May 15, 2020

Dear Friends:

A goose couple visits at our pond each Spring to make a nest and create a family. This year, we have six goslings.  In their first week of life they learned to swim. They are our only visitors this Spring and yet they never fail to inspire us. In silence and observation, we learn something about the connection of creativity to spirituality. It's as if they are offering us a retreat.

Our programs have included photography, painting, gardening, cooking, poetry, knitting, crochet, collage and music. In celebration of creativity, we connect it to spirituality online and someday, together again here at Cranaleith.

Julia Cameron connected creativity to spirituality when she wrote, 

"The creative process is a process of surrender, not control". Linked to St. Paul's musings about faith being "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" Hebrew 11:1, we are permitted, when we look at the blank page, the empty canvas, the ball of yarn or the dormant piano, to surrender to uncertainty. We will explore, make mistakes, doubt, fail, revise and continue. Here is where creativity meets the spiritual. Because in surrender, there is faith. In creative expression, there is a result. We have followed a deeper instinct, a guide we trust. We swim."

We pick up crayons, crochet needles, recipes and shovels with the same intention: we create in partnership with the Spirit. The tools may be different, but the process is the same. Often, in creative expedition, we find meditation, a sense of calm, a prayer.

We invite you to join us in our program offerings. You will be with us, a part of our community, like the geese, even when they learn to fly and someday return.

Cranaleith Staff
Color From Home
Join us for some coloring time - either as a family, as an adult, alone or with others. These sessions invite you to get creative with our re-creating God. The sessions are sure to guide your thoughts and calm your spirit.   
Knit From Home
I love making dishcloths ... they are perfect for when you just want something quick and fun, not to mention a way to add a little freshness and color to your kitchen! I have made so many crochet ones over the years (I have lots of free crochet dishcloth patterns here ), so I thought I would share some knit variations for my knitting friends out there. I just love the look and feel of this Basket Weave Knit Dishcloth Pattern. I will be writing up and sharing the pattern for the green washcloth soon too. 


Sr. Cathy Maguire, RSM

Cook From Home
Awesome Pancakes
Gluten - free and vegan

Cooking is a balm, and in this especially difficult time, it can keep us safe. Cooking can provide solace and sustenance. I make these for our gluten-free overnight guests at Cranaleith. They include coconut milk and are awesome! 

Sr. Leslie Porreca, RSM

Download Recipe

Do you have a favorite you would like to share? Email it to us at  and we'll share it in this newsletter, on our site or via social media. 
Reflect From Home

Think back on your recent decisions about social distancing. Were they merciful?

How can you get better at keeping the Commandments in order to express your love for Jesus?

From Good News 4 You by Bernadette Rudolph
Reflect From Home
We're living through history-shaping events. Laudato Si' teaches us how to build a better world together.  People everywhere are crying out for hope, and our faith is urgently needed to light the way. For Laudato Si' Week, 16-24 May, Catholics are uniting in solidarity for a more just and sustainable future.  Stand united with our brothers and sisters in faith as we grow through the crisis of this moment to build a better tomorrow.
  • Reflect and prepare through online trainings, May 16-23.
  • Join the worldwide day of prayer, May 24.
  • Put preparation into action during the Season of Creation, this September.

Learn more

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 .  

Monday, May 18, 25, 2020, 7-8 p.m.

Tuesdays, May 19, 26, 2020, 1-2:30 pm. 

Monday May 18, 1:30-3 p.m. or Thursday, May 21, 7-8:30 p.m.

Friday, May 22, 2:30-4 p.m.

Me and God - Coloring and Reflection
Virtual Anytime for Adults 

Fun With My Family - Coloring and Reflection
Virtual Anytime for Families (w/ Children 7+)
Resources from Home

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

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.

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

"Art is not an end in itself. It introduces the soul into a higher spiritual order, which it expresses and in some sense explains. " Thomas Merton, No Man is An Island
Give From Home

Please consider Cranaleith if you are able to make a donation of any size, either by mail or online. Learn more or go to:
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.

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Cranaleith Spiritual Center | 13475 Proctor Road | Phila., PA 19116 |