The Reverend Joseph R. Laracy, S.T.L.
Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
United States of America


Father Joseph R. Laracy is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and member of Seton Hall University Priest Community. He is currently a doctoral student at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Father Laracy has taught in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Department of Systematic Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary, and the Department of Catholic Studies.

Father Laracy's principal theological interests are in the intersection of faith & reason and empirical science & Christianity. He offers a course on the relationship of the theology of creation with the natural sciences. His principal technical interests are in systems science: systems theory, cybernetics, dynamical systems, and systems engineering. He also enjoys teaching topics in applied statistics, logic, and the history of mathematics and science.

Father Laracy earned the S.T.B. and S.T.L. (Fundamental Theology) degrees from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2012 and 2014 respectively. His S.T.B. paper, under the direction of Monsignor Patrick Burke, was an analysis of the act of faith in the theology of Father Johann Brunsmann, S.V.D., and Father Pierre Rousselot, S.J. During his licentiate studies, Father Laracy had the privilege of studying under Father Paul Haffner, and wrote his thesis on the compatibility of the theology of creation with the natural sciences in the thought of Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to studies in Rome, Father Laracy completed a two-year program in Thomistic Philosophy and classical languages at Immaculate Conception Seminary in South Orange, NJ, in 2009.

Father Laracy’s interests at the Complex Systems Research Laboratory at MIT concentrated on uncertainty and dynamics in large-scale, complex engineering systems. He looked at key sources of uncertainty, ways to model and quantify uncertainty, and ways to maintain properties such as safety, security, and resilience as systems change over time. Father Laracy also had the privilege of collaborating in the scholarly activity of MIT's Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative. In that context, he worked on a space situational awareness modeling project utilizing game-theoretic cooperation archetypes and System Dynamics modeling. He also collaborated with colleagues in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics and the Lean Aerospace Intiative on a rational technical strategy to refocus solar power satellite (SPS) research. His master’s degree research was supported in part by NASA Ames Research Center Grant NAG2-1543 (Model-Based Hazard Analysis Research) and National Science Foundation Grant CNS-0550008 (A Socio-Technical Approach to Internet Security). The thesis is entitled: A Systems-Theoretic Security Model for Large Scale, Complex Systems Applied to the US Air Transportation System.

As freshman at the University of Illinois, he received his foundational laboratory experience in digital systems under the cyberneticist, Ricardo Uribe. As an upperclassman, he pursued research to develop a scalable RSA cryptographic co-processor under the direction of the mathematician, Dr. Julian Palmore, and computer engineer, Dr. Sanjay Patel, supported in part by National Science Foundation Grant DMS 99-83160 (Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences). Laracy also worked on a software pattern-based fly-by-wire aircraft control system with the guidance of the software engineer, Dr. Ralph Johnson. In the course of his studies, he held engineering positions with Lucent Technologies (Wireless Terminal Interoperability Laboratory), Ball Aerospace and Technologies (NASA Deep Impact Mission), and Light Source Energy Services. He also served as a teaching assistant for a course on the Physics of Nuclear Weapons, Warfare, and Arms Control.

He is a member of various professional organizations. These include the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): Computer Society | Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society.

Father Joseph Laracy is an Eagle Scout (2000) and a graduate of West Essex Regional High School.