THE NOVICES

 

Our 2022 Novitiate Class consists of seven men from different parts of North America and representing three provinces. The novices will live together for a year and day, and take part in the full novitiate program under the guidance of their formation team. They will discern and develop their sense of vocation to the religious life within the Conventual Franciscan Order.

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Friar Robert Moynihan

The Province of the Our Lady of Consolation

Robert Moynihan, from Chicago, has had connections to the friars since he was a student at St. Louis University and attended Sunday Mass at St. Bonaventure Friary. Robert was a career funeral director in Chicago where he attended the Franciscan St. Peter’s Church In-The-Loop most of his adult life. Robert also pursued theological and ministerial education. Robert holds a Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, as well as a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching degree. His thesis, Funeral Preaching: A Moment to Evangelize and Reconcile, focused on the ministry to the unchurched.         

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Friar Paul Utterback

The Province of Saint Bonaventure

Paul Utterback, from Crawfordsville, Indiana, has been teaching for the better part of the last decade starting off with English at a secondary school in Malawi working through the Peace Corps, where the Zambian Franciscans were instrumental in his “reversion” to the faith. Back in the States, he continued teaching and worked evenings at the public library. Literature, essays, poetry, and music have been staples of his life. He enjoys CrossFit, running, tennis, hiking, board games, coffee, and good conversation, travel, films, and music.

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Friar Eric Rewa

The Province of Saint Bonaventure

Eric Rewa, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, has a background in teaching at the secondary level. He has a degree in history and social sciences from Central Michigan University. His experience with the Conventual Franciscans dates to the time when he was a seminarian at Mundelein Seminary, north of Chicago. While there, he had the opportunity to attend Mass and Holy Hours in the chapel at the Franciscan Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe (Marytown), which was conveniently located next door to the seminary. Learning more about Franciscan spirituality through reading and reflecting on the writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Eric assisted in starting a “Village” of the Militia of the Immaculata at his seminary, a group of common-minded Marian-consecrated individuals, which eventually led him to a “Franciscan” vocation.

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Friar Marvin Paul Fernandez

The Provincial Delegation of Saint Francis of Assisi, Canada,

of the Province of the Our Lady of the Angels

Marvin Paul Fernandez, originally from the Philippines, and who is now a citizen of Canada, worked for several years in healthcare as a nursing assistant, then as a full-time cook, and later as a full-time manager of nursing assistants, both at a Senior Living Center. For a time he worked with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) as a Clerk for the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. He decided to enter the Conventual Franciscans because he was inspired by the work that the Friars do in his home parish. Having Saints Francis and Anthony as his patron saints, has been a big inspiration too. 

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Friar Colden Fell

The Province of the Our Lady of Consolation

Colden Fell, from Monroe, Louisiana, attended River Parishes Community College where he graduated in 2017 with an Associate Degree in General Studies and Humanities. While attending college, Colden worked at a local grocery store, and moved up the ranks to become the warehouse manager. Colden, along with his family, grew up as a member of a non-denominational church, but he eventually made his way into the Catholic Church. His mother is now the director of his parish’s RCIA program and Colden kept himself involved in Children’s Ministry. He became drawn to the Franciscan Friars because of their service to the poor and the sick.

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Friar Connor Ouly

The Province of the Our Lady of the Angels

Connor Ouly, is originally from Steelton, Pennsylvania, but lived in New York City for his undergraduate studies in Voice/Opera at the Juilliard School. Connor became interested in the Conventual Franciscans due to a love of Saints Joseph Cupertino and Maximilian Kolbe. He was also greatly attracted to the deeply fraternal and community driven life of the Conventuals, as well as their 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.

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Friar André Miller

The Province of the Our Lady of Consolation

André Miller, born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, attended Central New Mexico Community College focusing on Business Administration. Andre loves travel and learning about other cultures, traditions, languages… and especially enjoys the surprising tastes of the local food. Andre enjoys playing the guitar, reading, and taking advantage of the Sandia Mountains; being outdoors… fishing, hiking, and camping. Before joining the Franciscans, he volunteered almost daily at a local Catholic Worker House. The time spent with the less fortunate developed a deep sense of fulfillment, which he credits as being the major factor of saying ‘yes’ to a Franciscan vocation.

Pray for the Friars
in Formation