February 07, 2006

Priest's file documents troubles at seminary

Pioneer Press

Pioneer Press

Ryan Erickson's work as a parish priest mirrored his turbulent St. Paul Seminary years, according to 118 pages from his Diocese of Superior personnel file released Monday by the Hudson city attorney.
His heavy consumption of alcohol was an oft-repeated concern, and one superior said Erickson spent more time drinking at a bar stool then he did praying at a pew.
The documents included Erickson's résumé and statements of his passionate desire to be a priest as well as indications of problems, such as reprimands for his criticism of a seminary priest and professor; allegations of drinking and a referral for alcohol treatment and psychological review; and sexual misconduct investigations.
Police used a subpoena to obtain the personnel file from the diocese Feb. 25, 2005, about three months after Erickson, 31, hanged himself outside St. Mary's Church in Hurley. The information was used as part of a case against Erickson, which culminated when a St. Croix County judge found in October that the priest likely killed Dan O'Connell, 39, and James Ellison, 22, in February 2002.

Posted by kshaw at February 7, 2006 08:28 AM