Lynn spiritual director weighs in on Pope Francis

“Today’s young adults are more interested in spirituality than organized religion,” McCorry said.

Published Mar. 27, 2013

Pope Francis, the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, is the church’s first Jesuit Pope, the church’s first pope from the Americas and the church’s first Francis.

“Taking the name Francis is both a bold and humbling act,” Terence McCorry, Lynn University’s director of spiritual and religious life, said. “Many of Pope Francis’ key traits parallel those of Saint Francis. For example, Saint Francis felt called to rebuild the church, was a peacemaker between Muslims and Christians and chose poverty over his family’s wealth.”

According to McCorry, Pope Francis has already approached other faith leaders including the Rabbi of Rome and Italy’s Muslim community to establish stronger relations with them.

“It’s a promising initial act,” McCorry said. “His leadership style indicates that he is a common man who puts people first. He has paid his own hotel bill, he took the bus rather than the Pope mobile and when he was announced as Pope, he changed the traditional order of being congratulated by fellow Cardinals first and instead greeted the thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square because they were waiting in the rain.”

“I think Pope Francis has already begun to have an impact on young adults. The Church needed someone who represented the good works of the Church in the areas of compassion to all people especially the poor,” McCorry said, “but now, he must walk his talk, show his humanity and embrace all people.”

Young People and Religion 

McCorry's position at Lynn encourages him to educate students on the value of faith.

“Today’s young adults are more interested in spirituality than organized religion,” McCorry said. “They are gathering but not belonging. This is why Lynn’s Office of Spiritual and Religious Life welcomes all people – religious and nonreligious – to get involved and to participate in campus-wide events.”

In a recent survey conducted by Lynn’s Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, 75 percent of incoming students identified themselves as either spiritual or affiliated with a major religion.

More on McCorry

Terence McCorry, the director of spiritual and religious life at Lynn University, has more than 16 years of university ministry and teaching experience. He began his service to students on campuses in New York City following his graduation with a master’s degree in theology from Union Theological Seminary in 1996. He came to the seminary after 14 years in the film industry, working on both sides of the camera in Hollywood and New York.

Lynn University, which was founded as one of seven Marymount Colleges in America, represents a kind of homecoming for McCorry, as his first director of campus ministry position was at the original Marymount College in Tarrytown N.Y. In his role as director of campus ministry for the Diocese of Palm Beach, he served as a resource for Catholic Campus Ministries at Lynn, Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach State College. He was also an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University and taught honors religion and the International Baccalaureate program at Cardinal Newman High School.

He can discuss interfaith issues, the challenges and landscape of spirituality among young adults, religious trends especially in the Catholic Church, origins of religious thought, mysticism, alternative spiritual paths, ritual and performance and the behind-the-scenes of Hollywood production.