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Fri, Jun 14


Mercy by the Sea

Halcyon Days: Celtic Mysticism & Music

Early summer days of peace and spiritual transformation with Áine Minogue and Robert Bowler.

Halcyon Days: Celtic Mysticism & Music
Halcyon Days: Celtic Mysticism & Music

Time & Location

Jun 14, 2024, 4:00 PM – Jun 16, 2024, 1:00 PM

Mercy by the Sea, 167 Neck Rd, Madison, CT 06443


About the event

Halcyon Days is the first annual Oratory retreat of Halcyon Arts. It is an opportunity to explore spirituality and practice, enjoy good food and fellowship, and rest and renew for the time ahead. This year we explore Celtic Spirituality, its history and practices.


Áine Minogue: Áine Minogue is an Irish musician, vocalist, folklorist and lecturer. She not only embodies the soul of traditional Irish music and dance through her sellout performances and many albums, but also is renowned for her deep, subtle and nuanced understanding of the Celtic spirituality and culture from which the music arises.

Born in Borrisokane, County Tipperary, Áine's large musical family encouraged her to pursue a number of different instruments during her youth. They played together as a family and attended fleadhs (traditional music festivals). But it was at the age of twelve while at boarding school in County Galway that Áine discovered her true love - the harp - which she decided to pursue in lieu of the others. After completing school she spent three years developing her talent as a harpist at Bunratty Castle, County Clare, then moved to the United States, settling in New England. She later received a First Class Honors Masters Degree in performance from the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Áine's harp has entertained Presidents and Prime Ministers. She is a regular performer at folk festivals and concerts throughout the US. Her recordings include The Mysts of Time, Between the Worlds, Circle of the Sun, Celtic Meditation Music, Celtic Lamentations, Celtic Pilgrimage,Winter: A Meditation (DVD) In the Name of Stillness: Celtic Meditation Music, and most recently “Eve.” Áine’s profound love of traditional Irish music has naturally led her to steep herself in the spiritual and cultural aspects of the Celtic world, so much so that she has become a much sought-after authority in this arena, whether offering workshops alone or with such luminaries as the late Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue or in her role as a radio commentator on matters Celtic.

Robert Bowler (Beau): "Beau" will be our host and chaplain, and he will lead the contemplative prayer services. He was the Director of Stone Church Center, a retreat center in Bellows Falls, Vermont, for five years. Since 2007, he has practiced Celtic spirituality in the Céile Dé tradition, based in Scotland. He earned an M.Div. degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister.

SCHEDULE (subject to change):


4 pm Arrive & Settle In

6 pm Dinner

7:30 pm Session 1: Introduction to Celtic Spirituality (Aine)

8:25 pm Break

8:35 pm Introduction to Contemplative Prayer (Beau)

9 pm Evening Prayer / Meditation


7:30 am Morning Prayer / Meditation

8 am Breakfast

10 am: Session 2: Celtic Prilgrimage (Aine)

11:00 am Break

11:15 am: Session 3: Opening the Heart (Beau)

12:30 pm Lunch

2 pm Session 3: Milestones & Markers (Aine)

3:00 am Free Time / read, journal, walk, enjoy nature, beach time

4 - 6 pm Optional One-to-one Spiritual Companion Sessions (Beau)

6 pm Dinner

7:30 pm Concert with Áine Minogue, Celtic Harp and Vocals, 

           at Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 

           297 Boston Post Rd., Madison


8 am Communion Service 

9 am Breakfast

10 am Closing Session: Wrap Up and Discussion

11 am Departures


Mercy by the Sea, 167 Neck Rd., Madison, CT 06443-0191

Mercy by the Sea's campus comprises 33 beautiful acres of waterfront property along Long Island Sound in Madison, Connecticut. The grounds include five different natural and man-made areas:

  • A sandy beach ideal for quiet reflection, strolling or seashell gathering.
  • Landscaped areas, consisting of lawns, shrubbery, flower and vegetable gardens, and a labyrinth.
  • Woodlands with a host of native and non-native trees, hardy underbrush, wild plants and seedlings, and a short trail.
  • A small forested wetlands area.
  • Several buildings which include: guest rooms; meeting rooms for groups; a chapel; art gallery; dining room; and silent sitting areas where one can read, relax, pray, meditate or simply gaze at the water.

The grounds are also home to a variety of wildlife including groundhogs, woodpeckers, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors, fox, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels and other small woodland creatures.

Membership Offer
Buy a membership and get 10% off this event at checkout


  • Early Bird Shared

    Tuition, Shared Room, All Meals (Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast)

    +$9.75 service fee
    Sale ended
  • Early Bird Commuter

    +$4.00 service fee
  • Regular Single

    Sale ends: Jun 14, 12:10 PM

    Tuition, Single Room, All Meals (Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast)

    +$13.25 service fee
  • Regular Shared

    Sale ends: Jun 14, 1:00 PM

    Tuition, Shared Room, All Meals (Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast)

    +$11.00 service fee



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