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What’s in the Name? The Meaning of Cor Unum

Cor Unum is One Heart in Latin.

The name was chosen to anchor the project in the Dominican Sisters’ story and move it toward an evolving future. In 1893, when the Jacksonville-based Dominican Sisters moved to Springfield, they became known as the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Fast forward almost 130 years. The theological and cultural landscape has changed dramatically, with a growing consciousness of the evolutionary nature of life.


 “Jesus refuses to divide us. He stretches out his arms and offers his life for the life of the world. We are called to do the same.”


Scientific and theological exploration of the work of the Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin also impacted the choice of name. At the foundation of Teilhard’s cosmic mysticism is his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the words of Teilhard scholar Sister Ilia Delio, Teilhard’s vision calls today’s Christians to “live from the center of the heart where love grows and to reach out to the world with faith, hope, and trust in God’s incarnate presence.” In the shorthand of Cor Unum, that translates to the need to connect to the “One heart, one Spirit, one world” constituted by the creating love of Christ, the source of all that exists.

“As we’ve come to recognize during this time of pandemic, the survival of our planet requires recognizing the wholeness Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection reveal,” said Sister Beth Murphy, a resident at Cor Unum House in Springfield’s historic Enos Park neighborhood. “He refuses to divide us. He stretches out his arms and offers his life for the life of the world. We are called to do the same.”

The Logo

A combination of Sister Ilia Delio's quote (above) and St. Paul's hymn in Colossians were the inspiration for the logo. Paul calls Jesus "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" and the source of all created things "the visible and the invisible." All things, Paul says, "were created through him and for him" and "in him all things hold together."

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