Creativity and Spirituality
This issue of Crosscurrents is dedicated to creativity and spirituality at Cranaleith. Throughout the ages, creative expression and the arts have been recognized as portals to the Creator. Our programs are designed to explore the creative process, tapping into deeper ways of knowing our Selves, the Other and the Sacred.

No previous experience is necessary because the programs emphasize process not product. Facilitators are skilled in their media and experienced in providing a safe atmosphere in which to explore. Programs are not how-to workshops but experiential encounters with the creative process.

Join us at Cranaleith for a creative retreat or program.   
Upcoming Creativity Retreats
Sat., April 21, 1-4 p.m.
Presenter: Renee Yann, RSM
Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Presenter: Helen David Brancato, IHM

A Mural Pilgrimage 
Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Presenter: Maureen O'Connell, PhD

June 25-30, 2018
Director: Marianne Hieb, RSM
Homeless on the Parkway, Helen Brancato, IHM, 2008
The Art of Helen David Brancato, IHM 

We invite you to join Helen David Brancato, IHM,  for our upcoming program,  The Art of Mercy and Compassion. Sr. Brancato is  a painter, printmaker and illustrator whose work carries themes of justice, peace and homelessness. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Villanova University and has presented workshops  around the country on spirituality, creativity and compassion. Check out more of her beautiful artwork here. Register here

From Our Kitchen 

1 package dry white beans
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
9 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup half-and-half
5 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, drained
6 ounces baby spinach
1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground pepper
Shaved Parmesan, for serving

Place the dry beans into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Check for any small stones or debris and discard. Add beans, onion, garlic and broth to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until beans are tender. Add the half-and-half to the beans. Dice the tomatoes and spinach into bite sized pieces and add to the pot of beans. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour. Stir well before serving. Serve with shaved Parmesan on top, as desired. 

Reflection by Maria DiBello, RSM

A few times a month, Cranaleith has the privilege of welcoming clients from CATCH, Inc., a behavioral health program in Philadelphia, who participate in days of guided reflection or eco-therpy in our garden. We are gifted by the presence of an enormously talented  artist, Mary Kay Eichman, RSM, who enables our guests to respond to each day's theme with sheer delight, freedom and spontaneity. The diverse and colorful possibilities of their imagination seem endless. Often, they break out into song, utterly present to the joy and beauty of their creative power.  

During the planting and growing season, these same guests co-create with earth, immersing their hands in the mysterious interaction of seed, soil, water and light. Through the expert mentoring of Leslie Porreca, RSM, they embody the poet John O'Donohue's description of wonder:  " I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding." What creative possibilities of hope and of merciful love we hold within us as we bring to life the One Beauty we share!
Volunteers Wanted 
Seeds are being sown for the start of this year's garden. Love to garden and have some extra time? Join us for our  Garden Days every Thursday, (weather permitting) starting  on  April 26! Help us by preparing our raised beds for planting and  other tasks. For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Leslie Porreca, RSM, at  or 215-934-6206.


Cranaleith Spiritual Center logo
Cranaleith Spiritual Center | 13475 Proctor Road | Philadelphia, PA 19116 
Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Cranaleith Spiritual Center 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 seek to invite those at the center of need and those at the center of  influence to reflection, reverent dialogue and meaningful partnerships.