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The Rochester community honors the life of Father Laurence Tracy

Caitlin Whyte

The North Clinton Community came together to honor the life of Father Laurence Tracy, a lifelong member of the neighborhood, who spent decades fighting to reduce poverty and drug use.

Hundreds gathered at St Michael's Church Wednesday morning for his funeral.

Senator Joe Robach said he saw Father Tracy as a role model.

"Certainly it’s great to see this outpouring of support of a man who was really a walk the walk, talk the talk, really lived to help other people and he was revered here. You just hear story after story of how he impacted so many people’s lives whether it was a baptism, a birthday party, a confirmation, a wedding.”

Maricela Guzman said Father Tracy’s been in her life since she was probably eight years old.

“All my sacraments with him. All my children’s baptismal and first communions. One of our mentors and closest friends for as long as well can remember."

Father Tracy was known not only for his work in the North Clinton community, but also with the Puerto Rican community.

Many outside his funeral mentioned they came to St Michaels because he had services in Spanish, including Maricela Marquez.

"I came today because this is the church my mom started going to from the time that she came from El Salvador as an immigrant. It’s one of the few churches that had mass in Spanish and one of the few that spoke Spanish was Father Tracy, Padre Tracy. I did my first communion here. We moved out to the suburbs but we always come back to St Michael's because of Father Tracy."

Tracy died last week due to complications from ALS.