June 25, 2020

“But we have only begun to love the earth. We have only begun to imagine the fullness of life. How could we tire of hope?— so much is in bud."

Dear Friends,

We miss our gardeners who came weekly from various shelter programs in the city. They found “home” here in the wisdom of earth. One of the most beautiful stories they left here as blessing happened around a kitchen table. A staff member asked, “what’s budding out there in the garden?” With a gorgeous smile, one of the men described broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and even a watermelon! “And what’s budding in you?” With a thoughtful pause, he answered, “It’s community. It’s the hope that we can work together to bring all this life from the earth. Look at us! No one knows where anyone else came from...but we’re creating something new together in this garden!” 

Throughout the summer, this motley gathering of gardeners (of various skill) waited and watched. They tended and failed. They drew on resources within them they never knew...resources of courage to begin again... to do the hard work of protecting and nurturing... to come alive themselves in wonder and gratitude. The garden mirrored the gift of their own resilience. It bore the promise of new life, seeding the future with possibility.

Our nation has told a similar story this summer...a story of resilience rising up in us for the hard work of healing and tending, protecting and nurturing the world entrusted to us. Beneath the lament we share with so many over the suffering and injustice of our time, we hear the abiding love of God in our depths.

Please consider joining us in upcoming programs that offer opportunities to explore that love. Check out the resources for prayer below during this time of such profound anxiety. Prayer is the single powerful response each of us can offer to this moment. Know we meet you in that transformative place of mercy. May we all awaken to the new life seeding the future with possibility, budding over and over again in hope.

Cranaleith Staff
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
"We have only begun to know the power that is in us if we would join
our solitudes in the communion of struggle.
So much is unfolding that must complete its gesture,
so much is in bud."  Beginner , by Denise Levertov
Meet Our New Residents
Our chickens are not only a constant source of entertainment for our guests but their fresh eggs are served daily out of our kitchen. We are happy to announce that there are some new girls in town! Five new hens have been added to our already crowded coop!

We have three new black-and-white Brahmas. Often referred to as the “King of All Poultry”, the Brahma chicken is appreciated for its great size, strength and vigor. In fact, they can reach up to 18 pounds! In addition, we have two new Orpingtons. Orpington chickens come in a variety of colors, are known for being very docile and lay about 200 eggs per year. Click on the video above to learn more from Leslie Porecca, RSM.

Retreat From Home
Does real change seem impossible to you?  Are the powers-that-be too firmly entrenched?  When our days become too dark, where can we find the hope to carry on?

Luke’s gospel proclaims Jesus as our wellspring of hope. He upends all oppressive power structures.  All who are hurt or marginalized can be healed and have their dignity restored.  This includes women, so Luke relates more stories about women than the other three gospels. In this morning of reflection on women in the gospel of Luke, we will read and discuss:

  • Elizabeth: Too Old to Be Pregnant
  • Mary… “So you’re going to be raising the Messiah?”
  • The Sinner Who Anoints Jesus
  • The Women Who Accompany and Support Jesus
  • Martha and Mary
  • Healing of the Crippled Woman on the Sabbath
  • The Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge
  • The Road to Emmaus

Please join our program director, Bernadette Rudolph, for conversation and reflection on this hope-filled message. Jesus and the Women of the Gospels, Thursday, July 2, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Zoom.

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. 

Series: Register for one or all
Thursday, July 2 & 9, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  

Saturday, June 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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

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

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.
Meanwhile at Cranaleith
Cranaleith is rooted in contemplative ecology . Contemplative Ecology strives to integrate our deepest spiritual yearnings with our personal and communal commitment to protect the Earth through sustainable and mindful living.

Usually, this is our busy season, full of people who meander on our grounds, gather for one-day programs or an overnight retreat where they can welcome the dawn or pray along the paths.

This year, however, is unusual as we are closed to the public. While we offer online programs, we hope that we can soon welcome people back to our "oasis of natural beauty". Until then, we have done work on a part of our grounds hardly noticed but which serve a major purpose.

Encouraged by Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Si' , we have committed to his urging to care for the earth by building bioswales. A bioswale is a system of channels designed to concentrate, convey and clean storm water runoff. The process is complex, but the result is the efficient use of rainwater, one of our fundamental and precious resources.

On your next visit, look for river birch trees, asters and joe-pye weed. Our bioswales are under or near these plants.
Reflect From Home
Paul says we are baptized into Jesus’ death. We associate with Christ at precisely the time when all hope seemed lost. And, we associate with Christ at this watershed moment in his life because he loved most perfectly then. When we ask Jesus to be with us in our suffering, he opens opportunities for love to grow, for new life to begin. 

  • Where can you say, “Before I lived like this and after that point, I lived in a different way”? 
  • At this watershed in America, discuss with others what needs to be different. Be sure to talk with Jesus about this as well.

From Good News 4 You by  Bernadette Rudolph
Resources 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

Pray from Home: Prayer Resources

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
Our fiscal year ends on June 30, 2020. Please consider Cranaleith if you are able to make a donation of any size, either by mail or online.
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