May 21, 2020

I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13

Dear Friends:

Recently during the online panel discussion, The Pandemic and Those Most Vulnerable, hosted by Cranaleith, this psalm verse came to life. Four people who minister to Philadelphia's poor described the virus' impact. Not surprisingly, it has exacerbated their suffering. 
  • Hillary Miller, a community health nurse, described how the homeless, with little access to public health education, initially misinterpret her mask as a judgement; she must scramble to explain that she, not them, is the danger. 
  • Sr. Eileen Sizer, Living Room Coordinator at Hub of Hope, told how the places the homeless normally hang out have been closed. 
  • Johanna Berrigan of Catholic Worker said the inequities in the health care system have become more obvious. 
  • When Fr. Liam Murphy of Mother of Mercy Mission tells someone that people have been asking about them, "they are relieved not to be forgotten."
Where are "the good things of the Lord" in this exacerbated suffering?  As always, God generates goodness in multiple ways at once. For these four remarkable people, helping homeless people find jobs, showers, food and companionship is all in a day's work! They in turn see goodness in the homeless, whom the panelists refer to as their friends. The panelists also recognized goodness in the care the poor take of each other, in the outpouring of generosity by people of means, in the young staff members "holding this together" and in surprising "saves" by the Holy Spirit.

These good things give them hope in the midst of the pandemic. We can take hold of the same hope as we admire their ministry. We can also take hope by focusing our energies on mercifully loving those around us and doing what we can for those in need. Pandemic concerns are not all there is to see in the land of the living!

Cranaleith Staff
Photo: Leslie Porreca, RSM
Reflect From Home

Becoming Real
By Leslie Porreca, RSM
Author and poet Rilke posed the question, "When does God pour the earth, the stars, into us?" This question is a striking way of reflecting upon the idea of work and creativity; and our becoming real. When our creativity has an opportunity to manifest itself in our work, we do indeed become real. And our work becomes real. 

One of the ways I share my compassion towards Earth care and people care is through photography. Sharing with others the beauty of the earth is my answer to this question.

This week, when we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical letter,  Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home, I invite you to ask yourself the same question, "How does God pour Earth and stars into you, your work, your life?" We are on this journey together. How might you do life differently as we go forward?

We would love to hear your thoughts.  Send us your feedback to or respond publicly on our blog page where you can also view more of my photography. 

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, 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+)

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

Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 1-2:30 pm. 

Reflect From Home
This Sunday, we end the Last Supper discourse in John's gospel. In an intimate prayer, Jesus uses the verb glorify five times. He does not mean to praise someone for a job well done, but rather to make visible the invisible work of God. The person or action that glorifies God is a meeting place for God and human beings.
  • Which of your activities are the work God has given you to do?
  • What did people learn when they interacted with you this week? 
  • Did they learn about God?

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 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.

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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