Senate honors French priest for work with children

September 22, 2011

Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star
September 22, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate yesterday honored a French Jesuit priest for his efforts to help educate poor Filipino children.

The Senate adopted Resolution 594 commending Fr. Pierre Tritz for his devotion to send poor and indigent Filipino children to school.

“For the last 60 years, Fr. Pierre Tritz devoted his life to help disadvantaged Filipino children get their education and gave them opportunities to improve lives,” said Sen. Francis Pangilinan, author of the Senate Resolution.

“Fr. Tritz, who turned 97 yesterday, still continues his good work to help children get their education and as such deserves commendation,” Pangilinan said.

Tritz came to the Philippines in 1950 and devoted his life to helping indigent children get formal schooling.

He was presented a copy of the resolution before the Senate’s plenary session. Senators posed for souvenir pictures with him at the Senate President’s rostrum.

Tritz gave up his French citizenship in 1974 and became a naturalized Filipino. He worked full time with children in poor communities and established the Educational Research and Development Assistance Foundation (ERDA) to provide educational assistance to indigent children.

Tritz also founded the Foundation for the Assistance to Hansenites to help the Department of Health (DOH) eradicate and control leprosy in the country in 1978.

He also founded the ERDA Tech Foundation vocational secondary school in 1993 allowing indigent children to earn their high school education and learn employable skills.

Fritz also established the Albert Schweitzer Association Philippines to assist children in trouble with the law in 1955.

Pangilinan said the ERDA, in coordination with other non-government organizations (NGOs) and institutions, had helped more than 430,000 indigent children go back to school in the last 35 years.

“At 97 years old, Fr. Tritz remains driven and motivated to continue his life of service to help out-of-school youths and underprivileged children go to school. Fr. Tritz is truly a man of character and a man of God. His noble deeds and outstanding achievements are worthy of emulation and distinction,” Pangilinan said.

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