australia. He is still in practice on a part-time basis with a local practice in Cranbourne West. He enjoys reading, especially spiritual material, music (plays the guitar at a very amateur level!), gardening & shopping with Pam and of course, spending time with their two gorgeous grand-children.    

Michael’s hopes for his Ministry as a Permanent Deacon is for the for the grace to be able to assist at the Lord's table, to be a source of some comfort and joy to the people of God, always in humility and thankfulness and always conscious of the duty to bring Christ to all he meets.

Michael is looking forward to being a Permanent Deacon and having the privilege of serving those he encounters, both in formal and informal settings. He looks forward to be able to grow in grace and humility and to live out the values of the Gospel, faithfully following his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, and humbly walking in His footsteps.