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 is associated with the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences at Seton Hall University. He is also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Systematic Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary.

His principal technical interests are in systems science: systems theory, dynamical systems (modelling with differential equations), and systems engineering. He also enjoys teaching topics in applied statistics, logic, and the history of mathematics and science. Father Laracy's principal theological interests are in the intersection of faith & reason and empirical science & Christianity. He offers a theology course on creation and science that is cross-listed with the program in Catholic Studies and the undergraduate core curriculum.

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 early career 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 and resilience as systems change over time. 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). His thesis was entitled: A Systems-Theoretic Security Model for Large Scale, Complex Systems Applied to the US Air Transportation System.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois, he pursued research to develop a scalable RSA cryptographic co-processor under the direction of Dr. Julian Palmore, 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 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, the American Mathematical Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): Computer Society | Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society.

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