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DIOCESE OF ST. THOMAS IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

Most Reverend Elliott G. Thomas
Titular Bishop of Rusicade and 
St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands

/most Reverend Elliott G. Thomas 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 Christopher Thomas.

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 Business Administration.

On October 2, 1957 he converted to Catholicism and was received into the Church at St. Peter Cathedral in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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 Family Church.

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 year.

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, 1992.

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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