ROME, ITALY (December 15, 2016)
Fr. José Manuel Sabença, C.S.Sp., second assistant general of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, passed away Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
Son of José da Conceição Sabença and of Rosa Matias Sabença, Fr. José was born in Penajóia, Lamego, on October 10, 1960.
At the age of ten, he entered the Congregation of the Holy Spirit Seminary in Godim, from where he continued to other seminaries along the course of his formation.
He entered the novitiate in Silva, Barcelos, and was professed on September 8, 1979. He took his perpetual vows on September 8, 1985 in Fraião, Braga, where he was also ordained as a priest on July 26, 1987.
In 1989 he was appointed to the Spiritan Community of Benfica, Lisbon, for Missionary Animation, assistance to Youth Without Borders and collaborated in the publication of the Jornal Ação Missionária. While living in Benfica, he attended the Military Academy to become Military Chaplain in Amadora and then in Alto da Ajuda.
After an English course in London, he left as a missionary to South Africa where he worked at the Hostel Project in Durban. He was chosen as an international observer in the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994. He received an honor from the local Bishop for his commitment and service in hostels, an award from the Rotary Club and a also a Certificate of the Portuguese Club resident in Durban.
He was delegate and moderator of the Enlarged Provincial Council in 1997, who appointed him second assistant of the Provincial Council, responsible for formation.
In 2001, he was appointed president of the Jubilee Commission for the 300th Anniversary of the Congregation. He was elected provincial superior of Portugal in 2003, a position he held for three terms (nine years).
Those who have been closely acquainted with Fr José Manuel will certainly have experienced his strong and dynamic apostolic zeal, his sincere spirituality strengthened by long moments of prayer Fr. Jose had a great devotion to the founders of the Congregation, and frequently recited their prayers and followed their spiritual direction. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.