Without knowing anything about your "worker thread", is there a way you could turn this process into a JBoss service and package it up as a sar. You can deploy it in JBoss, and make Tomcat service depend on it.
I'd like to try your advice. Are there any links you can give me that show examples of how
1. to make a JBoss service and package a sar
2. how to make Tomcat depend on that service?
See chapter 2 of jboss server guide specifically http://docs.jboss.org/jbossas/jboss4guide/r4/html/ch2.chapter.html#ch2.writembean.sect
as well as wiki at http://wiki.jboss.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=JBossMX.
Post any specific questions to the appropriate forum http://www.jboss.com/index.html?module=bb&op=viewforum&f=63.