Cor Unum FAQs

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What does Cor Unum mean?

Cor Unum is a Latin phrase that means one heart. The inspiration for choosing this name is deeply rooted in Christian tradition, the history of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield (who were once known as the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart), and the growing awareness among Christian theologians of the Risen Christ as the Heart of Creation.

What is Cor Unum?

Cor Unum is a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield meant to encourage and support young adult women (18-35, roughly) who desire to deepen their spiritual lives, be of service, and make change for a better world. It includes two components:

  • Cor Unum Village: a dynamic, growing community of women who become a source of friendship and mutual support for one another and for neighbors near and far. Participants in Cor Unum Village shape the “village” by sharing their gifts, skills, and creativity through their relationships with the Dominican Sisters and other Cor Unum women. They accompany one another as they reflect on the meaning of their lives in relationship to God, one another, and our neighbors.
  • Cor Unum House: We will welcome to live with us at Cor Unum House as many as three women age 21-35 who want to experience more deeply the transformative power of an intentional life of simplicity, prayer, and service. Cor Unum House residents commit to a minimum 9-month residency (renewable for up to three years), leading alongside the Dominican Sisters as they explore together and with the women of Cor Unum Village, the relevance and meaning of the ancient Dominican values of prayer, study, preaching (service) and common life in our contemporary context.
How does one get involved with Cor Unum?

Show up! Membership in Cor Unum depends on your desire to be present with the Dominican Sisters and other women like yourself who are looking for a meaningful, exciting, and mutually enriching experience of community in solidarity with people whom others may overlook.

Create! What Cor Unum looks like depends entirely on the creative energies of participants. You will make Cor Unum what it will be.

Lead! One great thing about Cor Unum is its value as a “collaboratory” for leaders—women who want to be change-leaders for a better world. You will have plenty of space for developing your skills as a leader of a new world.

What qualifies a woman for residency in Cor Unum House?

She must be 21-35 years of age, in school or working (or both), and able to support herself financially within the parameters of a simple, sustainable lifestyle.

She must demonstrate a desire and capacity for the commitment and complete a process of integration into the community that begins with a minimum 3-month participation in activities of Cor Unum village. For women seeking residency who do not currently live in or near Springfield, an agreement will be reached regarding how her integration process will proceed.

Do I have to be Catholic?

Residents do not need to be Catholic. Seekers and members of other Christian traditions are welcome. What is required is a desire and capacity for a deepening spiritual quest in the Christian tradition in collaboration with others who share that desire.

What expectations are there for residents?

Essential to the identity of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield is our commitment to center our lives on Jesus, the Word Made Flesh, as we work to dismantle systemic racism and seek right relationship with Earth. These commitments are essential to life at Cor Unum House.

  • Residents and sisters can expect to welcome ethnically and culturally diverse companions who engage regularly in conversation about the realities of institutionalized racism in U.S. culture with the goal of revealing and dismantling the systems that keep whiteness at the center of power in our culture.
  • Residents and sisters can expect to integrate values consistent with our desire to live sustainably and in right relationship with God’s creation.
  • Residents and sisters can expect to be drawn forward in hope as together we work for positive change in the world.
  • Residents and sisters of Cor Unum house are expected to be faithful to the commitments we make together. These commitments will include
    • times for common prayer and study,
    • agreements about the way we live together,
    • and our agreed-upon expectations for the tasks of everyday life (budgeting, cooking, cleaning, home maintenance, gardening, times of community gatherings, our relationship and hospitality for members of Cor Unum Village, etc.)
    • In addition, residents and sisters commit to regular theological reflection (listening deeply to and exploring the meaning of one's life experience through the eyes of faith), times for personal and communal evaluation of our common life, and quarterly days of contemplation and study—all aimed at integrating our public witness and our private lives.
I’m interested! What do I do next?

Contact a member of the Cor Unum anchor community (Sister Lori Kirchman, Sister Mary Clare Fichtner, or Sister Beth Murphy) via the Cor Unum Web page or at 217-787-0481.

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