The Upper Room

The Wildfire Center for Apostolate and Formation

The Vision

We are conducting an analysis to confirm the viability of this project before seeking approval from the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Mission: The Upper Room is a Catholic coworking space designed to foster community, innovation, and holiness among entrepreneurs, professionals, creatives, and small groups. Our aim is to renew the entire Archdiocese by creating a space that  enables Catholics to live their faith to the full.

The Space: Inspired by Benedictine principles, The Upper Room will feature a chapel, a beautiful environment, and essential amenities like coffee and high-speed internet. It’s more than a workspace; it’s a community dedicated to spiritual and professional growth.

Impact: We want to create a place where work can be a source of holiness and it’s easy to overcome the constant tension of trying to balance work, ministry, prayer, and family.

The Upper Room is not a service or a club. It is a community, founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit. Our ideal would be to financially sustain the space through the generosity of guests, donations, and local business partnerships. In this way, everyone is welcomed as Christ, even if they can’t afford the cost to use the facility.

We’re currently exploring a space to purchase, and are seeking soft commitments for coworking and office rental. We’re also taking pledges for donations and sponsorships.

  • Rental Commitments 28% 28%
  • Donations & Sponsorships 18% 18%

Prospective Property: 3036 Breckenridge Ln

Donation & Sponsorship Goal: $830,000

Rental Commitment Goal: 20 Coworking + 4 Office Rentals

The Team

Advisors

Nathan Hadsall
CEO
St. Joseph Ministries, LLC

Jim Norton, CPA
Principal
JJJ Local Investors, LLC

Greg Buccola
Principal
KPFF Consulting Engineers

Dr. Brian Engelland
Professor Emeritus of Marketing
Catholic University of America

Fr. Scott Murphy
Pastor | License in Spirituality
St. Edwards Catholic Church

Fr. Casey Sanders
Pastor | Canon Lawyer
St. John Paul II Parish

Br. Brian Rooney, OCSO
Trappist Monk | Benedictine Spirituality
St. Joseph Abbey – Spencer, MA

Travis Gear
Founder | Catholic Coworking
Ora et Labora – Wichita, KS

Staff

  • Brenton Wolford (Project Management)
  • Nik Sternhagen (Operations & Communication)
  • Jennie Murphy (Design and Marketing)
  • Lucia Ricketts (Coordination)
  • Keisy Polanco (Administrative Assistant)

    What is Wildfire?

    In every age the Church cries out for renewal. It is her saints who answer that call.

    Wildfire is a way of life that brings Catholics together to live the universal call to holiness, and through it renew the local Church.

    At the center of the Gospel is the simple, repeating story: People meet Jesus, their lives are changed, and they are sent out to live and share this good news.

    We gather together other men with Hearts on fire to help them experience this encounter, transformation, and mission, and for ourselves we make it a way of life.

    Our particular path to holiness can be summed up in living and sharing the interior life. The Holy Spirit sends us out on mission: Make the outside like the inside. It is only in this way that we fulfill our call to renewal, where individuals fully live as Church in our family, parish, and the secular world.

    The Upper Room

    The Wildfire Center for Apostolate and Formation

    Environment

    • The Upper Room will be a welcoming and joyful place.
    • It will radiate peace and serenity.
    • The environment will be beautiful, clean, and orderly.
    • It will be filled with natural plants and abundant natural light.
    • We are looking at an open design, possibly in a cloister style with an inner garden.

    Ideal Configuration

    • Chapel – The heart of the center, Mass, adoration, and prayer during the day
    • Commons – Large, open work area – Desks, coffee, snacks
    • Dining Room – A comfortable meal space to share lunch
    • Office – Individual offices for work
    • Chapter Rooms – Meeting rooms with table, screen
    • Large Parlor – Comfortable small group meeting spaces (couches)
    • Small Parlor – 1:1 meeting spaces for spiritual direction
    • Auditorium – A larger conference room (multipurpose space)
    • Reading Room (Library) – comfortable seating, tables, library of spirituality
    • Guest space – Possible space for family and children formation space. Atrium?

    Audience

    The upper room should not replace the parish, or be the main location where Christian life is lived. Instead it should be a center for work, formation, and support for the Archdiocese as a whole.

    • Remote Workers and Entrepreneurs – The center will offer a shared space to work, connect, and collaborate, featuring flexible workspaces and high-speed internet.
    • Meetings for Catholic professionals – We will have private meeting rooms and quality coffee and snacks available, offering a focused, mission-driven environment for one-on-one meetings.
    • Temporary Meeting Rentals – Rooms will be available for temporary rental, perfect for events, workshops, or strategy sessions.
    • Vocations Office – It can be a natural place for young men to connect and have regular spiritual direction and a central place to meet. Discerners can be part of a vibrant Catholic community to support them on their road of discernment.
    • Archdiocese – It can be used as resource for the Archdiocese, the center can host off-site meetings, training sessions, and collaborative projects. It can become a place for engaged Catholics and the Archdiocese to connect.
    • Parishes – Ideally located in a single region, local parishes can rent facilities, have meetings, and come together for events that might not fit in their parish facilities. 

    Join the Adventure

    We Need Your Support

    Rental Commitments: Know any Catholics interested in renting an office next to a chapel or looking for a coworking membership?

    Financial Support: We are seeking donors who share our vision of renewing the local Church and supporting our parishes. Your contributions are tax-deductible.

