Monsignor Patrick R. Wells, a priest, distinguished scholar and leader passed away on May 11, 2023, at the age of 92. Born on April 1, 1931, in Ames, Texas to Luther T Wells and Stella Wickliff. Patrick Roland Wells was a man of remarkable achievements and a lifelong learner.
Patrick began his education at Our Mother of Mercy Elementary School in Ames, TX, before attending Liberty Training School in Liberty, TX. He earned his diploma before attending Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, LA, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. He continued his studies at Texas Southern University in Houston, TX, and obtained his Master of Science in Pharmacology. Patrick then pursued his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, NE, before completing a Master of Divinity at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, WI.
Patrick Wells served in the United States Air Force as a Staff Sergeant before embarking on an illustrious academic career. He was a Professor of Pharmacology at Fordham University in New York, an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, and an Associate Professor and Department Chair at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Apparently one to face issues in his own way, in 1963, Pat Wells became the first black faculty member at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln's School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Wells was later appointed as Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Professor at Texas Southern University in Houston, TX, where he served with distinction for many years. In addition to his academic work, he was a host of the “Lifeline” radio show on KTSU-FM.
As the Dean of the College of Pharmacy at Texas Southern University, Dr. Wells played a pivotal role in shaping the education and careers of countless aspiring pharmacists. His visionary leadership, coupled with his profound knowledge and expertise, and unwavering expectations of excellence, propelled the institution to new heights. He held both students and staff to a higher standard. Under his guidance, the faculty flourished, and the students thrived, not only acquiring knowledge but also incorporating his values of compassion and integrity.
Beyond the confines of academia, Reverend Monsignor Patrick Wells served as a priest for three decades, shepherding the congregation at St. Francis of Assisi in Houston for thirteen years with immense love and devotion. His sermons were imbued with wisdom, empathy, and a deep understanding of the human spirit. He comforted the distressed, celebrated the joys, and inspired everyone with his unwavering faith (and humor). His profound impact reached far beyond the walls of the church, touching the lives of those in need and fostering peace without his uttering a word. The monsignor’s face always lit up when speaking of his relationship with the choir and its director, Matt Matthews. "The relationship I have with them surpasses any expectation I ever had.” The choir remained committed to support his ministry even through his retirement and loved their time together.
Throughout his remarkable journey, Monsignor Wells displayed dedication, compassion, and humility. He possessed a rare ability to connect with people from all walks of life, embracing diversity and fostering inclusivity. Whether it was mentoring students, guiding colleagues, or offering solace to those in distress, he always extended a listening ear, a comforting word, and a helping hand.
Dr. Patrick Roland Wells was ordained to the priesthood June 26, 1993. With his ordination came Father Wells' objective to dedicate his life to religious work in the African-American community. As a youth during the era of racial discrimination and segregation, and himself an African-American, the monsignor said he carried no memory of the Depression, or of overt racism, except for one instance in a most unexpected context. He noted that his brothers and sister were asked to leave an area Catholic church. He recalls his mother admonishing the bishop for the action and remarked that his dear mother's funeral Mass was later conducted in that same church.
Monsignor Wells was a member of several professional organizations and learned societies, including the American Association Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Pharmaceutical Association, and the National Pharmaceutical Association. He was the editor of J.N.Ph, a journal published by the National Pharmaceutical Association. Monsignor Wells was also a member of various religious societies, including the Lay Oblate of the Order of St. Benedict and the Knights of St. Peter Claver, where he served as the first Grand Knight of St. Philip Neri Council 222, established December 7, 1980, in Houston, Texas.
He was active in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, where he served in several capacities, including as a delegate to the National Black Catholic Congress, a member of the Ordained Permanent Diaconate, and as Episcopal Vicar Pro-Tem and Episcopal Vicar of the Central Vicariate, a founding member of the Unity Explosion-Houston Conference for Liturgy and Evangelization. He also served as the spiritual advisor for the Sisters In the Spirit of Houston, Inc., a lay service organization in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He challenged these women to learn more about and boldly proclaim their faith. He also served as Vicar General for the Archdiocesan Inquiry on the alleged miracle attributed to the intercession of the now Venerable Mother Henriette Delille, Foundress, Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family, New Orleans, LA.
Monsignor Wells received many honors and awards throughout his distinguished career, including being named as one of the Outstanding Educators of America and Leaders in Education. He was listed in The National Register of Prominent Americans and International Notables, Who's Who in Health Care, and Men of Science. Monsignor Wells was also the recipient of the Excellence in Teachi2ng Award at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Dehon Distinguished Ministry Award from Sacred Heart School of Theology in 1999.
Bottom of FormBut, between the education, degrees and titles, Msgr. Wells found time to live. Strongly influenced by his mother as a child, he and his siblings gained a deep love of music and the Catholic faith. He was also a Cruise Ship Priest for the Apostleship of the Sea, United States of America, and traveled around the world sharing the Gospel. He was a global chameleon.
Monsignor Patrick Roland Wells was a remarkable man who devoted his life to education, leadership, and service to the people of God.
In this time of profound loss, let us remember his dedication, compassionate heart, enduring spirit, non-judgmental attitude, and infectious humor. May we find solace in the knowledge that his legacy lives on, and may we honor him by emulating the principles by which he lived. Rest in eternal peace, dear Monsignor Patrick Roland Wells. Your genuine love, kindness, and indomitable spirit will forever be remembered and cherished. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the many people whose lives he touched through his work and ministry.
Monsignor was preceded in death by his parents Luther and Stella Wells; brothers, Deacon Luther Wells, Sr. and James Wendell Wells; sisters, Doris Wells Jenkins and Helen Wells Goudeau.
He is survived by his son, Henry (Neyluz) Gaddis; grandchildren, Aziza Astrid, Xonzy, Henry Jr, and Juliana; sister-in-law, Bennie Wells; and a host of nieces, nephews and countless friends.
Because we knew him, we have each been changed…for good.
A viewing and visitation will begin at 3:00 p.m. with a Vigil for the Deceased led by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo at 6:00 p.m., on Friday, May 19, 2023 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 5102 Dabney Street in Houston, Texas. A Divine Mercy Chaplet will be sung following Vigil Service, led by Fr. Ralph Roberts.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Bishop Guillory at 10:00 a.m., on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church, 101 Donatto Street in Liberty, Texas. A visitation for the public will begin at 8:00 a.m., prior to the Mass. The Rite of Committal will follow the Mass at Wells Memorial Cemetery in Liberty, Texas.
All are invited to a reception at Our Mother of Mercy Hall after the interment.
03:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Houston, TX 77026
06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Houstonb, TX 77026
08:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Liberty, TX 77575
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Liberty, TX 77575
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Liberty, TX 76027
Liberty, TX 76027