Author: Cranaleith (Bernadette Rudolph)

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A group of people standing around in the rain.

An Interconnected and Sacred Creation

When Cranaleith first opened our doors as a spiritual center, we had experienced very little rainfall over the Spring and Summer. The pond was nearly dry. The vegetation around the pond was dying, and the surrounding trees were languishing. One of our first visiting groups were women from a Mercy ministry in North Philadelphia who...

A path through the woods in autumn.

Listen to the Space Between

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.   Dear Friends, At Cranaleith, the crickets chirp loudly in the meadow behind the historic house, in the space we are actively turning “wild,” crisscrossed by winding pathways Fred (core volunteer) has mown into the deep, tall grass. In 1897, Amos Dolbear found that the...

A flock of birds flying in the sky.

A Wellspring of Mercy

Dear Friends, Stepping out barefoot on the warm boards of our back deck, my younger daughter and I crane our necks to watch in amazement as hundreds of black birds, Common Grackles, fly through the trees in our woods, sliding between the branches, wings rustling, forming and reforming in synchronized groupings, swooping across the sky,...

A horse and some other animal in the distance.

If These Walls Could Talk

Dear Friends, “Negative space” is a term used in art to describe the space surrounding a subject–that essential and important “empty” space surrounding the positive space in a composition.I am thinking about that concept while standing with Sr. Ellen Murray in the impossibly crowded, narrow hallway of Sr. Helen David Brancato’s art studio. Ellen and...

A hand is reaching for water from the ocean.

The Deep Springs Within Us

Dear Friends, Members of the staff have been watching closely the water of the pond, worrying about several ropey, green strands of algae.Because the waterfall has been temporarily blocked, the bright orange goldfish gather around the submerged bubblers, gills flashing as they gulp for oxygen. At our staff retreat, Sr. Maria begins by reminding us...

A yellow flower is growing out of the ground

Where Hope Can Be Found

Dear Friends, Over the Memorial Day weekend, I trip on the broken sidewalk and fall, face-forward, on the concrete.I hear a woman in the distance gasp, “Are you alright?”.My husband kneels beside me in the street.I sit up dizzily and feel with my tongue the jagged edges of four, broken, front teeth.Bart and I had...

A house with trees in the background and a field.

Be Amazed, Be in Awe

Dear Friends, When I am at Cranaleith, I find my breath deepens, my mind quiets. Walking from my car to the office, I turn to the left so that I can reach for the soft blossoms of the wisteria spilling across the driveway. Seated at my desk, I watch the rain sliding across my window....

A bee is sitting on the flower of a plant.

A Change of Mind

Dear Friends, This past Sunday, we were supposed to install three, new queen bees into the hive boxes at the far edge of the meadow. Volunteers were standing at the ready to help, my oldest daughter agreed to provide the video documentation, Gene (our beekeeper) had the protective beekeeper suits at the ready. The weather,...

A room with three different images of the same room.

An Evening on Non-Violence

Dear Friends, With only minutes to go before the opening reception for the Center’s program “An Evening on Non-Violence,” Angela (Director of Marketing and Development) focuses on artfully arranging clusters of grapes on the platter; Sr. Maria scrambles to find the wine bottle opener; Elizabeth (Director of Hosted Groups) samples a sliver of cheese. I...

A couple of butterflies flying around some flowers.

Finding our Healing Wholeness

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 Dear Friends, Over the holiday break, I read and re-read the book (marking up its pages, creasing the back cover) that Sr. Mary had lent to...