Two men in an office
Ritche (Left) and Fretch (Right), graduates of the Philippines school

Early life

We met Fr Fretch earlier this year and were thrilled to catch up with him and learn about his experience at school, his life here in the UK and the gratitude he feels for our supporters who made his life possible.

This is his story in his own words.

“I came from a family that really was living below the poverty line. I would say it was a difficult childhood. My father has no permanent job and sometimes drives tricycles (pedicabs- a form of local transport) to earn a living.

My mother on the other hand was doing laundry for other families in the village or even in nearby towns. At that time, I had a brother and two sisters but my older sister was living far away from us with my mother’s parents. For other people, the place where we stayed might not be called a house but it was home for us.

I was offered a place at the Sisters of Mary School Boystown in Minglanilla, Cebu in April 2002 and immediately began my first year of high school.”

Father Fretch sitting at a table

Life at school

“What caught my attention straight away was the competitiveness of the students in sports and academic life. I liked the way things were working and the school in general. The first year was focused more on knowing more people (students, teachers and sisters) and building friendships. And yes, I did have a great circle of friends and I missed them all so much when I left. At school I learned my basics, pushing every limit of my learnings and abilities.”

Life after school

I graduated from the Sisters of Mary School in the year 2005. A month after my graduation I joined a religious order, the Society of Divine Vocations – Vacationists. In January 2006, I started my long journey of training for the priesthood (Catholic Priesthood). Now, I am a Catholic religious priest of the Society of Divine Vocation serving in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, in England, United Kingdom.

At this moment in time, my main support to my family is through my prayers. But, also when I can, I send occasional financial support for them out of my monthly allowance.

I am so grateful to the donors and supporters who helped the Sisters so that they could help me onto a better life”