By Bob Zyskowski
MINNEAPOLIS (CNS) – Vaughn Treco, a husband, grandfather of two and former Anglican priest, was ordained to the Catholic diaconate and priesthood in early May with the approval of Pope Francis.
His ordination as a Catholic priest who is married is allowed as an exception to the normal requirement for celibacy.
Father 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 suburban 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, and my task is to grow it into a parish,” Father Treco told The Catholic Spirit, archdiocesan newspaper.
“I love church planting,” he added. “I’ve done this work before.”
Father Treco, 52, was ordained to the transitional diaconate with other transitional deacons from the St. Paul Seminary by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt May 2 at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens ordained him to the Catholic priesthood May 3 at Holy Family.
In a letter to priests of the archdiocese that invited them to attend the priesthood ordination, Bishop Cozzens explained the circumstances that have brought Father Treco to the Catholic priesthood.
Father Treco “comes to us with a rich theological background as a former director of formation for his Anglican diocese,” Bishop Cozzens wrote. “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, head of Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, approached Father 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.”
Now that he has been ordained, Father Treco may, at the archbishop’s discretion and with the permission of Msgr. Steenson, also serve other in 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.”
Father Treco became a Catholic in 2000.