Father Thomas Ericksen was ordained in 1973 in the Diocese of Superior in Wisconsin and subsequently worked in parishes throughout Wisconsin before being permanently removed from ministry in 1988.
Although never a priest in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Father Ericksen’s name was released by the Archdiocese on October 23, 2014 as having credible allegations of committing acts of sexual abuse by a minor because he once resided within the Archdiocese. Subsequently, Father Erickson’s priest file maintained by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was released to the public on November 5, 2014 by Jeff Anderson and Associates.
In the early 1980’s, Father Ericksen was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing an 8-9 year old boy and for raping the boy’s 17 year old cousin. He is said to have been caught assaulting two boys in the rectory, one of whom was the younger cousin of the 17 year old. Documents released on November 5, 2014 show that Ericksen began a leave of absence from the Diocese of Superior in 1983 and resided with his sister and brother-in-law in the Twin Cities area during that timeframe without faculties. He was also receiving outpatient treatment in St. Paul from a counseling center run by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis at that time.
In 1984, Father Ericksen was living in residence at St. Lawrence Parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Father Erickson was permanently removed from ministry in 1988. A lawsuit was filed against Father Ericksen and the Diocese of Superior in 1989 and subsequently settled by the Diocese for nearly $3 million.
Ericksen’s social and professional networking sites list that he worked at AT&T as a customer service specialist for 20 years before moving to Kansas City, Missouri in 2005. In July 2010, the Sawyer County, Wisconsin Police Department began a criminal investigation into the 1980’s allegations. Ericksen was subsequently fired from a volunteer job at the Special Olympics in Missouri when the nonprofit learned of the allegations against him. He abruptly moved to Indonesia at that time. Before he left, however, he admitted to a reporter that he had “just fondled and stuff like that.”
Ericksen returned to the United States in July 2013. The criminal investigation in Wisconsin was still pending at that time. He is believed to be currently living in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area and was volunteering at a food shelf in Brooklyn Center until recently.
According to the Official Catholic Directory and Archdiocesan official, Father Ericksen to the following parishes:
1974-1975 St. Mary’s, Bruce, WI; St. Mary’s, Saynor, WI; and St. Rita’s, Presque Isle, WI.
1975-1976 Cathedral of Christ the King, Superior, WI
1976-1977 Absent on Sick Leave
1977-1978 St. Bridget’s, River Falls, WI
1978-1979 St. Peter’s, Eagle River, WI
1979-1982 Chaplain, Holy Cross Hospital, Merrill, WI
1982-1983 St. Peter’s, Winter, WI
1983-1987 Absent on Sick Leave (living in residence at St. Lawrence Parish, Minneapolis, MN)
1988 Permanently removed from ministry.