In mid August, Kristian Alfonso posted a picture on Twitter of herself, Vaughan and a few co-stars, with Vaughan wearing a clerical collar which immediately led to speculation that the character of Eric had become a priest.
The unstable environment triggers something in Eric and he enters the priesthood.
In December 2012, Vaughan revealed to TV Source Magazine that the series would soon delve into Eric's past, and what led to him becoming priest.
The July 16 issue of Soap Opera Digest reported that several sources had Vaughan in the role of Eric, but NBC had yet to confirm Vaughan's role.
The magazine hinted that Eric would return as a "very changed man." On April 30, and May 1, 1998, Le Ann Rimes made a two episode guest appearance in the series as a teenage runaway, Madison, and Eric keeps her from getting arrested when she steals some food.
"It's been a growing process for the character," said Vaughan.
Upon Vaughan's introduction, Eric and Sami are still very close as she is the first person that he informs about his decision to become a priest.Vaughan like many others was skeptical about the character of Eric being re-introduced as a priest.However, Vaughan looked at the plot twist as a challenge.He also reconnects with a now-reformed Nicole and even works with his mother's longtime rival Kristen Di Mera to help establish a new school in Salem.The dynamic leads to a constant struggle between Eric and Nicole, as both still seem to have strong feelings for each other.Eric goes to take Madison to the bus stop so she can return home and she apparently develops some romantic feelings for him. Eric always appears to be the more level headed of the twins and usually tries to talk sense into his sister, Sami.