New residence director fosters family atmosphere in dorms


From freshman move-in handshakes to late night chats, this year’s resident director of Kolbe-Clare residence hall is there for his students through friendly and humorous jokes, and witnessing with a passion for following Christ.

Andrew Ouvellete grew up in a small family that lives in Indianapolis, and he converted to Catholicism at age 16. Attributing his conversion to Pope John Paul II and Padre Pio, Ouvellete shared how he grew closer to John Paul II the week after the pope’s death.

Ouvellete said he was glued to the television all week, learning about who Pope John Paul was and why everyone described him as being great. Ouvellete took Padre Pio as his confirmation and patron saint when it came time for him to receive that sacrament.

Ouvellete said he was first raised in Evangelical Lutheran Church and Pentecostal, and at the age of nine discovered the Mass for what it was, a beautiful celebration of the transubstantiation of the Body and Blood of Christ.

It was through his father that he was able to understand the significance of the Mass, said Ouvellete. At fifteen, Ouvellete started working at a Catholic bookstore after not being hired at a Protestant bookstore, and began reading about the lives of the Saints, the catechism and Mary.

Ouvellete came to Franciscan University to study theology and philosophy because he felt as though God was calling him there. While at the university, he joined Conquer Through Love household and met his wife, who was a member of Sacrifice of Love household.

After he graduated in 2015, he worked for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for two years as the director of youth ministry. He oversaw ministry to almost 90 parishes, more specifically seeing how the youth groups were going and to provide resources, workshops, retreat days and March for Life busses, said Ouvellete.

All the while he was working, Ouvellete was a MA student at the University of Notre Dame. He heard about the open Resident Director’s position at Franciscan and through prayer and discernment, felt called to come back to the university.

Ouvellete and his wife began dating in the fall of their senior year and were engaged in January of 2016. They married this past June and their mission as the caretakers of the Kolbe-Clare dorm is to create a sense of community, said Ouvellete.

Ouvellete said in the dorm, residents are family and his hope is that his residents begin to act like one. He pushes for an open-door policy and for people to welcome hall-mates into their homes. Ouvellete wishes for all of the residents in Kolbe-Clare to grow in fraternity and friendship and he hopes that the students see Kolbe-Clare as the fun dorm.