Spiritual Programs

Join us for a themed day, evening and overnight program. Cranaleith offers a safe space to discover, probe and nurture your spirit.

Register online below or call  215-934-6206 

Basking in the Playground of God: A Summer Retreat Day
Facilitator: Cathy Maguire, RSM
Thursday, August 17, 2017, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost $40 (includes lunch)
Register online here or call 215-934-6206

Take a “vacation day” with the God who created us and explore the elements that only the season of summer provides. Our time together will include: Prayer (both communally and personally); creative experiences (don’t worry, you do not have to be an artist for this); small group sharing (optional); and time spent in the nature of God on the beautiful grounds of Cranaleith.


Series: Finding God in Each Moment 
Presenter:  Suzanne Neisser, RSM
Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m.
October 4, November 1, December 6, 2017, January 3, February 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, 2018

Cost: $350 (includes book)
Register online here or call 215-934-6206

An invitation to perceive more clearly God’s presence in the world by examining your relationship with others as the very place in which you experience God’s guidance. Each month, we will explore themes such as attentiveness, gratitude, trust and surrender. Sessions will include prayer, sharing and input.


Series: New Visions of Adult Christian Maturing: Growing in Wisdom, Age and Grace
Presenter: Marie Michele Donnelly, RSM
Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m.
October 10, November  14, December 12, 2017, January 9, February 13, 2018

Cost: $225 (includes book)

Register online here or call 215-934-6206

Join us for a probing, thoughtful, and inspiring exploration of mature faith- development. Using the writings of James Fowler and Evelyn and James Whitehead, Sr. Marie Michele will help us better understand ourselves and others in relation to our faith- journey. We will explore in-depth the Whiteheads’ book Seasons of Strength: New Visions of Adult Christian Maturing


Knit, Crochet, Pray Together
Facilitators: Penne Wood, Suzanne Roper and Cathy Maguire, RSM
Every Tuesday, September 19, 2017 – June 26, 2018, 1-2:30 p.m.
Cost: Free-will offering

Those of us who knit and crochet know its impact on our body, mind and spirit. Join us to continue a centuries-old tradition of blending creativity with reflection and sharing of life. Create a prayer shawl for women in our veteran’s program or bring your own project. Skills will be shared and fun had by all. Beginners welcome. Program takes place in Cranaleith’s historic home. Materials will be provided along with a copy of the book Knit, Purl, Pray: 52 Devotions for the Creative Soul by Lisa Bogart.


We Thirst: Lessons in Mercy – Christian Reflection on Addiction*
Presenter: Nina Maria Corona, MA, CRS
Wednesdays,  7-9 p.m.
October 11, 18, 25 & November 2, 2017
Cost: $15/session, $50/series, $50/family
Register online for entire series here or individual sessions below or call 215-934-6206
*Earn 2.0 CEUs/session pre-approved through the National Association of Social Workers (PA Chapter) and the National Association of Catholic Chaplains
The drug epidemic has reached crisis proportions in Philadelphia, with 900 overdose deaths last year from prescription painkillers or illegal drugs. This four-part series is designed to educate and spread awareness about the addiction epidemic. Unlike other secular programs, we’ll take a uniquely Christian perspective of faith, hope, love and support. Anyone can benefit from this program, including the afflicted and their families, counselors, medical professionals, faith-leaders and educators. Join us for one or all sessions.

We Thirst: Lessons in Mercy (1: Biology)
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: FREE. Join Us!
Register online here or call 215-934-6206

Take an in-depth look at the latest scientific theories behind how substances affect the mind and body.

We Thirst: Lessons in Mercy (2: Psychology)
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $15
Register online here or call 215-934-6206

Explore human development to learn about our core wounds and how we seek self-protection and pain-avoidance by using
substances or not.

We Thirst: Lessons in Mercy (3: Sociology)
Wednesday, October 25, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $15
Register online here or call 215-934-6206

Learn why addiction is referred to as a “family disease,” and how we can be affected even when not ingesting a substance.

We Thirst: Lessons in Mercy (4: Spirituality)
Wednesday, November 8, 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $15
Register online here or call 215-934-6206

Understand how oftentimes the use of a substance is a misguided attempt to quench a spiritual thirst or craving.


