Rev. Robert E. Erickson, CSV, died Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 at Alden Estates of Evanston Rehabilitation Center in Evanston, IL, where he had been recuperating from a recent surgery. He was 75.
Fr. Erickson was born July 17, 1940, in Springfield, IL, the son of Robert E. Erickson, Sr. and Anna Catherine (Sommers) Erickson, who preceded him in death. At the time of his passing, he was in his 57th year of religious life and 49th year of priesthood.
Fr. Erickson pronounced his first vows on Sept. 8, 1959 in Arlington Heights, IL and was ordained a priest on May 20, 1967 in Springfield, IL by Bishop William A. O’Connor.
He was a graduate of Cathedral Boys’ High School in Springfield, before he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Loyola University in Chicago and graduate degrees in sacred theology and mathematics from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. During his sabbatical year (1991-1992), Fr. Erickson studied theology at Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, MA.
Fr. Erickson’s first assignment sent him to Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights as a teacher from 1967 to 1973. He then was assigned as teacher and assistant principal at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, IL from 1973 to 1978.
His next assignments took him back to Springfield where he served as principal at Griffin High School from 1978 to 1988 and then as vice principal and director of development at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School from 1988 to 1991.
He served as campus minister at the University of Illinois in Champaign from 1992 to 1994. He was then named Provincial Treasurer of the Clerics of St. Viator, Province of Chicago and remained in that position until he retired in 2010.
After retirement, he continued to minister at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, IL and at various parishes in the Arlington Heights area. Fr. Erickson also served as a retreat director, leader of scripture studies and as spiritual director.
Visitation was held Jan 22 at the Viatorian Province Center, before a Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Jan. 23 at St. James Catholic Church, both in Arlington Heights, where Fr. James Fanale, CSV, offered the homily. Interment was at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL. A memorial Mass also was celebrated Feb. 6 in Springfield by Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV.
Please remember Fr. Erickson and his family in your Masses and prayers.
From letter dated Jan. 16, 2016 to the Viatorian Community from the Provincial, Rev. Thomas von Behren, CSV