Answer the Longing of Your Soul This Summer
Everyone needs time away. That's what a retreat offers you --time and space. When something stirs you to consider going on a retreat, you can pretty much count on the fact that the Spirit is inviting you to come aside and receive the grace, guidance and refreshment that you NEED at this point in your life. 

A retreat is a time to learn the sound of your own soul, to tap into the wisdom you have within, and to hear the precious voice of the One who knows you. It's a time for insight and renewal, and if nothing else, rest.

Some Crafty Angels 
Now available in our Gift Shop are handmade items by some crafty angels! For over 20 years, a talented group of lay women worked with Sister Mary Catherine Schwegler, SBS, to create unique items for the gift shop at Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel. When the Shrine closed in 2017, they still gathered and offered their creations to other local organizations. Thanks to their generosity, our Gift Shop will now include their unique items such as Christmas ornaments, handkerchiefs, and pot holders.  
Prayer Cards Inspire and Heal

Morning. Photograph. 2018.
Leslie Porreca, RSM

Path of Life. Watercolor. 1999.
Dorothy H. Traner 

The images on Cranaleith's prayer cards depict the past and present beauty of our natural surroundings. Our newest cards feature the exquisite photography of  Leslie Porreca, RSM. We also have beautiful reproductions of landscape paintings by the late Dorothy H. Trainer, a long-time supporter of Cranaleith.  Whether traditional or contemporary, you can find the right card to remember a friend or family member who has passed on; encourage someone during a challenging time; or celebrate an accomplishment. They are available by calling 215-934-6206 or emailing us at
Help Transform Lives
Thanks to supporters like you, we have almost met our Annual Appeal goal of raising $225,000 by June 30.  As of today, we have raised $198,800 in gifts and pledges. Please help and donate today!

From Our Kitchen 

Lemon verbena is a perfumy herb we grow in our garden at Cranaleith. It has a strong lemon flavor and a lemon-lime aroma. Its shiny green leaves can be added to salads, chicken and fish dishes, and desserts, as well as tea. For this pound cake, if you can't find lemon verbena at your specialty produce market or nursery, use freshly grated lemon zest in its place. It  can be served with chilled May Wine and is a wonderful accompaniment  to a lovely spring dinner.

For cake:

1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon verbena or 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For glaze:

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Accompaniment: strawberries


Make cake. Preheat oven to 325°F. and butter and flour a 1-quart bundt pan, knocking out excess flour. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, verbena (or zest), and zest. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in vanilla. Beat in half of flour mixture. Beat in milk and lemon juice and beat in remaining flour mixture until just combined. Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes and invert onto rack to cool completely.

Make glaze while cake is cooling. 
In a small bowl whisk confectioners's sugar, a little at a time, into lemon juice until smooth and thick. When cake is completely cooled, drizzle glaze over cake and let it drip down sides. Cake may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Serve cake at room temperature with strawberries. 

Go away. Set yourself apart.
Stop gasping. Stop grabbing.
Stop elbowing your way
Through life.
Retreat. Retreat.
Do you not hear it calling you?
"Hurry is greed"
Someone once said,
So slow yourself down
To a gentle stop instead.
It's time to explore
What deep breaths give.
Go on, do it now,

B R E A T H E  S L O W L Y  I N

That's life,
That's God,
Nourishing body, spirit, and soul within.
Retreat. Retreat.
Do you not hear it calling you?

-- Cathy Lamperski Dearing

Volunteers Wanted 
Cranaleith is looking for volunteers to help in our kitchen. Love hospitality? We are in need of assistance with setting tables, cleaning dishes and kitchen clean-up . For more information on volunteer opportunities in our kitchen or with our Garden Wisdom program, 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.