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About Daniel J. Heisey

Daniel J. Heisey, O. S. B, is a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where he is known as Brother Bruno. He teaches Church History at Saint Vincent Seminary.

For Your Penance


With Lent approaching, it is time to think again about how to answer the annual question, “So, what are you giving up for Lent?”  Or, its variation, “What are you doing for Lent?”  Often, the emphasis is on you; the person asking the question is poised to use your answer as a springboard for talking about [...]

For Your Penance2020-02-06T04:15:21-05:00

Shakespeare’s Bear and Churchyard


In 1963 Andy Williams recorded a new song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” meaning the Christmas season, and the lyrics included the lines, “There’ll be scary ghost stories/And tales of the glories of/Christmases long, long ago.”  Most likely the reference is to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but it points to a tradition [...]

Shakespeare’s Bear and Churchyard2019-11-27T16:42:59-05:00

Matt Cvetic at Saint Vincent


There is fitting irony that Matt Cvetic (1909-1962) died while waiting to renew his driver’s license.  For nine years as an undercover informer for the federal government, and then as a public speaker, he had dedicated much of his life to fighting a bureaucratic vision of society, advocated by men and women who, as Ludwig von [...]

Matt Cvetic at Saint Vincent2019-12-17T04:46:44-05:00

Sand County Model Railroading


Aldo Leopold, in his essay, “A Man’s Leisure Time,” often printed with his A Sand County Almanac (1949), suggested that “a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant.”  He declared that a hobby is “a defiance of the contemporary,” and that “no hobby should either seek or need rational justification.”  Further, [...]

Sand County Model Railroading2019-11-27T16:41:20-05:00

Louis Auchincloss’ Historical Covenant


In the late 1980s we corresponded briefly, Mr. Auchincloss kindly answering some questions I had about his writing.  From 1947 to 2010, much of his fiction, literary criticism, and histories deftly chronicled well-heeled residents of the middle and northern part of America’s eastern seaboard.  For his characters, poverty meant hitting principal, while my world was closer [...]

Louis Auchincloss’ Historical Covenant2019-11-12T04:46:21-05:00

Surviving with Frank Miniter


“Okay,” he said, slowly, patiently, “now, squeeze.”  A father with a .22, teaching his son how to shoot:  A memory evoked by Frank Miniter’s The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide, published in 2009 and now, ten years later, followed up with The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide to the Workplace.  (In these casual times, a clue comes from [...]

Surviving with Frank Miniter2019-10-25T03:18:51-04:00

Joseph Conrad’s Outpost of Fear


Sixty-five years ago, Robert Penn Warren and Albert Erskine compiled an anthology, Short Story Masterpieces, three dozen examples of great short fiction in English from the previous sixty or so years.  Authors included ranged from Stephen Crane and Henry James to Ernest Hemingway and Eudora Welty.  Among them was Joseph Conrad’s tale from 1897, “An Outpost [...]

Joseph Conrad’s Outpost of Fear2019-10-14T04:31:26-04:00

Manfred Honeck and Bruckner’s Ninth


“You are in for a treat,” John Berky told me when he heard that Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra would be in the basilica church of Saint Vincent Archabbey to perform Anton Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony in D Minor.  Berky is Executive Secretary of the Bruckner Society of America and edits the society’s web site [...]

Manfred Honeck and Bruckner’s Ninth2019-09-23T03:36:00-04:00

The McKinley Boys


“If I were giving a young man advice,” said Wilbur Wright, “as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”  That advice certainly applied to his older contemporary, a fellow Ohioan and the twenty-fifth President of the United States, William [...]

The McKinley Boys2019-08-30T04:22:20-04:00

Nicolas Diat’s A Time to Die


With reluctance a monk opens this new book, a sleek, slim paperback having the appearance of appealing to the sepia-toned spirituality of people who see monks and nuns as living Hummels.  “In this desolate world,” writes Nicolas Diat, a French journalist, “I had the idea to take the path of the great monasteries in order to [...]

Nicolas Diat’s A Time to Die2019-08-04T15:05:51-04:00
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