July 2, 2020

“We need beauty, because it makes us ache to be worthy of it.”-- Mary Oliver

Dear Friends,

We sing “America the Beautiful” this year with hearts that know more than a little aching. As we remember our birth, we ask courage to imagine and create cities “undimmed by human tears.” In his letter from a Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King wrote, “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right… Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.”

Speaking of creativity during another time of suffering and strife, the author Dostoevsky’s wrote, “The world will be saved by beauty.” We are most in the image of the God of Love when we create...when we free the imagination of newness and possibility that rises from our depths. Summer is a time to be dazzled and healed... to immerse ourselves in play and color and to discover the diverse beauty we share in our very being.   

Creative expression has always been a precious stream in Cranaleith’s life. Please consider joining us virtually for time to renew your creative spirit. Know that we bless you each day, longing for the time we can welcome you in person.

Cranaleith Staff

“So every day I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth of the ideas of God...one of which was you.” -- Mary Oliver
Retreat From Home

Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Online/Virtual

The poet Rumi says, “Let the beauty you love be what you do.” On this mid-summer’s day, come let your spirit rest, heal, connect and be nourished. Prayerful experiences through narrative, imagery, movement, music and poetry will guide you in greater awareness of the heart and the invitation of the Divine. If you are looking for a space to reflect on the presence of the Holy in your life and learn how images can be tools for prayer, this day will bring creativity into your spiritual life.

Each participant is asked to bring one meaningful photograph (printed or on your phone) and one significant personal object to the retreat to reflect more deeply upon and use as a springboard for communal sharing.

Click on video above to watch Presenter Jaclyn Newns introduce her upcoming retreat.

Retreat From Home All Day?
What does a day-long retreat on Zoom look like? Remarkably, a group can do virtually on Zoom almost all of what can be done in person. There are presentations, time for discussions in both large and small groups, private reflection and breaks. You take 45-60 minutes to eat lunch on your own or you may be invited to dine with the other participants at “tables” of 5-6 people. Even those attending our week-long retreats have been pleased with these formats and experiences.
Reflect From Home
To get to a point where we can picture the world differently, we must take to heart the spiritual commitment Paul calls for in Romans 8. Do we choose life “in the flesh” or life “in the Spirit?” (To clarify, “in the flesh” means all the aspects of life that are self-indulgent or self-centered and “in the Spirit” means a life focused on God and living like Christ.) Of course, we choose Spirit over flesh! We are good people! In reality, however, we struggle our whole lives with the choice.  

  • Think about areas of life where violence is frequently a first resort. Imagine what might be if the option for violence was “off the table.”
  • Sit with Psalm 145 in prayer. Choose one of God’s qualities you admire. Ask Jesus to teach you how to let it direct your life.

From Good News 4 You by  Bernadette Rudolph
Tour Our Gardens From Home
It's July! Summer is in full swing and our gardens are at their most productive time. Take a tour of our gardens with Leslie Porreca, RSM. Beginning this month, we will host an outdoor self-serve farm table each Wednesday. We invite you to drop in at Cranaleith to purchase produce and say hello from a distance.

Do you know of an individual or family in need of fresh produce?
Looking to volunteer in our garden?

Contact Leslie at leslieprsm@gmail.com or 215-934-6206 ext. 104, for more information.
Retreat From Home

What does it mean to you to “have it all together”? Who do you think has succeeded? It is easy to argue that the bar for women today is set very high.
The Jesus of John’s gospel offers fullness of life (Jn 10:10). Repeatedly, he describes himself as the formula we’ve all been looking for, but does so through intimate conversations. These include rich interactions with women:
  • His mother at the wedding feast at Cana,
  • The Samaritan woman at the well,
  • The woman caught in adultery,
  • Martha and Mary when their brother Lazarus died and
  • Mary Magdalene on Easter morning.
  • How does Jesus help these women have it all? How might he help you? 

Join program director, Bernadette Rudolph, for
  Jesus and the Women of the Gospels virtually via Zoom, Thursday, July 9, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., to examine and discuss these stories in the gospel of John. 

Retreat From Home

In this time of COVID-19, when physical distancing is the order of the day, Cranaleith is offering new programs online via Zoom. 

Thursday, July 9, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  

Mondays, July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 7-8:30 p.m. 

Saturday, July 11, 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 30, 7-8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 5, 12 and 19, 7-8:30 p.m.

Ricotta Blueberry Lemon Cake

For the Blueberry Ricotta Lemon Cake:
4 large eggs room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
8 Tbsp unsalted butter melted (not hot)
15 oz ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp lemon zest from 1 large lemon
8 oz blueberries (1 1/2 cups) rinsed and dried

For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed

How to Make Ricotta Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9” spring-form pan and line the bottom with a ring of parchment. Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs and sugar on high speed for 2 minutes until frothy.
  3. Blend in melted butter until smooth.
  4. Add 15 oz ricotta, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 Tbsp lemon zest and beat on medium speed for 1 minute or just until blended
  5. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle 1 1/2 cups blueberries evenly over the top.
  6. Bake in the center of oven at 350˚F for 60-65 min or until edges are lightly browned and cake appears set. It will still have a slight jiggle in the center.
  7. Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes in the pan then transfer to a cake platter. Once cake is on the cake platter, you should be apple to easily slide out the parchment from under the cake.

How to Make Lemon Glaze:
In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice, adding more juice or powdered sugar to thin or thicken the glaze to desired consistency. Drizzle over warm cake and serve.
We invite you to join us for a
Book Circle: The Virtue of Resilience by Evelyn and James Whitehead
July 6, 13, 20 and 27, 7-8:30 p.m.
Presented by Mary Pat Garvin, RSM and Ellen Murray, RSM
Resources From Home

Watch from Home

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

Community Support
Rooted in a tradition of care and compassion, the mission of CORA Services is to assist children, youth and families experiencing  emotional, academic and social challenges.

Opportunity to Learn
Racial Wealth and Income Gap Workshop Presented by the NETWORK Advocates for Catholic Social Justice

Connect With Us Online 
Get daily prayers, reflections, blog posts and images from our beautiful property via our website and social media channels.
Web:  www.cranaleith.org  

Give From Home
Did you know that when you make a purchase on Amazon you can choose a charity? Make your Amazon purchases through AmazonSmile and select Cranaleith Spiritual Center as your charity of choice – At no additional cost!
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