October 10, 2016 Franciscan Father John Vaughn, OFM, passed to eternal life on October 10, 2016 in Santa Barbara. He was 88 years old, 67 years professed in the Franciscan order, and 61 years a priest. A quiet, humble friar, he was beloved and admired by all who knew him, especially in his home Province of St. Barbara, a region of the Franciscans in the western United States. John David Vaughn was born in Santa Ana, CA, the son of Morgan Leonard Vaughn and Jane Stack. He received the Franciscan habit at Mission San Miguel CA, on July 11, 1948. Having completed his college years at Mission San Luis Rey, he professed solemn vows there on July 12, 1952. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1955. Fr. John's first assignment was to St. Francis church in Sacramento, CA and later taught at St. Anthony's Seminary in Santa Barbara. An appointment as Assistant Master of Novices and associate Pastor at Mission San Miguel soon followed. He completed post-graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was assigned to Sacramento once again as Master of Novices, local superior and pastor. In 1973, he was elected Vicar Provincial Minister for the Province of St. Barbara and, in 1976, Provincial Minister. His term was cut short, however, when he was elected Minister General of the Order and moved to Rome. He was re-elected six years later. In his visits around the world as Minister General, friars found Fr. John to be open, friendly, and encouraging. When he had to make hard decisions in some very difficult situations, it was always for the good of the friars. Returning to his home Province, Fr. John was once-again appointed as Master of Novices. In 2003 he was assigned to Mission Santa Barbara where he assumed leadership of the efforts to canonize Fr. Junípero Serra. Although gradually losing his sight and in declining health, Fr. John continued to be an active presence in the community and an inspiration to all. Regardless of the important offices that he held, Fr. John was always himself-gracious and thoughtful of others and always a brother first. Fr. John's remains will be inurned in the friars' vault at Old Mission Santa Barbara.
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