Meet Our New Postulants
by friar Bob Roddy, OFM Conv.
Four men have listened and responded to God’s invitation to serve Him and the people of God as Conventual Franciscan Friars. The Province of Our Lady of Consolation is blessed to have Israel Garcia Alderete (San Antonio, TX), Colden Fell (Monroe, Louisiana), André Miller (Albuquerque, NM), and Robert Moynihan (Chicago, IL). These four men are part of our postulancy program, a yearlong program of living in community and experiencing the various aspects of community life: common prayer, study, and service in preparation for the novitiate, the time when men are formally accepted into the Order. Here are some short profiles of our newest postulants.
Israel Garcia Alderete, (21), better known by the nickname his grandmother gave him, “Chico,” is the youngest brother of Arturo, Jr. and Melissa. Since 2011 he and his family have lived in San Antonio, TX. Israel enjoys playing the guitar, engaging in sports (especially soccer) and doing any type of physical activity. 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 very excited to meet the other brothers and deepen my faith through community, prayer, and service.”
Born in Monroe, LA, Colden Fell, (25) 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. Colden was home-schooled from second grade through high school and graduated in 2014. After high school, Colden attended River Parishes Community College where he graduated in 2017 with an associate degree in General Studies and Humanities.
Colden, along with his family were part of non-denominational churches and eventually made their way into the Catholic Church. His mother now serves as 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.
A native of New Mexico, André Miller, (20) was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM and 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. “We love to travel and learn about cultures, traditions, languages and we enjoy the local food.” André enjoys playing the guitar, reading, and taking advantage of the Sandia Mountains to be outdoors (fishing, hiking, camping). He volunteers almost daily at a Catholic Worker House. “The time that I spend 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.”
Completing our quaternity of postulants is Robert Moynihan, (60) of Chicago, IL. Robert’s connection to the friars goes back to the days when he was a student at Saint Louis University and attending Sunday Mass at St. Bonaventure Friary. Robert has spent most of his life as a funeral director and owner of two funeral homes. Along with his experience in ministering to the grieving, Robert spent a little over a decade in retreat ministry and pursuing theological and ministerial education. Robert is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union with a Master of Divinity. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree in Preaching through the Association of Chicago Theological Schools. His thesis, Funeral Preaching: A Moment to Evangelize and Reconcile, focuses on the unchurched.
Robert enjoys working out, cooking, and watching Law & Order and Perry Mason reruns. He states: “I feel called to be a Franciscan because I would like to live and pray as a friar. I am drawn to Our Lady of Consolation Province because of their ministries and because I have always found the friars to be wholesome and down to earth. I am especially interested in retreat and mission preaching, mission advancement and the pilgrim nature of the Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation.”