    Volunteer Opportunities: Do you know anyone looking to use their time and talent to help other Catholics? See the list of roles below.

    Business Partnerships: Catholic-owned businesses can benefit from connecting, advertising, and networking with our community.

    Wildfire Fellowship, Inc is officially a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This means that all contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Our Federal Tax Identification Number (EIN) is 93-3418344.‍

    The team building The Upper Room is the same team behind St. Joseph Ministries, which has a proven track record of supporting some of the most impactful ministries in the Church today and reaches millions of Catholics each year.

    If you’re interested in supporting this work, contact our team at [email protected].

    Deeper Purpose

    In the way that a monastery creates an ideal environment for the greatest human flourishing in a monastic vocation, The Upper Room will strive to do the same for lay life.

    We do not want lay people to become religious, but for the best elements of monasticism to help us have full, authentic lay lives.

    1) The first purpose is to provide a place for Wildfire members to live our way of life together. It enables us to have a full, authentic lay life, free from the constant tension of trying to balance work, ministry, prayer, and family.

    2) More fully live our vocation to renew the local Church by growing in holiness and providing formation.

    3) It will help any Catholic live a fully Christian lay life. It will function like a coworking space, where guests can come to work and pray with us.

    4) It will be a place for Catholics of the entire Archdiocese to meet, network, collaborate, and support one another. It will become a central place to meet other Catholics.

    4) Catholics will come for 1:1 meetings, replacing coffee shops that often promote ideologies in opposition to Church teaching.

    House Rules

    Our centers are inspired by the rule of St. Benedict.

    • Obedience: The Upper Room is a second home for Wildfire members. We ask that you follow our house rules and care for it as if it were a guest in someone’s home or your own.
    • Gospel: The Upper Room exists to provide a place for lay Catholics to more easily live a fully Christian life in the secular world. In all things, the ultimate criteria is: Does this help me and others fully live the Gospel?
    • Hospitality: The Upper Room is not a service or a club. It is a community of Wildfire members that welcomes everyone as Christ. Guests are invited to enter into the community, coming to serve, not to be served.
    • Everything in Common: We run our centers according to Acts 4:32 “all things were common property.” The beauty, cleanliness, and order of the center depends on everyone. If you see a mess, clean it. If something is misplaced, put it back. If something is broken, fix it. Everywhere and always, leave the world better than you found.
    • Shared Responsibility & Mission: Modeling the Early Church, everyone is invited to participate in our mission by contributing financially and/or volunteering their time.
    • Sacred Space: The Upper Room helps our prayer, work, and fraternity to blend together seamlessly, to do this the areas for each must be respected. Pray everywhere, but keep work and fellowship to their designated areas.
    • Regulation: The sanctification of time—living in Kairos instead of Chronos—is a key part of our life. Wildfire members are required and guests are encouraged to follow the center’s schedule.
    • Silence: To this end, a strict silence is to be respected in the chapel, sacristy, and the common work area.
    • Fellowship: Sharing meals and conversation together is a key part of Wildfire. Our members are required to punctually attend meals according to the schedule of the center, all others are welcome. Meaningful, spiritual, apostolic, and uplifting conversations are highly encouraged.
    • Work: Following the teaching of John Paul II, we believe that work is not only full of dignity but part of man’s sanctification. We view work as an extension of our prayer, a means of serving God, and part of a necessary part of a fully human life. As a result, dedicated work time is to be approached with seriousness and reverence.
    • Conversion of Life: Our community should be distinguished by the Fruit of the Spirit that is the product of a fully lived Christian life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
    • Be the Church: Wildfire exists for the sanctification of our members and the renewal of the local Church. Our center should be a place of work and formation, not a second parish. The parish is where Christian life should be lived. Like the Upper Room at Pentecost, we go out to be Church in our own community and establish the Kingdom of Christ in the world.

    Roles Needed

    • Accounting & Bookkeeping: Financial management, budgeting, and reporting.
    • Grant Writing: Researching, writing, and managing grant applications.
    • Legal Advisory: Contracts, compliance, and nonprofit regulations.
    • Administrative Support: Office management, scheduling, and documentation.
    • Facilities Management: Building maintenance, safety, and security.
    • Hospitality Services: Guest services, event hosting, and assistance.
    • Housekeeping & Cleaning: Maintain cleanliness and organization.
    • Event Coordination: Planning and organizing workshops, retreats, and networking events.
    • Volunteer Coordination: Recruiting, training, and managing volunteers.
    • Community Engagement: Building relationships and fostering a supportive community.
    • Marketing & Communications: Branding, communication strategy, and content creation.
    • Social Media Management: Managing social media channels and engaging audiences.
    • Outreach & Partnerships: Building relationships with parishes, businesses, and the Archdiocese.
    • IT Support & Infrastructure: Network setup, coworking tools, and IT troubleshooting.
    • AV/Multimedia Specialist: Supporting events, video production, and live streaming.
    • Graphic Design: Creating visuals for marketing materials and branding.
    • Fundraising & Development: Donor relations, campaign management, and sponsorships.
    • Database Management: Maintaining a database for donors, volunteers, and event attendees.

    Estimated Monthly P&L

    This project could increase or decrease in scope, but our current financial model and business plan assumes the following monthly revenue and expenses. 

    • Income: $7,500
    • Donations and Sponsorships: $2,700
    • Expenses: -$9,000
    • Monthly Net: $1,200