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Rev. T. Shawn Tracy

March 6, 1940 — July 20, 2014

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OBITUARY
FR. T. SHAWN TRACY, O.S.A.

March 6, 1940-July 20, 2014

Fr. Thomas Shawn Tracy, O.S.A., was born on March 6, 1940, in Washington, DC, the son of John J. and Marion S. (Mills) Tracy. He had one brother and one sister. He was baptized on March 31, 1940, at Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Washington, DC. He attended the Campus School of the Catholic University of America, (1946-1954) and Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, DC, (1954-1958). He was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1958, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on September 10, 1959. He attended Villanova University, (1959-1963), and received a BA in Philosophy. He next went to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for his theological studies, (1963-1967). He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1962. He was ordained to the priesthood on November 19, 1966, at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, by Bishop Spence.

Fr. Shawn was first assigned to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish and High School, Bronx, New York, (1967-1975). During this time he attended New York Theological Seminary and received an MA in Pastoral Counseling. While in the Bronx Fr. Shawn, with a group of parishioners, began writing and playing a folk-inspired style of liturgical music. He also 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 he was assigned to Saint John Stone Friary, Villanova, Pennsylvania, where he served in Campus Ministry at Villanova University and continued writing music, bringing folks from the Bronx together with folks at Villanova and created a new group called “He Shall Be Peace.” He also continued his work with HEC. In 1995 Fr. Shawn stepped down from the position of Director of Campus Ministry to devote more time to the ministries of music, liturgy and retreats. Fr. Shawn brought together a group called Sanctuary and the focus of the music changed from music for liturgy to music as an accompaniment for prayer and contemplation.
In 2007 he was assigned to Saint Augustine Friary, Villanova, Pennsylvania, where he was the Prior. For health reasons, he moved to St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery health care center and was taken to Lankenau Hospital where he died on Sunday, July 20, 2014, surrounded by his family.

Like all Augustinians, Fr. Shawn tried to balance a spiritual life of prayer with ministry to God’s people. Fr. Shawn was an unassuming man who uttered kind words and saw Scripture as poetry. His ministry was one of putting music to that poetry, and thus bringing God's word into our hearts, so that we may live those words with our lives. Just as he did!

Besides the friars, he is survived his brother Michael Tracy and his sister Marion Eve Dolan and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated in the Church of St. Thomas of Villanova (Campus Church) on Thursday evening July 24, 2014, at 7:30 PM. Clergy, religious, relatives and friends may visit at the church beginning at 6:00 PM.

Interment will take place on Friday, July 25, 2014, at 10:30 AM in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

In lieu of flowers, the Augustinian Community of which Father Tracy was a beloved member wishes contributions to be made to: The Augustinian Fund: Care of Sick and Elderly / c/o Provincial Offices, / P.O. Box 340, Villanova, PA 19085-0340

May he rest in peace. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rev. T. Shawn Tracy, please visit our flower store.

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