BOWIE, Md. (AP) _ More than 1,600 mourners paid their last respects Tuesday to a priest who was stabbed to death last week in the rectory of his church.

``We gather in sorrow and we gather in hope,'' Cardinal James Hickey, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Washington, said at the funeral of Monsignor Thomas M. Wells.

Wells, 56, was found in the bedroom of his home adjacent to Mother Seton Catholic Church in Germantown, Md., a Washington suburb. Police have said he was beaten and stabbed to death. The house was ransacked.

Police have made no arrests and have not said whether they have any suspects.

Hickey was one of four bishops and 170 priests who participated in the requiem Mass at Sacred Heart Church. Among the mourners were U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Maryland state Sen. Leo Green, state Assemblywoman Mary Conroy.

Because of the overflow crowd in the sanctuary, hundreds watched the Mass on three large television monitors in the church basement.

Wells asked in his will to be buried in Sacred Heart Chapel Cemetery. He was assistant pastor of the parish during the first four years of his 29-year career.