Ordained to the priesthood in 1966 Fr. Tracy’s first assignment was to St. Nicholas of Tolentine in the Bronx, N.Y., where he served in parish ministry as well as teaching at the high school. It was here that Fr. Tracy, with a group of parishioners, began writing and playing a folk-inspired style of liturgical music. During his time in New York, he recorded three albums of liturgical music: The 10:15
(1968), Making Tracks
(1972) and Songs of the Father
In 1972, Fr. Tracy earned a MA in Pastoral Counseling from New York Theological Seminary. During the early-70s, he became involved with a new youth ministry, Teens Encounter Christ (TEC), from which an off-shoot designed for persons with physical disabilities emerged, called Handicapped Encounter Christ (HEC). In HEC retreats, disabled and able-bodied persons come together to experience the healing power of God.
In 1975, Fr. Tracy was transferred to Campus Ministry at Villanova University where he continued his writing and music, bringing folks from the Bronx together with folks at Villanova and creating a new group called HE SHALL BE PEACE. From this ensemble, three albums came: He Shall Be Peace
(1982) and Sanctuary
Fr. Tracy also continued his work with HEC, a ministry he had brought to Villanova form his time in the Bronx, which, along with his responsibilities in Campus Ministry, kept him busy with retreats. In 1995, Fr. Tracy stepped down from the position of director of Campus Ministry at the university to devote more time to ministries of music, liturgy and retreats.
Ten years after the last album, Fr Tracy brought together a third group, called SANCTUARY. His focus changed from music for liturgy to music as an accompaniment for prayer and contemplation. Four CDs have been released by SANCTUARY: Magnificat
(1996), a double-CD Passion
(1999), Ancient Light
(2002) and the most recent, another double-CD, Sacred Earth
(2007). The subtitles for these recordings call it “ritual music for prayer and contemplation."
Together Fr. Tracy and SANCTUARY hold prayer services where scripture readings, accompanied by music and songs, bring those who attend the benefits of the contemplative and meditative aspects of prayer.
If you wish to contact Fr. Tracy by email, click here
You can also find information about scheduled events or order CDs by visiting SANCTUARY's website.