Jesse Manibusan

May 16, 2018 - Faith development, Jesse Manibusan, Praise and Worship, School life, Student discipleship, Year of Youth, Youth Ministry

Jesse Manibusan

Proclaim Lismore Year of Youth Tour

Jesse is travelling through the Diocese of Lismore from the 21st – 24th May, visiting all Year 6 and 7 at 4 different venues across the Diocese. proclaim LISMORE catches up with Jesse to find out more about his joy.


Thank you, Jesse, for sharing your gifts with the Lismore Diocese! Tell us, why do you do what you do and where does your passion for music come from? It’s not even a thought – it comes from the Holy Spirit. It can’t come from anywhere else because I’m not doing this without being prompted and nudged by the Holy Spirit. I started serving in the Church at a very early age. I taught myself how to play the guitar and just plugged myself into the Church as an altar server and a musician. I found ways to serve in different ways. I’m the scaredy-cat in my family. I’m the introvert. I’m the nervous kid and the insecure one. But the passion comes from knowing that you can be yourself, discover the gifts that God gives you and then share your gifts.

Oh man! … that’s the stuff of life.

To live a life and not share your gift, is not living. The passion comes from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us meaning, purpose, energy and joy to live the life that God gives us and to become the men and women God knows we can be. So, that’s it.


Jesse, you’re well known for having a favourite smiley t-shirt. Can you tell us a little bit about where the shirt came from? Folks know me very well by my smiley face t-shirt. I have almost every colour under the rainbow. I got my first smiley face shirt when my kids were very young, it was yellow. It was sort of a Father’s Day present. But it was also a reminder that the ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength’. I suffer from depression. Which means sometimes I’m happy as a clam and other times I can be pretty irritable, dark and despairing. But my kids got me this shirt to remind me that despite the depression and despair, and any kind of other circumstance, that the Joy of the Lord is my strength. So I wear it a lot just as an encouragement for folks to cultivate joy in their lives.

This year in Australia we’re celebrating the Year of Youth; it’s all about opening new horizons for spreading joy. What does this mean for you? Celebrating the Year of Youth 2018, in Australia. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share your faith, to serve, to sacrifice and share your gifts in as many ways as possible. New horizons for faith, new opportunities for sharing and being a sign of God’s presence in the world. I see that happen all the time. There’s a lot of darkness in the world, no doubt. But there’s more light, hope and joy. One of the great honours that I have is to encourage people to cultivate joy and to pay attention and to focus on the Good News. Don’t deny the bad news or the tough news, but focus on the good news and see God’s grace working in every situation of life.

What’s the best thing about what you do? The best thing is being alive. To just have the opportunities to live and to face the toughest times of life, and the easiest times and the most hopeful times. To be grateful and to be present and to be able to share the joy. To listen to others and be helpful. I think that’s what being a Disciple is. Regardless of whatever God calls us to do, whether we’re a baker or a Beetle or a Catholic Ninja. I find so much joy in the work of ministry and serving. Yeah, that’s a beautiful thing, I feel so blessed about that.

When you’re not performing or on mission, what does Jesse Manibusan enjoy doing? When I’m not on the road travelling and working as an itinerant Catholic Ninja. I just love to hang out with my grandkids. I love to hang out with my family, my mum and my dad. I love to spend time hanging out with friends, playing some music and writing new songs. And just chilling, I’m a big couch potato as well. Make no mistake, I’m down with Netflix.

Finally, do you have any advice for the students of the Lismore Diocese?  The advice I would have for the Diocese is the advice I would give to everybody haha. Stay close to Jesus, do what Jesus does and within those two parameters have as much joy as possible. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. That’s one of the greatest, greatest missions of life to discover who you really are and not to be ashamed of who you are, knowing that God makes us as we are and we’re just called to grow.

So, live in the present moment, only look back to learn and look forward with hope.

Thanks Jesse!