Father Manuel was born in Los Angeles and raised in Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, which was staffed at the time by monks of St. Gregory's Abbey. Under their influence he came to St. Gregory's High School, graduating in 1961. He completed the associate's degree program at St. Gregory's College in 1963, and entered the novitiate of St. Gregory's Abbey that same year.
Fr. Manuel made profession of vows on June 24, 1964, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 25, 1976. He completed a bachelor's degree at St. John University in Collegeville, MN, and a master's degree in pastoral ministry from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He served in parish ministry for many years in both California and Oklahoma. He has always maintained a particular ministerial outreach to Spanish-speaking and immigrant populations and helped to develop a special regional ministry in Western Oklahoma.
Fr. Manuel lives at the monastery and frequently assists at St. Benedict Parish in Shawnee and at parishes throughout Oklahoma on the weekends. He occasionally is able to minister at local correctional facilities, including the Pottawatomie County Jail and the Central Oklahoma Juvenal Center in Tecumseh, OK. With his ability in Spanish and his experience in pastoral ministry, Fr. Manuel is often called upon to assist recent immigrants with legal matters or with access to health care.