“You have a limited number of heartbeats in your life; it is a finite number. And you have a limited number of steps you’re going to take in your life; it’s a finite number and it can be calculated. The question is, what is your heart beating for and where are your steps taking you?”
— Fr. Rick Frechette
Born in 1953, Fr. Richard Frechette graduated from Assumption College in Massachusetts with degrees in math and philosophy. He then attended St. John’s University in New York and studied theology as a seminarian, and was ordained a priest in 1979.
After a few years as a parish priest in Baltimore, he met Fr. William B. Wasson, founder of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos/Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs (Our Little Brothers and Sisters), a mission that serves children in need in Mexico, Central and South American, and the Caribbean. He first worked with Fr. Wasson in Mexico, and eventually found himself working with the children of Haiti.
The St. Luke Foundation for Haiti grew out of the programs of Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs. As the young people of NPFS programs grew into adulthood, they sought to create a completely organic and native organization with the goal of propelling change and progress in Haiti.
Fr. Rick belongs to the Community of priests and brothers called Passionists. The Passionists have a special charism (gift) from God, to remind believers of the suffering and death that God endured, in the Person of Jesus, to offer fullness of life to all people. Fr Rick was educated by Passionist Sisters in elementary school, and joined the Passionist community as a novice when he was 21 years old. His full training in both Theology and Medicine was sponsored by the Passionists, who have generously enabled his 35 years of work as a missionary in Mexico, Honduras and Haiti, attending to those whose suffering and poverty make them God’s first and urgent priority for care.
The Opus Prize
In 2012, Fr. Rick won the Opus Prize, a $1 million faith-based humanitarian award that recognizes unsung heroes solving today’s most persistent social problems through transformational leadership.
Other Awards & Honors
Fr. Rick has been honored in many ways for his work with the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, Fondation St Luc and NPFS/NPH in Haiti.
American Osteopathic Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Passionist Humanitarian Award
Leader of the Year 2008, Washington Post Poll
Catholic Development Conference Good Samaritan Award
Hollywood Film Festival Humanitarian Award
Humanitarian Award, Taormina Film Festival
Pax Christi Award, St. John’s College
Doctor Honoris Causam, University of Scranton
Doctor Honoris Causam, Marywood University
Doctor of Laws, Assumption College
Doctor of Human Letters, St. Vincent College
Sharing The Courage of the Haitian People
Order Fr. Rick’s book of essays via Amazon.com