68 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

     We are a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.  

In 1984, Sr. Rosemary O'Toole, a Sister of St. Joseph (Peterborough) returned from Lebh Shomea House of Prayer in Sarita, Texas where she had spent three years living with this contemplative-eremitical community. In response to her request to return home to Canada and start a non-monastic contemplative House of Prayer, her congregational leadership team assigned her to live on the third floor of one of their convent homes at 58 Primrose Avenue, Ottawa.

Here Sr. Rosemary set up the first Upper Room Home of Prayer. (She named it a "HOME" of Prayer to reflect the welcoming hospitality and familiarity that comes with visiting and revisiting.) In the spirit of the early Church it was truly to be a little UPPER ROOM  - a place of prayer in silence and solitude in the heart of the city of Ottawa inviting all searching pilgrims to come and pray and rest awhile.

In 1990 Sister Evelyn McGovern, CSJ (Peterborough) joined the ministry as co-director and together they were the core community for 33 more years. Over time, the Spirit life grew abundantly in the men and women who came often to the Home of Prayer for spiritual direction, contemplative retreats and programs of spirituality. They left THE UPPER ROOM to circle the city with Love. Communities of spiritual directors manifested over time (Emmaus Community). Around 1997- 98, we witneessed the emerging of Little Design Communities spreading out around the city in homes where men and women gather to strengthen each other on the journey of faith. Sr. Evelyn is remembered for sharing her love for God, her down-to-earth wisdom, and her gentle humour with everyone she met. Her fruitful and faithful earthly life was transformed into an eternal life on March 13, 2022. 

In January 2023, Sr. Kathleen O'Keefe, CSJ (London) discerned a call and joined Sr. Rosemary in carrying on the life, mission and ministry of The Upper Room Home of Prayer.  

Remaining faithful to our charism of letting LOVE love through us, all of our UPPER ROOM COMMUNITY continue daily in the rhythm of contemplation and service to the dear neighbour... each one according to the Spirit-gifts that have been given to us all. In gentleness, peace and joy... we celebrate God's life within us and amongst us... and we offer our neighbourhoods and world our small gift of fidelity to grace in the present moment.