Now what I find so marvellous in this new design is that it is without a visible father or mother, founder or foundress, without a house of its own. In a word, I see it stripped of everything.


Medaille continues the paradoxical “self-emptying so as to be filled with God.” These Little Design communities will have “no visible father, mother, founder, foundress, house of their own.”  This being stripped of everything that one might be able to see and touch and boast about in the visible world is a radically new idea. It goes quite counter-culture for many to grasp! Medaille is telling us that we actually have something more, something worthy of divine awe, of humble gratitude. It is truly marvelous! This is God’s Little Design. It transcends the material/visible world pointing us beyond ourselves into a more mystical/spiritual world. The Little Design has come from the Spirit of God in a fresh breath-taking inspiration!


As we have pondered these words over the years, we are coming to believe that Father Medaille was hereby detaching himself - and The Little Design – from the characteristic language that is used ecclesiastically to describe canonically approved religious congregations  (be they cloistered or apostolic) and secular institutes.  All these have a distinct person who is the founder/foundress and a designated house that is used for gathering a community– called a motherhouse - with smaller houses scattered around attached to it. Father Medaille is informing us that these Little Design communities would be breaking with the traditional norm – no motherhouse, no hierarchical institution, no constitutions, and no superiors. It will exist as ‘a body without a body’ beyond the canons yet within the ecclesial life of Church.

Is Father Medaille pointing us to catch the ‘something new’ being announced here? Is there something unique and mystical coming to birth amongst the People of God? Is the ancient vision coming into the light of our consciousness now, in these days? Is he, too, in the moment, awakened to the awe of a new way? Is this a new wineskin for the ALL to belong? Is this “Little Design” being born into his higher consciousness as a gift for another time – a ‘perhaps in time’ as he writes?  Is this NOW MOMENT the ‘perhaps in time’?

Are you finding yourself more excited and surprised by this  
emergence in our time of more ‘Little Design’ communities?


#5 virginia 2012-11-05 23:13
There may be many ways people of faith can connect and grow but this to me, seems most sublime: To have the Eucharist as a model and design for a little community being formed in/by the Spirit. I, too, am blessed by the commentary and comments on each paragraph. There is always so much to ponder!
#4 stmarys 2012-10-22 19:31
The loose-leaf binder set up for the Eucharistic Letter is a gift - for the Little Design Communities as well as our (C/SSJ) own Sisters. We have a small group who is using it as part of their faith sharing. I am praying with you/it for future reference - to be used with a group of women seeking "the more." Rather than tell/teach the spirituality, it is an opportunity to experience it and recognize it
within oneself.
#3 amala 2012-10-21 18:36
Is this New little design communities are consists of religious or lay people who are interested to join us like associates???pl ez enlighten me....

And the study on Eucharistic letter is very welcome.I did it long ago in 1997.so its a good while now and im happy to be catching up and renew myself back into the fold.thanx.
#2 arletteh 2012-10-09 21:48
I am excited about these new Little Design communities "springing" up(in no way expected,as there is seemingly no connection to what we have known of organized religious life)Iwas so overjoyed when I read on the Medaille online course, that lay people were invited into a deeper "holy" life that was to be lived right where we are! We could "tap" into this spirituality.Va tican II,also called the lay people to a more active,informed participation in the Church.The Little Design groups are like a safe haven where we can slowly grow,through sharing from deep within our hearts, with others hungry for the same kind of journey.Posted by arletteh.(I previously posted under the name"emmanuella ")
#1 rosemaryo 2012-10-07 01:26
I am happy to see the receptivity and openness of so many more Vatican 11 generation Catholics embracing the possibility of new forms of committed life emerging. What they will look like is yet to be explored. But Little Design communities offer one option that seems to have a strong mystical foundation and an open-ended thrust towards the world. These men and women are not seeking a formal religious life as we have known it for the past centuries. Rather, what I hear is,among certain mature spiritual persons/couples ,a desire for several small faith communities(wit hin the Big Church)that meet regularly in each other's homes for faith-sharing. We are finding that spiritual growth happens when there is an opportunity for conversation and sharing of the heart. This deeper and meaningful sharing can only happen when there is an on-going commitment and trust.

Thank you Fr. Medaille for 'penning' this vision in our Eucharistic Letter. Yes,I share an enthusiasm of Spirit for the emergence of more and more LITTLE DESIGN communities appearing around the world.

Here- in Ottawa - we are now 9 small Little Design communities active.Please go to the Chat Forum and let us know when you form a Little Design Community.One group in Renfrew, Ontario,has announced their beginnings!

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