Cor Jesu is a small but growing communal worship service that blends Eucharistic adoration, contemporary contemplative worship music, confession, and community. Although it’s for everyone, it’s especially attractive to a growing number of teens and young adults. Would it work for your parish?
by Leandra Hubka
Editor’s note: After experiencing several very fruitful Cor Jesu services with our older kids and teens, we were excited to share the news about this great little practice with others. We asked Leandra Hubke, our local coordinator, to write up the following piece. If you’re interested in starting Cor Jesu at your parish, you’ll find contact information at the bottom of the article.
In November of 2016, Cor Jesu (core yay’-zoo) was held for the first time at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, Minnesota. Latin for “Heart of Jesus,” Cor Jesu is held on the First Friday of the month, September through May. It begins with solemn Exposition, a Scripture reading, and a short homily, followed by time for silent Adoration, music, and priests available to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession, and concludes with Benediction, after which everyone is invited to the gathering space for fellowship and refreshments.
All are welcome to Cor Jesu, and from its beginning a wide variety of ages have been in attendance, from children coming with their parents, to college students, to the older generations of the parish, and everyone in between. The response to Cor Jesu has been very positive, with many people expressing their joy and gratitude for having Cor Jesu. Cor Jesu provides a means through which people can experience the abundant grace and mercy of Christ’s Sacred Heart.
The endeavor of bringing Cor Jesu to the Cathedral has truly been the work of the Holy Spirit. The original Cor Jesu started at the St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, on the campus of the University of St. Thomas. It was founded in 2006 by then-Father Andrew Cozzens, who is now Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. Since its inception, Cor Jesu has spread to other locations and dioceses. Early in the Fall of 2016, the Holy Spirit brought several people together who had been to the original Cor Jesu in St. Paul and were excited about the idea of bringing Cor Jesu to Winona. A team with coordinators for the various areas was formed, and after receiving the blessing of the Rector of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, details fell into place very quickly.
Cor Jesu involves the whole community, with the coordinators recruiting volunteers to help in a variety of capacities. Each month, there are 3-5 priests present to hear confessions, with one priest leading the evening with Exposition, a short Scripture reading and homily, and Benediction. Musicians lead the singing for Exposition and Benediction, and provide prayerful Praise and Worship music during the time the Sacrament of Penance is being celebrated around the church. Seminarians from the local diocesan seminary, or youth from the Cathedral parish, assist the celebrant as servers, and community members greet people at the door while handing out song sheets. The Cathedral is blessed to have a Perpetual Adoration chapel, so there are also adorers praying in the chapel the hour before Cor Jesu, specifically for the success of Cor Jesu.
The world is thirsty for the love of Christ, and Cor Jesu allows people to encounter the Lord’s merciful love through adoring Him in the Blessed Sacrament, listening or singing along to songs of worship, and being able to receive forgiveness through the Sacrament of Penance. It truly is a beautiful and grace-filled evening!
If you are interested in learning more about Cor Jesu or starting Cor Jesu in your parish, you can find us online or contact us using the information below:
Leandra Hubka (Team Leader): (507) 990-3402
Leandra Hubka is a parishioner of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, Minnesota, and is the Team Leader for the Cor Jesu Cor Team.