Biographies

Father C. Thomas Wilcox, MM

Born: November 29, 1924
Ordained: June 9, 1951
Died: June 18, 2010

Father Thomas Wilcox died at St. Teresa’s on June 18, 2010. He was 85 years old and a Maryknoll priest for 59 years.

Charles Thomas Wilcox was born on November 29, 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri, son of Charles and Helen Cunningham Wilcox. He has two sisters, Sr. M. Jane Wilcox, and Sr. M. Rosemary Wilcox and one brother, William. Thomas, as he preferred to be called, attended Sacred Heart Parochial School for eight years, and studied for two years at Maryknoll Preparatory Seminary in St. Louis, before entering Maryknoll at the Junior Seminary, (Venard), Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania in August 1942. At Maryknoll Seminary, New York, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, and his Master of Religious Education degree and was ordained a priest at Maryknoll Seminary, New York, on June 9, 1951.

After ordination Father Wilcox went to the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. to secure a degree in Latin. After securing his Masters Degree he was assigned to the faculty of Maryknoll Junior Seminary, (Venard), Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. There he taught Latin and served as Prefect of Discipline until November 1954 when he was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region in Hawaii.

Father Wilcox served as associate pastor in St. Benedict Parish, Honaunau, South Kona and in St. Joseph Parish, Hilo, both on the Big Island of Hawaii. He had a flare for sports and was an invaluable Athletic Director at St. Joseph School in Hilo. On August 12, 1960 he was assigned to the United States and the Formation Department. He served at Maryknoll College at Glen Ellyn, Illinois in various positions, such as Professor of Latin, Head Prefect, Unit Prefect, Athletic Director, Vice Rector, Dean of Students, and Soccer Coach.

He became Rector of Maryknoll Seminary and Local Superior in Hingham, Massachusetts on February 1, 1968. Upon completion of his term as Rector at Hingham, he was assigned to the staff of Maryknoll Seminary to work in the Field Education Department. In 1974 he was appointed Center Coordinator and was elected Delegate of the United States Region to the 1978 General Chapter. In September 1979, he was appointed Superior of St. Teresa’s Residence and Coordinator for the Special Society Unit and served in these positions for six years.

Remaining a member of the United States Region, in August 1986 Father Wilcox began teaching English in a Chinese College. In March 1995, he was officially assigned to the Hong Kong Region and remained actively teaching until March 2001 when he returned to the United States and took up residence at St. Teresa’s. He was assigned to the Retirement Community in October 2002.

Wake services were held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at St. Teresa’s, and at 7:30 p.m. in Queen of Apostles Chapel at Maryknoll Center where Father Joseph McGahren officiated and Father John Keegan read the biography. Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated in Queen of Apostles Chapel on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Father Maurice Zerr was Principal Celebrant and homilist. Burial followed in Maryknoll Society Cemetery with Father Paul Masson conducting the graveside service.