August 7, 2020

I do not know when we can gather together in worship, Lord.
But for now, I just ask that when I sing in my kitchen
It may be counted as praise...
And when I read the news and my heart tightens in my chest,
May it be counted as a Kyrie
When my eyes brighten behind my mask and I thank the cashier,
May it be counted a passing the sign of peace.

Dear Friends:

Many of us are familiar with the tradition of a pilgrimage to bless the ocean on August 15th, the feast of Mary’s Assumption. The practice is a beautiful blend of cultural celebration and religious devotion. But above all, it reveals the wedding of earth and heaven in the person of Jesus’ mother, where all creation is revealed as graced.   

During COVID-19, we found ourselves “in exile” from life as we knew it. We ached for the comfort of touching one another...for the nourishment of Eucharist and the presence of community. At the same time, our homes became places of sacrament..of table and word...of seeing the faces of those given to us... of music and play and work made holy because of love. Even in isolation and grief, they became sanctuaries of prayer and conversation and true food. 

Over the next few weeks, Cranaleith is offering opportunities to ponder the nearness of God in “this, our exile.” We will savor the beauty of image and word drawn from every culture and circumstance as we celebrate Mary... “our life, our sweetness and our hope.” We will learn to hear and create sacred sound, and recognize the wisdom unfolding both in our own sacred journeys, and in our society’s movement toward mercy and justice. And we will feast on the poured-out abundance of the garden. 

Come, join us! Above all, know that we walk with you in prayer and love.

The Cranaleith Staff

When I water my plants and wash my dishes and take a shower
May it be counted as remembering my baptism
And when I eat one more homemade meal, slowly, gratefully
May it be counted as communion. Nadia Bolz-Weber
Upcoming Retreats

Saturday, August 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Tuesday, August 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Saturday, August 22, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Join us for a half-day or day-long program to process how recent events have impacted individuals and teams and to regroup as you continue your journey.
A Special Message From Our Board of Directors
Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Cranaleith Board of Directors, it is with great pleasure and significant excitement that we announce the appointment of Deborah Kost to be the next Executive Director of the Cranaleith Spiritual Center, effective August 1, 2020.

Deborah comes to Cranaleith following a highly distinguished career leading several religious educational institutions. She takes over the leadership of Cranaleith at a time when our work is more important than ever. Like many other organizations, we must learn how to navigate the impact that the pandemic has imposed on us. We must also work hard to overcome significant challenges and be bold, innovative and creative to ensure that the people on the margins of our society, for whom the work of Cranaleith is dedicated, are not forgotten. We believe that Deborah is uniquely qualified to lead us through this next era of growth.

Deborah and her husband, Michael, live in Blue Bell, Pa. They have two adult children and one grandchild.

We look forward to Deborah bringing her considerable leadership skills and her resonance with the Mercy mission to Cranaleith.

On behalf of the entire Board, I welcome Deborah to her post and I commit us to working together with her in full partnership in the years ahead to continue and grow the important work of Cranaleith.


Stephen G. Hart
Board Chair

Reflect From Home
Ninteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


What a great gift that our gospel this week is the Calming of the Storm at Sea! Before we explore the story, which is meant to be taken both literally and metaphorically, please take a moment to name what is causing you anxiety today. Be aware of this as we listen for Jesus’ message.

  • What do the times of anxiety in your life have in common with the story of the Calming of the Storm?
  • What about this story gives you hope?
  • When has God appeared to you in a way that upended your plans?

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Spiritual Direction
We are still offering Spiritual Direction via phone and teleconferencing. Contact Cathy Maguire, RSM at or 215-858-6239. Psychotherapy is also available. Please contact Leslie Porreca, RSM, LCSW. Learn more

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Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Cranaleith offers a contemplative space for all those seeking wholeness and transformation for themselves and society. We are committed to making Cranaleith accessible to all, especially to persons who are poor and those who work in solidarity with them. We invite those at the center of need and those at the center of influence to reflection, reverent dialogue and meaningful partnerships. Please help us support our work.
Cranaleith Spiritual Center | 13475 Proctor Road | Phila., PA 19116