A space to call home
Amid a busy and bustling day, personal support worker Fely Hassib is grateful to have a quiet place to pause, reflect and, most importantly, to pray. In the new multi-faith room at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care (Mount Hope), the dedicated clinician feels a sense of belonging.
“For me and many others, prayer is part of my daily routine.”
The multi-faith room, which opened in spring 2023, is a first at Mount Hope – home to 394 residents representing a variety of cultures, beliefs, and ages, along with staff and physicians. With construction funded by donations to St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation, the space is welcoming to all who wish to use it.
"The multi-faith room was designed to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for people to engage in spiritual practices or meditation," explains Dale Nikkel, Coordinator of Spiritual Care at St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s). “We hope this becomes a well-used and respected room for residents, families and staff of all backgrounds to nurture their spiritual and mental well-being.”
Out of respect for people practicing different faiths, spiritual practices, or none at all, no symbols adorn the room and warm colors create an ambiance that feels comfortable and inviting.
Residents, caregivers and staff gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the multi-faith space on March 20 during which stained glass artwork specially designed for the room was unveiled. Created by Roger Chapman of Sunrise Stained Glass Inc., the piece was inspired by a photograph taken at Gibbons Park, which is in close proximity to Mount Hope and often used by residents, family members and staff. Members of Mount Hope’s resident and family councils were also involved with the creation and helped choose the design.
Roger is well acquainted with the spiritual spaces at Mount Hope.
“Years ago, I refurbished the stained glass in the Mount Hope chapel across from this new space,” he says. “I am thrilled to be able to create a new and unique piece of work for the multi-faith room in appreciation of the staff and physicians who work there. I hope the piece provides a sense of peace and hope for those who use this new room.”
Both residents and staff have expressed deep appreciation for the new space. Fely, who is of the Islamic faith, is delighted that the room is conveniently located as she often prays quickly between breaks during her shift.
“Before I would find corners or stairwells to pray,” says Fely. “I now have a place that is comfortable and where it feels like home.”
Paying attention to equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging is a priority across St. Joseph’s and the new, quiet space at Mount Hope is a tangible reflection of that effort, explains Dale.
“Inclusion and diversity are key principles we uphold at St. Joseph's. This room will be open to anyone who wishes to use it and represents a quiet space in which everyone can feel welcome."