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2014 Celtic Retreat


Touching the Timeless and Taking it Home

A Retreat of Ancient Wisdom and Present Practice

Celticas logo_b&w
Fri. Aug. 8, 4 pm – Sat. Aug. 9, 5 pm
St. Benedict Retreat and Conference Center
Schuyler, NE (Map)


A special collaboration between Hildegard Center for the Arts and Celticas Spiritus!  This retreat promised a unique immersion into the ancient wisdom of Celtic cultures and St. Hildegard of Bingen in the contemporary monastic setting of St. Benedict Retreat Center in rural Schuyler, Nebraska.

In addition to information about spiritual practices, time was built into the brief schedule to actually experience the “practice” of the practices. Retreatants were refreshed and enlightened by the flow of play and learning, chant and silence, conversation and creating with your hands.


Retreat Itinerary

4:30 pm          Wine & Cheese Reception
5:30 pm          Welcome, brief worship
6:15 pm          Dinner
7:00 pm          Orientation to Monastic Hours and Introduction to St. Hildegard
8:30 pm          Drum Circle in the pines
9:30 pm          Compline/Flute meditation
10 pm             Retire to rooms

6:00 am           Sunrise Stroll
7:00 am           Morning Prayer
7:30 am           Breakfast

[Move out of rooms]

8:30 – 10:00      Mandalas & Zentangle
10:15 – 12:15    Byzantine Chant
12:30 – 2:15      Lunch/Free Time
2:30 – 4:30       Calligraphy & Journaling
4:30 – 5:00       Vespers/Evensong
5:00 pm            Home Going


The Importance and Power of the Written Word:
Returning to words in a beautiful way through Calligraphy and Journaling

This workshop was designed to awaken or reawaken an ease with hand lettering as well as to explore meaning and lasting power of words in both sacred and secular contexts.

writingThe workshop began with gestural and breathing exercises to focus thought while easing away tension from our arms and hands. For centuries, monastic scribes have used and continue to use these same exercises… In that same spirit we will looked at the connectedness between inspiration, nature, prayer, communication, and the inner voice through our use of words and symbols.  Traditional and non-traditional lettering practices and marking techniques were explored in an encouraging atmosphere.


About the Presenters


Rev. Jamie Norwich McLennan

Our presenters share a wealth of knowledge and a depth of personal experience which brings timeless truths alive and sets them in a very personal context as we walk these hours in community. Rev. Jamie Norwich McLennan is senior pastor of New Visions Community (United Methodist) in Lincoln and a long-time retreat designer. Anne Sheedy Gardner is a professional calligrapher, scribe and flautist whose gifts are sought-after in Europe and the US. Dr. Paul Barnes is the Marguerite Scribante Professor of Music and Co-Chair of Piano at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music. He also serves as head chanter at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Lincoln, and has a passion for Byzantine chant.


Headshot_PaulDr. Paul Barnes is the Marguerite Scribante Professor of Music and Co-Chair of Piano at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music.  As a concert pianist, he has performed in every major city of the United States as well as in England, China, Korea, Austria, Russia, Greece, Italy, Serbia, and Hungary.  He has been praised by the New York Times for his “Lisztian thunder and deft fluidity,” and the San Francisco Chronicle as “ferociously virtuosic.”  In addition, he has been featured four times on American Public Media’s Performance Today and on the cover of Clavier magazine.  He is widely recognized as a leading expert on the piano music of Franz Liszt.  His popular lecture-recital Liszt and the Cross: Music as Sacrament in the B-minor Sonata explores the fascinating relationship between music, theology, and the Orthodox icon.  Dr. Barnes also serves as head chanter at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Lincoln, Nebraska where his fascination with Byzantine chant led to a commissioned piano concerto “Ancient Keys,” which is based on a Greek chant and composed by Victoria Bond.  The world-premiere recording of this concerto as well as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was released on Albany Records.


Headshot_AnneInternational competition winner and prize winning visual artist, Anne Sheedy was born in San Francisco and educated in Rome, London, and New York City. She has toured as a soloist and as principal flutist of several chamber groups throughout the US, Japan, Italy and the UK.  Formerly on the faculties of NYU’s “University Without Walls,” Sarah Lawrence College, and Goddard College, she now teaches at the College of Arts and Sciences at Peru State College in Nebraska and tours through the auspices of the Nebraska Arts Council and Mid-America Arts Alliance.  Additionally, as an in-demand calligrapher and botanical artist, Anne Sheedy’s corporate clients include Patek Philippe, the NY Historical Society, Tiffany’s, Yale University, and (most recently) Harvard University.  Her workshops at international calligraphy conferences include “The History and Art of Musical Notation” and “The Life of the Scribe” …

Aaron Copland, after first hearing her perform at Carnegie Hall at the age of 19, encouraged Anne to have an open mind to unusual performance opportunities. He also encouraged her to develop an additional discipline to help balance her life as a concert artist.  She chose calligraphy.  She also accepted unusual performance opportunities with noted mythologist, Joseph Campbell; with Odetta and Pete Seeger; Jon Bon Jovi; Alan Menken; Yo-Yo Ma; Placido Domingo, and others.  Her traditional and non-traditional venues have earned her critical acclaim.  “Hauntingly beautiful sound… brilliant and thoughtful musical conversation”– San Francisco Examiner …”Absolutely flawless performance by flutist Anne Sheedy. She deserved the standing ovation and loud bravos.“– New York Times (NJ edition) … “She plays from the heart.”–Corriere Della Sera, Italy … “Exceptional solos from flutist, Anne Sheedy.”  – New York Times

Anne now devotes a great portion of her energies and time to bringing beauty and comfort to those in hospice settings through music performance and art.  She is often joined by California based Tibetan-bowl artist, Marilyn Nicholas.  Anne is also devoted to teaching “at-risk” adolescents creative alternatives to anger through the timeless art and discipline of calligraphy — most recently through the auspices of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization in Lincoln, Nebraska.  She lives with her husband, Martin Gardner, in Lincoln.