“The Catholic Spirit” writes about Vaughn Treco

The archdiocesan newspaper of St Paul and Minneapolis, The Catholic Spirit, has published the following article about the new deacon and priest, Rev. Vaughn Treco: (second hattip to EPMS):

Former Anglican priest to be ordained a Catholic priest
Bob Zyskowski | May 1, 2015

Vaughn Treco and his wife, Norma

Vaughn Treco and his wife, Norma

Vaughn Treco, a married man, grandfather of two and former Anglican priest, has received the approval of Pope Francis to be ordained to the Catholic diaconate and priesthood in early May.

His ordination as a Catholic priest who is married is allowed as an exception to the normal requirement for celibacy.

Upon ordination, Treco will serve within the geographic boundaries of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as a member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter as the priest for a community of former Anglicans.

The small community of 10 people worships on Sundays at Holy Family Church in St. Louis Park. Called the Society of St. Bede the Venerable, they have been under the care of Benedictine Brother John-Bede Pauley of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville.

“They’ve been functioning as a society,” Treco told The Catholic Spirit, “and my task is to grow it into a parish.

“I love church planting,” he added. “I’ve done this work before.”

Treco, 52, will be ordained to the transitional diaconate with other transitional deacons from the St. Paul Seminary by Archbishop John Nienstedt at 10 a.m. May 2 at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Bishop Andrew Cozzens will ordain Deacon Treco to the Catholic priesthood at 1:30 p.m. May 3, at Holy Family.

Rich church background

TrecoIn a letter to priests of the archdiocese that invited them to attend the priesthood ordination, Bishop Cozzens explained the circumstances that have brought Treco to the Catholic priesthood.

Treco “comes to us with a rich theological background as a former director of formation for his Anglican diocese,” Bishop Cozzens noted. “He finished all the requirements for ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church some years ago, and has been awaiting the right place for his service to the Church.”

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, the ordinary of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in the United States, approached Treco in 2014 about the need for a priest to serve the small ordinariate community in Minnesota.

“Since the community existed within the boundaries of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Msgr. Steenson and I opened a conversation about Mr. Treco’s ordination for service to that community,” Bishop Cozzens wrote. “With the archbishop’s permission, I have been working with Msgr. Steenson on this for the past year, and now the final hurdle has been crossed.”

After his ordination, Treco may, at the archbishop’s discretion and with the permission of his ordinary, also serve in other capacities within the archdiocese, Bishop Cozzens explained. “For example, he could be a parochial vicar at one of our parishes as well. This is all yet to be determined by the archbishop.”

Ground-breaking pastor

Treco became a Catholic in 2000.

“The more closely I read Scripture, the more it seemed that Catholic Church teaching cohered to Scripture,” he explained.

Born in Nassau in the Bahamas and raised in a deeply religious Plymouth Brethren family, Treco attended an Evangelical seminary in Illinois and graduated with a masters in divinity.

After discovering what he described as discrepancies in Plymouth Brethren teaching, Vaughn and his wife, Norma, joined the Charismatic Episcopal Church. In 1991 he launched and developed the New Covenant Community Church in the Bahamas, an Evangelical church with a mission focused on attracting young, college-educated people to an updated Christian community.

He served on the staff of the Cathedral Church of the King in Olathe, Kansas, where he was ordained in 1997. He was the Charismatic Episcopal Church archbishop’s theologian and director of the seminary until he listened to audio tapes by Scott Hahn, “Answers to Common Objections.”

In an interview on EWTN, he said that after listening to the tapes over a weekend, he asked himself, “If I believe all of these things, why am I not Roman Catholic?”

Nine months later, in 1999, he began the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and became a Catholic in 2000.

Since then he has served in Catholic pastoral ministry as program director for marriage preparation and enrichment in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia; as a parish youth minister, and established “parishREACH,” a program that trains and equips Catholics for the ministry of evangelizing.

For three years he did Catholic graduate theological studies in Arlington and completed another six-month program in Catholic theology in Houston, Texas, in 2013.

Lyrical, poetic worship

The Divine Worship of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter — what was formerly called the “Anglican-use” Mass — “harkens back to a Tridentine kind of complexity,” Treco explained.

“The chief difference is that the liturgy takes its linguistic cues and traditions from the Anglican Communion,” Treco said.

Catholics used to the Roman Rite that is regularly celebrated at parishes across the archdiocese would find the Ordinariate’s Divine Worship lyrical, he said, and would sense a poetic character to the prayer that Treco described as “more penetrating.”

Ordinations of Fr. Vaughn Treco

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9 Responses to “The Catholic Spirit” writes about Vaughn Treco

  1. EPMS says:

    It is interesting to note that the Charismatic Episcopal Church is specifically excluded from the Pastoral Provision, but has provided two priests to the OCSP.

  2. porys says:

    Sorry for off-topic question but how to pronounce name of fr. Treco? BTW – Vaughn is very strange name (I hope I am not offensive 🙂 ) . What is its etymology?

    • Rev22:17 says:


      You asked: BTW – Vaughn is very strange name (I hope I am not offensive 🙂 ) . What is its etymology?

      Vaughn is not a common first name for a man, but also not without fame. During the “big band” era, one of the band leaders was a gent named Vaughn Monroe. His band had a number of well known hits.


  3. William Tighe says:

    I am not an expert, but “Vaughn” seems to be an American spelling of the (originally Welsh) surname “Vaughan” (one encounters occasionally the American surname “Vaughn”). Given names such as, for example, Warren and Percy (and the rather rare “Vere”) for males, or Ashley, Lesley/Leslie and Taylor for females, were all originally surnames as well.

  4. Anne says:

    Interesting point, EPMS. It is also interesting that the Charismatic Episcopal Church’s website says its name is not meant to “show a relationship with any Episcopal or Anglican organization.” The article mentions Vaughn Treco’s seminary education at an Evangelical seminary and three years of Catholic graduate theology. Has he taken courses or received training that would associate him with Anglican patrimony?

  5. EPMS says:

    Wikipedia says many congregations use some version of the American BCP, so he may be familiar with that liturgy. I am just amused by the way Catholic sources refer to “Anglican” archbishops and “Anglican” seminaries in a rather indiscrimate fashion, making no distinction between Justin Welby or Virginia Theological Seminary and the leader of a micro-denomination like the ACCC or an unaccredited on-line clergy training entity.

  6. Richard Grand says:

    The heading of this item is misleading. He was never a member of the Episcopal Church and never attended an Episcopal seminary. The Charismatic Episcopal Church is an independent group. Only in a broad sense could Mr. Treco be described as a former Anglican, since he was never part of any group with ties to the Anglican Communion.

  7. Anne says:

    A source who was present at the ordination informed me that Bishop Cozzens referred to Vaughn’s Episcopalian and Anglican background.

  8. EPMS says:

    Catholics, especially of a certain vintage, know there is the Church, the One True Vine, and then there are the fallen-away branches. They see little distinction between the Anglican Communion and the Conventicle of the Former and the Latter Rain, Inc. Those who drew up the Pastoral Provision exempted the CEC because, despite its name, it is not an Anglican/Episcopal body even in the sense that the “continuing” denominations are. But one cannot expect the average Catholic to be aware of this. Fr Treco’s parents were nominal Anglicans in the Bahamas before they joined the Plymouth Brethren so to that extent his background is Anglican, though never Episcopalian.

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