St Bede's @ Holy Family

Our Parish Priest: The Reverend Vaughn Treco

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Fr. Vaughn Treco was raised among the Plymouth Brethren, a small, intensely missional, Evangelical Protestant tradition with two defining characteristics: a deep contemplative and affective spirituality, and a strong, understated, anti-Anglicanism (especially in its high church, Catholic-like form). By the grace of God, he was raised by parents (Herbert & Marjorie Treco) who loved the Lord Jesus with all their heart, and who lived that love before their children.

Fr. Vaughn’s faith in Christ was nurtured by his brothers and sisters (Timothy Treco and Daneen Southworth particularly), and many others (including Michael Debbage and Lyall Bethel). He is especially grateful for the preaching of Evangelist Rex Major (uncle), the Sunday School lessons that he received from Gregory Williams, and the intellectual stimulus and challenge provided by Rudolph Cartwright (cousin, deceased).

In college, by way of the literary efforts of an Anglican vicar, the Lord dissolved his suspicions regarding the life of the mind and opened Fr. Vaughn’s heart and mind to the intimate inter-play of the moral life and the desire for truth that lies at the heart of the human person. He received tremendous encouragement from his extended family. The prayers of his grandfather (Papa Tracey) and the support and encouragement of his Uncle Carl (deceased) & Aunt Angela, Uncle Raphael & Aunt Chloe Cartwright, Uncle Tom & Aunt Catty Treco, and Uncle Claude (deceased) & Aunt Alice Burrows, were crucial to the deepening of his understanding of the faith and the strengthening of his love for God and his call to priesthood. Many cousins and friends, too, provoked and challenged him. Fr. Keith Cartwright (cousin, Anglican) and Professor Bill Moulder (Anglican) of Trinity College were particularly helpful during these years.
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Fr. Vaughn’s encounter with Eastern Orthodoxy – both in academia and through personal encounters with Orthodox Christians – compelled him to reckon with the centrality of the Church in the life of faith, and with that, the reality and significance of the sacraments as a sharing in the Divine Life. It was then that Fr. Vaughn encountered Pope John Paul II, through whom the Lord allowed him to recognize the greatness of the human person and the all-embracing call that Jesus extends to every man, woman and child: “Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Despite these positive encounters, several years were to pass before he would find his way home to the Catholic Church.

Having taken his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1988, Fr. Vaughn founded New Providence Community Church (NPCC) along with Clint Kemp and Erik Russell in his home country, The Bahamas. This new Christian community successfully recaptured the hearts and minds of many college-educated, Bahamian young professionals who were leaving the church in droves. Through what would be his last attempt to remain within Evangelical Christianity, the Lord deepened Fr. Vaughn’s longing for Apostolic Christianity and led him back to the Anglican tradition by way of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church (ICCEC).

After Fr. Vaughn’s ordination as a priest for the ICCEC, he served as the Director and Principal Lecturer for St. Michael's Seminary in Overland Park, KS, where he designed and offered under-graduate and graduate instruction in the theological sciences to prepare candidates for Holy Orders. During his tenure, Fr. Vaughn also conducted a detailed historical analysis of the episcopal lineage of the ICCEC. This seminal study of the ICCEC’s apostolic line led to the re-ordination of the bishops and all clergy of the ICCEC in 1997. In honor of his work, Archbishop Randolph W. Sly (now Fr. Randy Sly, Ordinariate) appointed him as Canon Theologian to the Archbishop of the Eastern and Central Province. Fr. Vaughn’s close examination of the ICCEC’s apostolic lineage, however, led to a new and more profound understanding of the Sacrament of Holy Orders and gave birth to a desire to be embraced by the Catholic Church.
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At the Easter Vigil of the Great Jubilee Year 2000, Fr. Vaughn, his wife, Norma and their three children, Michael, Jacquelyn and Cathryn, were welcomed into the Catholic Church by Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Great Falls, Virginia. Not long after, Fr. Vaughn took a position with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington as Program Director for Marriage Preparation and Enrichment. During this time he completed the recasting of the diocesan marriage preparation program in light of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body and led the development of a similar program for couples preparing for second unions.

Between 2002 and 2012, Fr. Vaughn served two multi-year stints as Director of Youth Ministry for Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Woodbridge, VA. In between the two of those times of service - from September 2005 to May 2008 - he completed three years of graduate-level theological studies under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr. Paul deLadurantaye, Director of the Office of Catechesis for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington (Virginia) served as his expert priest and prepared Fr. Vaughn for ordination as a Catholic priest under the pastoral provision. In February 2012, he and his wife founded parishREACH, an apostolate which seeks to serve the Church by assisting it's pastors to more effectively evangelize the men, women and children who reside within their parish boundaries.

Through fellowship offered, support generously given, and opportunities created, many Catholic brothers and sisters continued to support Fr. Vaughn’s call to priesthood. Maggie Cartwright (cousin), Dale Williams (aunt), Mike & Debbie Wykowski, John Paul & Christina De Gance, and Patricia Wilder each provided encouragement in particular ways. Countless Evangelical brothers and sisters, and quite a few Anglicans, too, came along side him as Fr. Vaughn sought to remain faithful to the Lord’s call on his life. Each offered their hearts and minds freely, and, through their gifts, enabled the Catholic Faith to establish its roots more firmly in the soil of his soul. Michael Craddick, Thomas Griffin, and several other Protestant presenters at the Faith Discussion Dinners hosted by the De Gances offered significant assistance.

In the end, four persons were used mightily of the Lord to bring about the actualization of Fr. Vaughn’s priesthood: Bishop Andrew Cozzens (his bishop-advocate), Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson (who petitioned the Vatican on his behalf of his ordination for the The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter), Archbishop-Emeritus John Neinstedt (who supported his ordination), and Pope Francis (who approved Fr. Vaughn’s ordination).

No man reaches the Altar of God alone! Fr. Vaughn remains forever grateful to God for those Christian brothers and sisters, without whom, humanly speaking his priestly joy would have never been realized!

Fr. Vaughn Treco, also serves as the Chaplain at Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minnesota.