Where God closes a door, a window opens.
Sometimes, almost literally.
Cor Unum House, a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, is meant to be a house of hospitality, where guests are welcome into the sisters’ lives in tangible ways.
Except, not now. While the Coronavirus lockdown has closed the sisters’ front door for now, they've found an open window in the form of social media streaming and teleconferencing.
An impromptu Facebook live-stream of last Sunday’s evening prayer was such a success they decided to extend the invitation to include two Wednesday evening prayers, and two Sunday evening prayers. Details are available @corunumoneheart.
They’ve also hosted a teleconference gathering of the Core Team, women who are collaborating with the sisters to develop the new ministry. Their April 1 First Wednesday Scripture Reflection will also move on-line. To participate, send your email via the Facebook Messenger to receive a link to the private teleconference.
Sisters Mary Clare Fichtner, Lori Kirchman, and Beth Murphy are all sheltering in place, like so many others. Sister Mary Clare normally works a few days a week in the supply room of the sisters’ motherhouse. She’s spending her time reaching out to seniors by phone and making barrier masks for Franciscan Outreach. Sister Beth, the communication director for the congregation, is able to keep a full work schedule from home. Sister Lori, liturgist at Holy Family Parish in Lincoln, Ill., is looking to the future by planning liturgies for Sunday celebrations in the future.
“At this point, we are hoping to celebrate Easter Sunday liturgy in the parish,” she said. "We're waiting to see whether it will be possible to celebrate this great feast together." The rest of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum are already cancelled by virtue of the Illinois’ Governors “shelter-in-place” decree.
The front door of the sisters’ 115-year-old chocolate-chip-mint-green house in Springfield’s Enos Park is closed for now. But don’t be deceived. This is still a house of hospitality, with an online portal as wide as the smile of their beautiful, welcoming front porch.