From the Executive Director: Charlene Flaherty
It's spring at Cranaleith and our goslings are growing up! While Cranaleith is a  Sanctuary for All Seasons , spring is glorious here and replete with new grass, wildflowers, shade trees and baby turtles. What I like most about spring at Cranaleith though is all the activity in our garden. During the long winter season, Sr. Leslie nurtured seeds into sprouts and then transplanted them to the garden on the hill by the honey hut. The seedlings are growing, but like our goslings, the baby carrots, kale, tomatoes and cucumbers need nurturing. 

Thank goodness for our seasonal tenders, guests from CATCH, St. John's Hospice and Bethesda Project, who work alongside our dedicated volunteers, learning, sharing and creating community! Every Thursday our garden comes alive with this beautiful shared humanity. We grow together. As stated by a recent guest, "I like to help things grow, and see what they become." Another wise soul stated, "Sometimes you have to start over and plant new seeds. Me too!"

We at Cranaleith pray that you, too, are planting new seeds and tending to them. Take joy in their new growth and know you are always welcome in our garden!

Keep our ministry alive! Your gift enables us to provide the contemplative space and spiritual programs that are so needed in today's world. If you haven't already made a donation, please consider doing so by June 30, 2019. Thank you!

Novelist Alice McDermott Visits Cranaleith

Mary Trainer, RSM, Danielle Gagnon, RSM, Alice McDermott, and Executive Director, Charlene Flaherty
Alice McDermott signing book for visitor

In front of a captivated audience of more than 60 admirers, Alice McDermott talked about her work as an award-winning fiction novelist while visiting Cranaleith on Sunday, June 2. 
"Writing is the inner voice of an author asking the reader to lend an outer voice to their words," she said. "It's a wonderful collaboration." 

During the afternoon,  Alice discussed her book,  The Ninth Hour , that was the recent subject of a book circle here at Cranaleith. " It's about notions of sacrifice and selflessness and how the past reverberates, or doesn't," she said. There were a number of aspiring authors in the room. For the question and answer portion of the presentation Alice provided insights into her writing process and offered advice to them on how to stay motivated to complete their novels. Following the event, a ttendees had the opportunity to speak one-one-one with Alice and have their books signed by the author. 

Join us for our next Book Circle starting July 10 and featuring Charming Billy  by Alice McDermott.   Learn more and register
Richard Distefano
Introducing New Executive Assistant,  Richard Distefano  
If you call Cranaleith, it's very likely that the first person you reach will be the friendly voice of  Richard Distefano , our new Executive Assistant.

Richard has worked in both non-profit and for-profit organizations and has supported C-level and VP-level executives for over 10 years. 

Richard is a visual artist and his primary expressions occur as paintings, drawings and works in glass. He finds inspiration in the many forms found in nature. Richard holds a BFA from Louisiana State University. He has also studied drawing and painting abroad in Italy and Germany.

Originally from Louisiana, he lived in New York City and in Italy and has been a resident of Philadelphia for over 30 years. 

"I'm happy and thankful to be involved with an institution that seeks to do such direct good in the world," said Richard. We hope you will join us in welcoming him to the Cranaleith family. 

Planning a Youth Retreat 

Kathleen McCauley (left) with youth from St. Matthias Parish, Bala Cynwyd
Do you remember Godspell , the Broadway musical from the 1970's featuring young people loving God and singing about it? I recently had the great fortune of leading a retreat for a group of multi-talented, faith-filled teens from St. Matthias Parish in Bala Cynwyd. They exhibited the same level of enthusiasm. 

I was most impressed by these young people who had founded their own youth group and were hungry to form community and grow in their faith. What a gift to their church and to Cranaleith.   Read more

Composting 101 
Remember the adage "everything in moderation" when putting together a compost pile.  Composting helps to amend the soil, putting nutrients and minerals back in as well as assisting with water retention.
At Cranaleith, we have many different methods of composting which include Bokashi. This is a type of fermentation that helps to yield compost tea which can be then diluted and used as a spray on plants. The remainder can be placed into a composting container.  Composting helps our gardens to be fertile and yield beautiful vegetables and flowers. Here are some compostable materials: Read more
Special Summer Event!
Sunday, July 21, 5-8 p.m.
A celebration of sum mer through song and fellowship. Join us on our Great Lawn with a blanket or chair to take in summer songs, Broadway hits and a variety of melodies performed by local singers and accompaniment that will lighten you heart and move you to sing along. Refreshments and snacks will be available. Free parking. Don't forget to bring your own picnic, blanket and lawn chair. BYOB.

Upcoming Programs and Retreats
Saturdays, August 10, 17, 24, 8-9 a.m.

Wednesday, August 14, 9 a.m.-noon

Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those 
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say 
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment, 
and bow their heads. -  Mary Oliver

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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.
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