Ritche was born in 1991 in Bunacan, Tubigon Bohol Philippines. The third of four siblings. His family were poor and growing up was a challenge. His mother is a housewife and his father holds down a number of jobs to make ends meet including farming, fishing and carpentry. Despite having little education his parents were innovative in finding new ways and means to earn enough to feed Ritche and his siblings. Despite this hard work their home had no running water or electricity and the children regularly walked miles to collect water and go to school each day, studying by lamplight at night.
He says “My childhood years were challenging, but seeing my parents doing their very best to send us to school despite our poverty, it gave me the strength to continue and have a dream that someday with my hard work I can help my family to rise from poverty.
In 2004 he was offered a place at the Sisters of Mary school “I was overwhelmed and joyful with the many things that the Sisters provided me for me to be able to study without my need to worry like a pen, pencil, notebooks and papers or school bag and a pair of shoes or even the food that I am going to eat. Being at school made me feel that I was taken care of, that I don’t have to feel anxious about anything but focus on my studies and that through this school I can reach my dreams.”
When I graduated from the School, I decided to become a priest. Thanks to the values that the sisters instilled in me and the learnings I treasure in my heart, I was able to discern my vocation in life. Those years that I was in the Sisters of Mary school were years of preparation for what lay ahead of me. The road towards priesthood was not an easy road, but thanks to the Sisters of Mary, I was able walk on that road with determination and perseverance.
Now, at present, I am an ordained religious catholic priest working here in the UK.
Being grateful for the many things that the School has given, I always feel the strong urge to give back in whatever means I can. At times, when a graduate or student is in need of support, I try my best to give something back to help our younger brothers and sisters at school.
I am forever grateful to the Sisters of Mary School for the help and opportunities I received throughout the years. In my poverty, they took me in and helped me achieve my dreams.