Great questions, Kathleen. I think Thomas suffers from a personality disorder, although I'm not sure he meets the criteria for one in particular (so he'd probably be in the Not Otherwise Specified category). But he exhibits traits of both Schizoid and Schizotypal Personality Disorders.
Here's Schizoid traits:
A. A pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
(1) neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family (he seems to desire a relationship with Maria, though he was spurned)So by my calculations, he fits at least the four criteria needed. But he also exhibits some Schizotypal traits, though perhaps not enough to meet full diagnosis (which would be 5), such as:
(2) almost always chooses solitary activities (he's a theologian and writer...)
(3) has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person (might not fit)
(4) takes pleasure in few, if any, activities (ditto)
(5) lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives (definitely fits)
(6) appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others (not sure...)
(7) shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity (he can't love the way he wants)
(1) odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (e.g., superstitiousness, belief in clairvoyance, telepathy, or "sixth sense"; in children and adolescents, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations) (you mentioned that he was superstitious and read a lot into small things)
(2) odd thinking and speech (e.g., vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate, or stereotyped) (into poetry, and writing...does this fit?)
(3) inappropriate or constricted affect
(4) behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar (maybe?)
(5) lack of close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
So, what will this info do for you? It'll let you know that he's a troubled soul. At 33, with no real relationships to speak of, other than this obsession with Maria, it's odd. It's eccentric. And no, probably not many readers will identify with him b/c these personality disorders don't make up much of the population as a whole. (You can read my personality disorder posts for more info or buy my Writer's Guide.)
How the reader will respond to him, though, is all in the writing. I'd be happy to look over your manuscript as part of my therapeutic editing service to help with this regard, but how you write him will tell whether they hate him or pity him. If he's kind of the anti-hero, you want to go the sympathetic route, I think.
As an aside....I think the premise of the book is amazing. I'm really interested in it, Kathleen. It's dark, but then again, it's a tragedy. I appreciated all the detail you gave me in the intake form, and obviously didn't include all the info about Thomas so that readers everywhere will have some surprise when this book gets published. Love the title you've got, love the idea behind it. I wish you the best of luck!