Meet the New Postulants

The CFF Postulancy Formation Team introduces the new postulancy class as of Thursday, July 1, 2021. This new year, we are happy to announce that we have postulants from all four of our Provinces served by the Conventual Franciscan Postulancy – USA, including two men for our province:

Postulants of our Province and our Province Delegation:

Connor J. Ouly (22) is from Steelton, PA, USA and is currently living in New York, NY, finishing up his undergraduate in Voice/Opera at the Juilliard School. Connor became interested in the Franciscan Friars Conventual due to a love of Saints Joseph Cupertino and Maximilian Kolbe. He is greatly attracted to the deeply fraternal and community driven life of the Conventuals, as well as our dedication to serving the poorest of the poor in simple but necessary ways, such as parish, school, and hospital work. In addition to music, his interests lie in other art forms such as film, drama, and the visual arts. He hopes to discern God’s will in this Postulancy year amongst his formators, brother postulants, and under the mantle of the Immaculate.  Connor is of the Our Lady of the Angels Province (USA).

Marvin Paul Fernandez (27) is from Ottawa, ON, Canada. He was born and raised in the northern province of the Philippines, until 2011, when his mom sponsored him to come to Canada. He works with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) as a Clerk for the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. He decided to enter the Postulancy Program of the Franciscan Friars Conventual because he was inspired by the work that the Friars do in his home parish and in the greater community. He hopes that entering the program will deepen his relationship with Jesus, his Lord and his God, and to know more of the lives of Saint Francis and Saint Anthony, his patron saints. Marvin is of the Our Lady of the Angels Province Delegation of St. Francis of Assisi (Canada).

Postulants of the other Provinces (USA):

Israel Garcia Alderete (21) is better known by the nickname his grandmother gave him; “Chico.” He is the youngest brother of Arturo, Jr., and Melissa. Since 2011 he and his family have lived in San Antonio, Texas. Israel recently graduated from Gloria’s Barber College. He enjoys playing the guitar, engaging in sports (especially soccer), and doing any type of physical activity. He has been impressed by the lives of the saints, especially St. Giorgio Frassati and St. Francis of Assisi. Entering the friars’ formation process is a way that Israel believes he can give himself to the will of God and serve God’s people, especially the marginalized. “My hope is that Franciscan life can be a beautiful way to learn more about God and to grow as a person. I’m excited to meet the other brothers and deepen my faith through community, prayer, and service.” Israel is of the Our Lady of Consolation Province.

Andre Miller (20), born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has completed his second year of college at the Central New Mexico Community College in Business Administration. He and his younger brother, Brandon, live with their parents and three unique dogs: Oreo (an old, blind, and deaf Chihuahua), Nin o (the friendliest Golden Retriever), and Bella (the most restless Texas Heeler mix). His mom is from Mexico City and his dad is from L.A. “We love to travel and learn about cultures, traditions, languages and the enjoy the local food.” Andre enjoys playing the guitar, reading, and taking advantage of the Sandia Mountains to be outdoors (fishing, hiking, camping). He also takes time volunteering almost daily at a Catholic Worker House. “The time spent with the less fortunate has developed a deep fulfillment, which I credit for my desire to be Franciscan and say ‘yes’ to postulancy. I am an instrument in the work towards peace and justice even when it might seem impossible to accomplish.” Andre is of the Our Lady of Consolation Province.

Colden Fell (25) was born in Monroe, Louisiana and is the son of Patrick and Lisa Fell. He is the oldest brother of Tyler and Jacob Fell. Colden has been living in Gonzales, Louisiana since 2006. He was homeschooled from second grade through high school and graduated in 2014. After high school, he attended River Parishes Community College where he graduated in 2017, with an associate degree in General Studies and Humanities. While he attended college, Colden started working at a local grocery store; Harvest Supermarket. During his time at Harvest, he has been able to move up from grocery store stocker to unloading the trucks and is now making the orders and is warehouse manager. Colden, along with his family, were part of non-denominational churches and eventually made their way into the Catholic Church. His mother is the director of the RCIA process and Colden is involved in children’s ministry at his parish. He became drawn to the Franciscan Friars because of their service to the poor and the sick. Colden is of the Our Lady of Consolation Province.

Eric Rewa (29) is from Grand Rapids, MI. He has a background in teaching at the secondary level both from his bachelor’s degree in history and social science from Central Michigan University and from his last two years which he spent substitute teaching at public and Catholic schools in the Grand Rapids area. His experience with the Franciscan Friars Conventual dates to the time he spent at Mundelein Seminary (2016-2018) studying for his home diocese. While he was there, he had the opportunity to go to daily Masses and Holy Hours in the chapel at Marytown, which is conveniently next door to the seminary. On top of that he joined the chapter of the Militia Immaculata at the seminary where he got to learn more about Franciscan spirituality through reading and reflecting upon the writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe. These experiences, along with visits with the friars, helped to draw him toward the Franciscan Friars Conventual, as a place where he can find the vocation that God has prepared for him. Eric is of the St. Bonaventure Province.

Paul Utterback (34) is from Crawfordsville, IN. He is an only child. His parents are both retired: his dad from the local police force and his mom from a factory. He has been teaching for the better part of the last decade, starting off with English at a secondary school in Malawi (where the Zambian friars were instrumental in his “reversion” to the faith), and then middle school English, when he returned to the United States. “I also worked evenings at the public library, so between teaching English and moonlighting at the library, you might say that I am rather bookish! Waugh, O’Connor, Tolkien, Chesterton, Lewis, and others have been good friends along my Christian journey. Literature, essays, poetry, and music have been staples of our young adult group at St. Bernard Catholic Church. On the less cerebral side, I enjoy CrossFit, running, tennis, hiking, board games, coffee (or a pint) and good conversation, travel (if possible, on a train!), films, playing the piano, singing, and listening to music. I am grateful to the friars for their patience and unfailing charity; Br. Joseph Wood first visited me in response to my vocation inquiry when I was 16. Now, 18 years later, Fr. Hans Flondor and the witness of service and fraternal charity from dozens of friars on three continents have helped bring that journey to a close—Deo Gratias!” Paul is of the St. Bonaventure Province.

Jessy Cuevas (35) was born in Los Angeles to a Catholic family. It was not until he was seventeen that he began to have thoughts of becoming a priest. In 2015, he began to attend priestly discernment meetings at a local parish. One night, the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Los Angeles attended a gathering and gave all in attendance his personal phone number. He eventually contacted the Director and began to meet with him monthly. After months of attending discernment meetings and private meetings with the Vocation Director, he was encouraged to apply to the college seminary belonging to the Diocese of Los Angeles. He applied and was accepted in the Fall of 2016. Jessy completed his undergraduate degree in the Fall of 2019 butd did not apply to the major seminary in Camarillo, California. “I had desired to become a Franciscan ever since I began to know the life of S. Padre Pio. I met with the Vocation Director of all three Franciscan branches and felt God leading me to the Conventuals. The first Conventuals I met were those living in the friary in Hermosa Beach, California. I met Father Paul Gawlowski and Father Victor in early 2020 and would later begin my theological studies while living in the friary in Castro Valley. I now find myself in the postulancy program and I could not be more excited.” Jessy is of the St. Joseph of Cupertino Province.

Please keep these men in your prayers as they continue to discern their call to our Franciscan life.

If you feel called or if you want more information on discerning life as a Franciscan Friar Conventual, contact our Province Vocation Director – Br. Nick Romeo, OFM Conv. at

Consider signing up for our Summer Discernment Retreat, July 29 – August 2, 2021.

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