Centenary Celebration of a Living Saint

by Katrin Kaye Fernandez, EIC, ET Pen Pushers Guild
photo taken from Rowena Dela Cruz, ERDA Tech

September 19, 2014 was the most memorable day for me, ERDA Tech community, and to all who were helped by the man of service — Fr. Pierre Tritz S.J.

Fr. Tritz, founder of ERDA Tech, celebrated his 100th birthday; consequently, ERDA Tech prepared a very special program for him with the theme Sama-samang Pagsasaya: Isang Pasasalamat. A mass was held at the chapel with the presence of the school president, Fr. Aristotle Dy, and the celebrant Fr. Tritz. As soon as Fr. Tritz came out of the vehicle, everyone gave him a round of applause. Seeing him in photos stirred a different kind of feeling as compared to seeing him in photos.  A short video clip made by Xavier was presented in the middle of the mass. It was so overwhelming that there were moments I didn’t notice the tears running down my cheeks. I remembered how blessed I am to be part of the founder’s vission and mission. After the mass, the band played and everyone was instructed to go to the school grounds. Everyone sang happy birthday and balloons were set free into the air. Seeing Fr. Tritz smile was priceless.

Students and some staff and faculty members were gathered in their respective classrooms to have a simple salu- salo. Meanwhile, Mr. Peter Marc Magsalin, the school principal, and other visitors were at the grounds to bless and officially open the mini-MAC laboratory donated to the school and mini-museum for Fr. Tritz. They proceeded to the AVR room for lunch.

At 1:00 p.m., everyone went to the roof deck to watch a short program where ERDAnians showed their talents to honor the founder. Unfortunately, Fr. Tritz needed to leave early.

After the celebration, I reflected on what happened. Fr. Tritz gave clues to the clueless on how to live a meaningful life, how to serve as a light to those in the darkness, and how to become a servant. He showed kindness, bravery and humility. He kept his feet on the ground even though he has achieved so much in his life. He is a living legend.

Fr. Tritz inspires me to help my fellow citizens as he has helped me. He made a difference in the land which he is not a citizen of but everyone is proud of him. He motivates me to do my best and prove that proper education and training can get me out of poverty. He teaches me to value education because it is my stepping stone to achieve my goals in life.

I offer my gratitude to the person who deserves it — Fr. Pierre Tritz. I am proud to be part of your vision and mission, and I’ll make sure the time you gave to gather donation will not be put to waste.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FR. PIERRE TRITZ S.J.!

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