WASHINGTON (June 29, 1999) -- Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Most Reverend Elliott G. Thomas, 72, as Bishop of Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Most Reverend George V. Murry, SJ, Coadjutor Bishop of Saint Thomas since May, 1998, is his successor.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcement.
George V. Murry was born in Camden, New Jersey, December 28, 1948. He attended Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, NJ, St. Joseph's College, Philadelphia, St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, Connecticut, and St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, where he received a B.A. in Philosophy in 1972. That same year he entered the Society of Jesus.
Bishop Murry earned a Master in Divinity degree at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley in 1979 and a doctorate in American cultural studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1994.
He served on the faculty and was dean of student activities at Jesuit-operated Gonzaga High School in Washington, from 1974 to 1976.
He was ordained for the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus on June 9, 1979.
Bishop Murry was assistant professor of American Studies, Georgetown University, 1986-1990, and President, Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C., from 1989 to 1994.
He was Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Detroit-Mercy from 1994 to 1995.
Bishop Murry was named Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago on January 24, 1995. He was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of St.Thomas in the Virgin Islands on May 5, 1998.
Elliott G. Thomas was born in Pittsburgh on July 15, 1926. His parents were Virgin Islanders who returned to the Islands while their son was an infant. Following graduation from Charlotte Amalie High School in 1945, he went to Washington, D.C., where he studied pharmacy at Howard University, graduating in 1950.
He served with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1951 to 1953, and was received into the Church in 1955. As an active Catholic layman, Elliott Thomas was involved in numerous Church organizations.
Invited by the first Bishop of the Virgin Islands, Edward Harper, CSSR, to study for the permanent diaconate, he applied instead to be a priest, and was sent to St. Vincent's Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. On June 6, 1986, the month before his 60th birthday, he became the first Virgin Islander to be ordained a priest of the St. Thomas diocese.
Elliott Thomas was appointed Bishop of St. Thomas on October 30, 1993.
The Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands was established as a diocese on April 20, 1977. It comprises the Islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. It has a Catholic population of 30,000 in a total population of 110,000.