Clergy, Staff, and Vestry
Rector - The Rev. R. Justice Schunior
The Rev. R. Justice "Justi" Schunior joined us as rector on May 15, 2017. Justi enjoys preaching a message that focuses on the text and speaks to the problems facing us as people of faith today. Deeply committed to social justice, Justi is passionate about anti-racism work and gun violence prevention.
Justi grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and is an avid UNC basketball fan. She attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Fe, New Mexico and received her Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. She has served churches in Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, DC. Most recently she served for six years as Associate Rector at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill in DC.
Justi and her husband, Andrew, are enjoying exploring Denver. They enjoy golf, Netflix and chilling, and living humidity free. Make an appointment with her Monday through Thursday or after church on Sunday.
Associate Priest – The Rev. Dan Hopkins
Dan is a 30 year resident of Colorado. He has been canonically resident in the Diocese of Colorado since his ordination to the priesthood in 1985. He moved to Colorado from Oklahoma where he attended the University of Oklahoma receiving his undergraduate degree in Political Science and a graduate degree in Public Administration. He received his Master of Divinity from The General Theological Seminary in New York City.
Dan served as Rector of the Church of the Holy Redeemer, ecumenical officer and social justice officer in the diocese. He currently serves as CEO of a national consulting firm specializing in the areas of organizational development, disability, diversity and academic program development. He and his wife, Sheila, have four children.
Franciscan Order of Celi De – Brother Nick Pijoan
Nick has lived in Colorado since 1969 moving to Littleton from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has two children, Erica and Randy. He holds a B.S. in Criminology from New Mexico State University, a J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law, and is a Navy veteran. In 1985 he joined the Third Order of the Society of St Francis and was life-professed in that Order in 1994. He is a Chaplain in the TSSF for Utah and Colorado. In 1998 he became a Brother in the Franciscan Order of Celi De, a Celtic-Franciscan Order, and after two years was life professed in that Order. He was the Minister General of the FOCD until 2006 and is currently an Elder for the Order. He joined St. Thomas in 2006. While he is now technically “on loan” to our neighboring parish, Holy Redeemer, Brother Nick continues to lead our midweek Morning Prayer service, and we continue to think of him as the very heart of our parish.
Choir Director, LaDamion Massey
Coming from a musical family, LaDamion has been involved in music since he was a child. By the age of 13, LaDamion took first place in a piano competition and played the cello while touring around Colorado and select states singing in a gospel youth choir. From these experiences as a youth, LaDamion developed an eclectic taste in music. At the University of Northern Colorado, LaDamion was an opera chorus member of Marriage of Figaro, Madame Butterfly and La Traviata. While at UNC, he nurtured his passion for jazz, and left school to perform as one of the original members of the award-winning a cappella vocal jazz sextet, Groovsociety. He later returned to school and in 2011 LaDamion graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a degree in Music Education.
Currently, LaDamion is the Choir Director at St. Thomas, Associate Choir Director for the Bennie L Williams Spiritual Voices and a private instructor at Swallow Hill music school. He can be seen performing with the 17th Ave-All Stars and various solo projects.
Accompanist, Purnell Steen
Purnell is a Denver native who was educated in the Denver Public Schools and at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He began his musical career by studying piano at the age of 4, eventually adding violin and organ to his repertoire. As a youth, he played these instruments at historic Zion Baptist Church in Denver.
After touring Europe and North Africa with the U.S. Army, and having lived in Germany for five years as a civilian, he returned to Denver to resume his musical career. He has been the musician at Berean Bible Church, Campbell AME Church, and Cure D’Ars Catholic Church.
He was the pianist for the National Baptist Convention held in Denver and for the National Baptist Convention Congress of Christian Education. He played for the Alabama Delegation to the Democratic National Convention in 2008, as well as at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Services. He also played for Dr. King in Birmingham as well as here in Denver during the 1960’s.
He loves church music of all genres and brings a considerable knowledge of sacred music to St. Thomas.
Parish Administrator, Maria Wilson
A native of Park Hill, Maria’s earliest church memories are of St. Thomas’ beautiful sanctuary that she experienced as a toddler. She attended Park Hill Elementary School, Gove Junior High School, and Colorado Academy before earning a B.A. in Art History from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
Maria worked as a librarian and administrative assistant at the American Hospital Association in Chicago and as a Denver medical office administrator before joining the staff at St. Thomas in February 2005.
Maria is married to The Rev Steve Wilson, Rector at The Church of the Holy Redeemer in Denver. The couple has two children and a cat.