DIOCESE OF ST. THOMAS IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Most Reverend Elliott G. Thomas
Titular Bishop of Rusicade and
St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands
Bishop Elliott G. Thomas was
born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 15, 1926. He is the fifth of eight
children born to the late Damon Griffin Thomas and the late Helen Malvina
The family roots are in Tortola, British Virgin
Islands, where they returned in 1934. The young Elliott Thomas was enrolled
in the Methodist Day School in Road Town and, as a teenager attended
Charlotte Amalie High School on St. Thomas, where he graduated in 1945.
The year following graduation, he served as clerk
of the Municipal Homestead Commission and clerk of the Adult Evening School
on St. Thomas. In 1946 he enrolled in the College of Pharmacy at Howard
University in Washington, DC where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in
1950. After qualifying as a registered pharmacist in Detroit, Michigan, he
joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to Frankfort-Hoechst and to Munich,
Germany. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal in 1953.
Returning to the Virgin Islands that year, he served as a registered
pharmacist at V.I. Apothecary, Inc., in St. Thomas. From 1954 - 1959 he
worked as a pharmacist with the Veterans Administration in Erie,
Pennsylvania, where he also studied part-time at Gannon College, majoring in
On October 2, 1957 he converted to Catholicism
and was received into the Church at St. Peter Cathedral in Erie,
From 1959-1961 he worked at the Veterans
Administration Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and then, until 1964, at Gray
Drug Stores in Cleveland.
In 1964 he returned to St. Thomas, serving as
Drug and Narcotic Control Officer for the Department of Health and chairman
of the Virgin Islands Board of Pharmacy. He founded and managed Cathedral
Pharmacy, Inc., on Main Street, St. Thomas in 1967.
With the encouragement of the then Bishop Edward
J. Harper, he began his studies for the priesthood in 1982 at St. Vincent de
Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida.
He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese
of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands by Bishop Sean P. O'Malley on June 6,
1986, and was appointed Episcopal Vicar for the diocese and pastor of Holy
Father Thomas was named pastor of St. Ann Church
on St. Croix in May 1989 and led that parish through the initial stages of
recovery following the devastation of Hurricane Hugo in September of that
In October 1990, he was again appointed pastor of
Holy Family; the same year Bishop O'Malley named him Dean of the Diocese and
the following year he appointed him Vicar General. He was named a Diocesan
Consultor in June 1992.
When Bishop O'Malley was named Bishop of Fall
River, Massachusetts, the Diocesan Consultors unanimously elected Father
Thomas to serve as Diocesan Administrator, a post he filled from August 11,
The announcement that Pope John Paul II had
chosen him to serve as the third Bishop of the Virgin Islands was made
October 30, 1993, and he was consecrated and installed at Sts. Peter and Paul
Cathedral on Sunday, December 12, 1993. He retired as bishop of the diocese
on June 30, 1999.
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