Jul. 29, 1938 Manchester Hillsborough County New Hampshire, USA
Aug. 14, 2008
Simple Profession of Vows, August 18, 1958; Solemn vows, February 8, 1962 Ordination September 7, 1964.
The Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, Order of Carmelites, mourns the death of the Reverend Morris F. Wells, O.Carm., who died at the age of 70 on August 14, 2008, in Sarasota, Florida. Father Morris laid in state at Saint Raphael Catholic Church, Englewood, Florida. Burial was held at Venice Memorial Gardens, Venice, Florida. The Very Reverend John Welch, O.Carm., Prior Provincial, was the main celebrant. Reverend Gavin Quinn, O,Carm., was the homilist. Born Francis Wells in Manchester, New Hampshire, on July 29, 1938, he took the religious name Morris upon his admittance to the Order of Carmelites. Educated at Saint Joseph Grade School and Bishop Bradley High School, both in Manchester, New Hampshire, Francis entered the Carmelite Junior Seminary, in Hamilton, Massachusetts, in 1953. He entered the Carmelite Novitiate in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania, in 1957 and professed simple vows there one year later. From 1957 to1961 Morris studied at Saint Bonaventure University, Olean, New York, where he completed a Bachelors degree in Philosophy. Entering the Army's Chaplain School at Fort Hamilton, New York, in 1970, he was then assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington, for further training. Chaplain Wells was deployed to the Vietnam War in 1971 with the 196th Infantry Division. Beginning in 1972 Chaplain Wells was assigned to Fort Knox, Kentucky, attached to the 19th Battalion, 5th Training Brigade. In 1976 Chaplain Morris Wells was transferred to the 2nd Brigade, 8th Infantry Division, United States Forces Europe, at Baumholder, Germany. In 1978 the Army sent Chaplain Wells to Azusa Pacific University, North Hollywood, California, for studies in Marriage and Family Counseling where he received a Master of Arts Degree in 1980. Subsequently, he was a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. With these credentials, he was transferred to the Family Life Center at Fort Hood, Texas, until 1983 when he was appointed as a Chaplain to the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; interestingly enough, Carmelite's first foundation in North America is located at the nearby Saint Joseph Parish in Leavenworth. In 1984, Father Morris was honorably discharged from active military service with the rank of Major. During his tenure he was awarded the Bronze Star, twice awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, five times awarded the Army Commendation Medal along with the Vietnam Service Medal. Upon departing from Army service Father Morris would find himself focusing on his brother Carmelites and the people they served for years to come. From 1984 to 1987 Father Morris was Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish, Bogota, New Jersey. In 1987, he was elected by his peers to a three-year term as Commissary Provincial of the Eastern Region of the province, while residing at Saint Cecilia Parish, Englewood, New Jersey. In 1993 he moved to Saint Simon Stock Community, Darien, Illinois, as Director of Carmelite Missions. There he coordinated and participated in mission visits to parishes throughout the United States, encouraging parish support of Carmelite missions in Peru, Mexico and other nations. In 1996 Father Morris moved to Grove City, Florida, where he became Associate Pastor of Saint Francis Assisi Parish until 2000. At the start of the new Millennium, Father Morris Wells would serve his last four years of active ministry as Pastor of Saint Raphael Parish, Englewood, Florida, before retiring to Carmel in Venice, Florida, in 2004.