Seeing With Spiritual Eyes: A Contemplative Walk 
Presenter: Leslie Porreca, RSM
Sunday, October 15, 2017, 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $35

Register online here or call 215-934-6206

Let your eyes drink in the beauty of God’s nearness as you wander through the diverse and beautiful grounds at Cranaleith. Pause to capture the glimpses in these natural surroundings that hold your gaze in wonder and reflect on your own journey. The day will include photography, journaling and a labyrinth walk.


Women’s Spirituality 
Presenter: Mary Anne Nolan, RSM
Mondays, 5-9 p.m.
October 16, 2017; January 8 and May 21, 2018
Cost: $40/session (includes dinner)

Women are different. Not just in our bodies, but in the ways that we think, feel, and connect with the Spirit. These ongoing gatherings seek to nurture women’s spirituality through reflection, input, sharing and prayer. Join us in a creative exploration of your own story and stories of other women in faith.


Cooking Class: Beets and Other Seasonal Foods
Presenter: Leslie Porreca, RSM
Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 5-8 p.m.
Cost: $60 (includes dinner)

Register online here or call 215-934-6206

It is amazing that one simple vegetable can tell a story of the infinite possibilities earth offers to our senses and our health every day. Learn about growing beets, the nutrition they hold, and the variety of ways to prepare them. Come “root” your spirit in the wisdom of the earth!


Riding the Waves of the Heart 
Presenter: Marlene Skrobak, RSM
Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: $35

How can we connect with the intelligence and guidance of our own hearts? We will examine cutting-edge scientific research on the role of the heart and its power to create a more peace-filled and harmonious world.


A New Earth: Preparing the Way 
Presenter: Sharon Browning
Saturday, December 9, 2017, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $80 (includes lunch)

Something new is always being born into the world through us. What is your role in birthing the New Earth of Justice? What is being asked of us individually and collectively in our time of presence on the planet? What sort of persons ought we to be? Come explore how you and others are Preparing the Way.


Advent Contemplative Morning: Echoes of Mercy, Whispers of Love
Presenter: Maria DiBello, RSM
Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25

On this Foundation Day of the Sisters of Mercy, we will hold a gentle space of silence for the voice of merciful love within all that is. Resting in the embrace of the Virgin of Guadalupe, we will listen to the one coming to birth within our own desires and within the hope of all who cry out for mercy.


Basics of Beekeeping
Instructor: Andrea Vettori, Master Beekeeper
Saturday, January 20, 2018,9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $80 (includes manual and lunch. Fee proceeds go to support our hives)

This class is for those interested in learning the basics of beekeeping and/or for anyone wanting to volunteer with the beekeeping group at Cranaleith. Learn how to raise bees naturally. Course topics include the current state of beekeeping, honeybee biology, colony structure, equipment, hive management and bee disease treatment.


A Morning of Mindfulness
Presenter: Marlene Skrobak, RSM
Thursday, February 8, 2018, 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: $35

Come and be bathed in the tranquility of the present moment through the practice of mindfulness meditation. Immerse yourself in the now and leave with a renewed sense of well-being and contentment.


Intermediate Beekeeping 
Instructor: Andrea Vettori, Master Beekeeper
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $80 (includes handouts and lunch; 50 percent discount for previous year hive volunteers)
(Prerequisite: Basics of Beekeeping)

Learn advanced hive management techniques including: swarm prevention and control; splitting hives and developing nucleus hives; disease/pest control and management; and assembling hive parts.


A Contemplative Afternoon with Laudato Si
Presenter: Leslie Porreca, RSM
Sunday, February 11, 2018, 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $35

“The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, God’s boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” Pope Francis has challenged the world community to embrace “our common home” with commitment, tenderness and joy. This inspiring document
invites us to immerse our souls in the sacredness of creation, to listen to its cry of pain, and to respond in merciful action and advocacy. Join us as we share our passion and deeper awakening over this urgent call.


Ash Wednesday Retreat: A Heart Contrite and Broken 
Presenter: Maria DiBello, RSM
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $45 (includes lunch)

Join us as we enter Lent’s sacred journey on this Valentine’s Day. We will tender our hearts in God’s tears of love and ask to discover our belonging to all those crushed in spirit. Above all, we will trust in this crucified love unfolding from the heart of our sacred universe.


