The nature of our Institute involves a secret association of three persons living together in the same house, all brought to perfect unity by detachment from everything they might have of their own, all united to God by secret vows, all destined to the advancement of the glory of God and the sanctification of the  neighbour. 

In this section of the Eucharistic Letter Father Medaille uses the terms: “secret association”, “secret vows,” “secret intimacy” and “secret consecration”. What does all this mean?


Since he uses this word ‘secret’ to describe the unity of the Three Divine Persons and the consecration of Jesus for all humankind, and he also uses “secret” for our association and vows, it would seem to indicate that he means us to understand this Little Design community in a spiritual, mystical context, not literal. 


Hence, there will be no need for a public ceremony of witnessing the newcomers entering into these Little Design communities. To be authentically called into this little way, there will be no candle ceremony, no signing on to any handbook of criteria and no fanfare. This always has been expressed as ‘right on’ for those who have been walking in this way for some time now.


The birthings of these small faith communities are modeled on the Trinity. These ‘groupings of men/women share an interiority and a quality of loving that flows from their communion at the Divine Source. Their human relationships – marked by unity, materially detached from everything and committed to serving others  - is all possible because of the personal contemplative relationship each one shares with the Two Trinities – the Trinity of Heaven and the Trinity of Earth.(God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and Jesus, Mary and Joseph.)


Pere Medaille speaks of ‘a secret association of three persons living together in the same house.’ This living together model of a Little Design Community could possibly emerge today also if that is what the persons feel called to …but a loose association of men and/or women gathering in each other’s homes regularly will most likely be the more common expression of the Little Design Communities. It becomes remarkable to witness how the unity and bonding just happens when there are these regular HOME gatherings where deep ‘sharing of hearts’ happens among the same few persons. Trust grows. Unity strengthens. Good fruits manifest!

Share your experience of belonging to a small Little Design community?




#7 stmarys 2013-08-02 16:03
How wonderful to have rediscovered the richness of the Eucharistic Letter! Several Sisters in my Community came upon your website first and are using the Eucharistic Letter as part of their prayer group experience. One came to me to share their discovery. I began praying with you - delighted by the insights and sharings. I am currently working with a team to develop a program for a group desiring to live the CSSJ charism on a deeper, more intense level. I introduced the Team to the EL, and we will be using it with this new group. It is a great way to deepen one's spirituality with others on the same journey. We may not call each of these groupings "Little Design Communities" - that, indeed, is what we are. As I see the Eucharistic Letter used by more groups within my own corner of the world, I'm reminded of the stone thrown into the water and the ripple effect it has. When one finds/hears/exp eriences good news, it must be shared.
#6 virginia 2013-04-21 15:16
I will have to share again - --another time of our Little Design Experience. I see that it didn't make it--because it was too lengthy! But for me, it is supplying the energy and JOY I need, as a 77 year old Sister of St. Joseph to make it to end ! and go with desire and longing into the Heart of Jesus!!!
#5 arletteh 2013-04-01 12:12
1)Learn how to do Sharing of the Heart more effectively from the booklet of the Sharing of Hearts Workshop.We could do this perhaps after finishing the Eucharistic Letter.What about the challenge of confidentiality ?2)Pray, reflect, be silent with each other's reflections. Listen for the Spirit.Answer each other?
#4 rosemaryo 2013-04-01 01:18
Thank you to our weekly contributors. We would love to hear from those of you who have found this 'online Little Design community' and find that it is helpful in your spiritual journey.
Have you any suggestions?
#3 arletteh 2013-04-01 01:05
In 2007, i became an associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph.It was an overwhelminly beautiful "coming home'!I then wanted to find out more about about the history of the Sisters.I followed for 52 weeks the Medaille Online course form the Upper Roomin ottawa. What an opening up of my spirit!The summer of 2009, Iread and prayed with father medaille's "reglements"(ru les) for the Sisters,the maxims and especially the Eucharistic Letter,in which Father Medaille sketches his vision for the Little Design communities.Her e I found the bare bones and heart of the simple spiritulity i was looking for at this time of my life!These Little Design communities had been started at the Upper Room Home of Prayer in Ottawa. I went there monthly for 2 years to be insrtucted. I have also been following and contributing once a week to the Little Design website.In January of 2012, a Little Design community of 6 women started to meet monthly in my home.They are, also, seeking a deeper spirituality through the Sharing of the Heart.We rejoicegreatly in what we have found!
#2 daviddhunoo 2013-03-31 16:42
The gift of LOVE works among the The Holy Trinity as well as with the Earthly Trinity, I know there is a belonging or bonding with a Divine Power that cleave us together as One Body , we are the Body of Christ ,He is the Head ,just as the Lace when looking at it you cannot tell where it start and where it finish .There is a Invisible and INVINCIBLE POWER that help us to glue or to cleave together ...THE LORD IS ALIVE ,THE LORD IS RISEN AMEN.
#1 rosemaryo 2013-03-30 14:41
OTTAWA: For the past 15 years, we have been gathering monthly in our Little Design community. In the early years, our gatherings were always at The Upper Room Home of Prayer. As our numbers grew, we discerned that we needed to make a change. So, about eight years ago, we decided to create smaller groups so the sharing of hearts could go deeper and our soulful conversations could expand in a more leisurely manner. This is when we began to gather in each other's homes. It was a significant turning point in the movement and in our awareness of how to grow and evolve in the spirit of Little Design.In Ottawa area we are now 9 smaller Little Design communities with 4-6 in each group. We have one couples group now also.

My small Little Design community began as six women - two sisters and four married women. Two women have died and we had the privilege of accompanying them on their journey Home. We look forward to our monthly Wednesday luncheons and afternoon gatherings as blessed time of friendship and growth.

At Christmas and Pentecost,all the small Little Design Communities that have formed in Ottawa and area are invited to a communal celebration. Since we have outgrown the Upper Room gathering space, we now rent the Party Lounge in the apartment building of one of our members. This Pentecost, we look forward to seeing 40-50 Little Designers - as we invoke the Spirit for prayer and blessing upon the 10 of us pilgrims leaving for Le Puy on May 29th ... and June 12.

All is gift - "lavish grace received and lavish grace given."

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