A new initiative of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield is meant to hold a space for young adult women to find encouragement, companionship, and the “space and grace” to meet themselves and uncover the purpose of their lives.
Cor Unum House is both a physical space in an historic Springfield, Illinois, neighborhood and a virtual gathering place that has sometimes included women from as far away as Zambia.
While the initial plan was to create a communal gathering place and a residence for women who wanted a short-term experience of intentional community living, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a bit of a detour.
“We are looking forward to the day when we can gather in real space and real time with the women who live near us in Springfield,” said Sister Lori Kirchman, one of three Springfield Dominican Sisters who anchor Cor Unum House. “But what the pandemic has given us is a larger circle of women from all over who value a sense of community.”
A friend of one of the sisters who lives in Lusaka likes to join in periodically for the virtual gatherings when she is able. There is a core group of women who live in central Illinois and a larger circle that includes participants from Chicago, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss.
Members of the Cor Unum community have settled into a rhythm of three virtual gatherings each month: scripture reflection every first Wednesday and lively, thoughtful discussions on the first and third Sundays each month. For those gatherings, one of the women in the group chooses a topic, suggests a reading or video, and facilitates the conversation.
Women who want to join a virtual gathering or learn more about a Cor Unum House residency are welcome to message us at https://www.facebook.com/CorUnumOneHeart/ or contact us at https://springfieldop.org/join-us/cor-unum/