Becoming Radiant: The Lenten Journey of Dying Before We Die
Presenter: Sharon Browning
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $80 (includes lunch)

How does ego block the Light? What radiance is waiting to burst forth from each of us to illuminate our corner of the universe? The suffering yet luminous world awaits our contributions to wholeness and healing. Together we will explore transformation and transfiguration for our good and the good of the entire world.


Lenten Contemplative Morning: An Awe do Quiet 
Presenter: Maria DiBello, RSM
Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Cost: $35

During these brief hours, we will give ourselves to awe over God’s tender mercy. Let us shelter a time to rest in God’s prophetic word and awaken to God’s promise. The mystery of the cross will call us to embrace our own brokenness and draw us to God’s presence in the shattered places of our world.


Eco-Spirituality Weekend: Keeping the Traditions Alive 
Presenter: Leslie Porreca, RSM
March 2-4, 2018, Arrival: 7 p.m., Friday; Departure: 11 a.m., Sunday
Cost: $185 (includes lodging and meals)

There is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face.(LS: 223) We discover God in all things. During this reflective retreat, we will learn to identify, collect and store heirloom seeds while deepening our awareness of our connection to the earth. The program will include time for solitude, reverent sharing, and hands-on engagement with seeds, soil, and water.


The Great High Cross: Lent in the Celtic Tradition 
Presenter: Meg Brown, RSM
Saturday, March 10, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $45 (includes lunch)

As we move into the holiest week of the Church year, let us ponder the meaning of the Cross in the Celtic tradition and its relevance for us today.


Cooking Class: What’s in Season, All About Greens 
Presenter: Leslie Porreca, RSM
Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 5-8 p.m.
Cost: $60 (includes dinner)

Greens aren’t just rabbit food! Their amazing array of color presents an unending feast of nutrition and taste. We will explore the myriad types of greens available to us and discover cooking methods that would delight the most vegetable-adverse diners!


Poetry as Prayer 
Presenter: Renee Yann, RSM
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $35

Poetry can give voice to deeply held feelings and beliefs we may not know we possess until the poem names them for us. Many recognized poets have helped us reach undiscovered corners of our souls and serve as valued companions on our journey with God. We will read from Rumi, Rilke, Mary Oliver, and Jessica Powers. Bring your own treasured poems with you to share with the group.


A Mural Pilgrimage 
Presenter: Maureen O’Connell, PhD
Saturday, April 28, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $50 (includes lunch and bus tour)

Philadelphia’s world renowned murals are as inspirational as they are beautiful. Our guide, Maureen O’Connell, Chair of the Department of Religion at LaSalle University, will reveal the sacred stories of struggle, yearning for justice, resilience and beauty behind some of these extraordinary public artworks.


The Feminine Face of God 
Presenter: Honora Nicholson, RSM
Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $ 45 (includes lunch)

Reflect upon the many feminine images of God that have long been hidden in scripture and tradition and have the potential, according to theologian Rebecca Chop, “to lead us to emancipatory transformation, to new ways of living together with each other and our earth.”


The Art of Mercy and Compassion
Presenter: Helen David Brancato, IHM
Saturday, June 2, 2018, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Cost: $50 (includes lunch)

Painting, like faith, is about seeing. It provides us greater depths of knowledge and wisdom about who we are in this vast cosmos. This program will include: morning reflection on the power of images and spirituality; a look at the works of the artists Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Merton; and new works by Sr. Helen David herself. The afternoon will include a painting demonstration followed by a hands-on experience and time to reflect on your own painting.


Write the Vision Down: Art-Journaling Retreat 
Director: Marianne Hieb, RSM
June 25-30, 2018, Arrival: 7 p.m., Monday; Departure: 11 a.m., Saturday
Cost: $550 (includes lodging and meals)

Join us for a multi-day, overnight retreat experience exploring creative journaling practice as a way of prayer. Sr. Marianne defines art-journaling as “the use of simple art materials, contemplative gazing, written journaling and noticing to help clarify, express, or respond to prayer and expression.” Our time will include journaling and Visio Divina, communal prayer, meditations, solitude, rest, and optional sharing. Bring your journal and art supplies. Basic art materials will be provided.