Metropolitan William Skurla traveled to St. John Chrysostom Parish in Houston, Texas to lay hands on Deacon Thomas Wells, calling upon Divine Grace and ordaining him to the holy presbyterate on January 18, 2020. The newly-ordained Fr. Thomas’ pastor, Fr. Elias Rafaj, served as first concelebrating priest and received the ordinand into the sanctuary to join the ranks of presbyters.
The new priest’s wife, Mary, welcomed the Archbishop with the traditional bread and salt and witnessed the humility with which her husband accepted his new order. Their son and daughter, in-laws, four grandchildren, and one of Fr. Tom’s brothers, together with friends and faithful of the parish were on hand to witness the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Presbyteral Ordination. Concelebrating priests, deacons, servers, reader, cantors, and a small choir all served with love and devotion – a true icon of faith and growth in the Holy Spirit in this far-flung parish.
A simple but quality plated luncheon was served for the congregants in a nearby hotel as the newly ordained took time at each table, expressing his gratitude to God, family, friends, and fellow parishioners for guiding him to this day.
Father Wells has earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, graduating Summa cum laude. He looks forward to receiving his degree from the Metropolitan at the graduation ceremony in May.