Among his tight circle of friends, they've been calling Tim Corcoran "Father Timmy" for quite some time. It was a little tongue-in-cheek, but it always made Corcoran smile.
"They got a kick out of it," he says with his impish grin. So did he. But now, it's finally true. For the record, he prefers "Father Tim."
He's had a colorful adult life. A stint in the Navy that included combat duty in Vietnam at the same time his career-Marine father served. And his distinguished legal career included a law practice, a 14-year judgeship on the federal bench for the Middle District of Florida and service as a certified mediator.
At age 62, with retirement within his grasp, and the chance to golf and sail and play bridge to his heart's content, he did something most men of a certain age would never consider.
He entered the seminary to become a priest.
Last week, Corcoran completed the first leg of his late-in-life journey. Just days after his graduation from Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Boston, he was ordained by Bishop Robert Lynch in the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, culminating a call to ministry that first beckoned him years ago. In July, he reports to his first priestly assignment as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Dunedin.
As a judge, he was used to being in charge, giving orders. He had a reputation for being a stickler for details, which didn't always go well with lawyers who faced him in court. In his new role, a more humble and empathic Corcoran will answer to his bishop and his congregants. He will talk less and listen more.
Life will be different, to be sure.
"Now the Lord is in charge," Corcoran says.