(Photo by Stacie Ranthum)

Submitted by the Carmel of the Sacred Heart, Hudson

It was a long journey from Albert Lea, Minnesota, to Hudson for Trish Erickson — not geographically, but in terms of years and life experience. She professed her Solemn (final) Vows as Sr. Mary Patricia Erickson of the Blessed Sacrament, O.Carm., a member of Carmel of the Sacred Heart, Hudson, on Thursday April 12.

As a young woman, just out of high school, Trish had considered entering religious life, but things did not work out. As she would later say, the time was not right.

College and work intervened until 2011, when she spent a weekend at the monastery guesthouse. She knew on the second day that this was where she was called to spend the rest of her life.

She joined the community in July 2012, became a novice the following January, and professed temporary vows three years ago.

The ritual for the profession of vows took place within the Mass presided by Bishop James P. Powers and concelebrated by several Carmelite and diocesan priests. This was a fitting reminder that one of the ministries of Carmelite Nuns is to pray especially for priests.

In his homily, Bishop Powers spoke of the call of each person to love and serve God. The readings articulated the call of God to the prophet Elijah, the response of the early Christian community in Jerusalem and the differing ways in which Martha and Mary expressed their love and service.

Living the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience is always challenging, but God’s grace is present to support the one who pledges to love God above all else.

The Carmelite Nuns have been in Hudson since 1963, when they arrived from the monastery in Allentown, Pennsylvania, at the request of Bishop George A. Hammes. They welcome people to pray with them or to spend some days in private retreat at their guest house.