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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.

The Delusion of Miss Jean Brodie


Has anyone noticed that the woman is completely delusional? Apparently, Muriel Spark meant her fictional teacher Miss Jean Brodie to be an endearing yet tragic figure, but a character so ridiculously self-important would try anyone’s patience. “I am in my prime,” Brodie tells her students, all girls beginning adolescence, and explains, “You are benefiting by my [...]

The Delusion of Miss Jean Brodie2022-12-01T15:41:36-06:00

Elgar’s Stout and Steaky London Town


In 1997, at the funeral of Princess Diana, and in 2021, at that of Prince Philip, the music included Sir Edward Elgar’s “Nimrod,” one of his Enigma Variations. Elgar composed it around 1898, and it has featured at numerous other funerals and at Britain’s annual Service of Remembrance held on Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday closest to [...]

Elgar’s Stout and Steaky London Town2022-11-01T23:51:11-05:00

Karloff Reads Conrad


In the film Gods and Monsters (1998), the character James Whale describes actor Boris Karloff as “the dullest fellow imaginable.” Historically, Whale directed Karloff in Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), making a struggling stage actor a movie star. In Gods and Monsters Whale comes across as a sadly self-absorbed figure, but by all [...]

Karloff Reads Conrad2022-10-11T01:56:05-05:00

Visiting Aunt Annie


At the time, of course, there was no way I could appreciate that we were living in something of a time warp, since a lot of what we were doing was about as out of date as a steam locomotive or a Model T. Maybe ten miles from our 1960s ranch-style house was where my parents [...]

Visiting Aunt Annie2022-09-14T00:33:16-05:00

Grant Wood’s Silence


Paintings by Eric Sloane rarely include the human form, although sometimes a farmer is carrying a bucket by an old barn, or a fisherman is casting under a covered bridge. Likewise, paintings by Edward Hopper seldom have people in them, and when they do, Hopper’s people are either alone or couples who look as though they [...]

Grant Wood’s Silence2022-08-28T22:14:55-05:00

Meeting David McCullough


In May, 1998, I met one of my boyhood heroes, David McCullough. With his death at his home in Massachusetts at age 89, America has lost a national treasure. His writings earned him two Pulitzer Prizes, two Francis Parkman Prizes, fifty-five honorary degrees, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2012, his native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, named [...]

Meeting David McCullough2022-08-09T22:56:36-05:00

Benedictines and Seneca


As C. S. Lewis observed in The Discarded Image and elsewhere, medieval people respected authority, and not least the authority of an author. Medieval people respected books, even if they rarely read them; human nature never changing, modern people fit the same pattern. Among medieval people, medieval monks seem to be synonymous with copying manuscripts, but [...]

Benedictines and Seneca2022-07-01T20:34:48-05:00

Certain Musty Old Values


Writing in January, 1946, to his friend, Erle Stanley Gardner, Raymond Chandler defined what in crime fiction makes a successful detective.  Although, Chandler believed, “an eccentric character wears out its welcome,” he declared, “The character that lasts is an ordinary guy with some extraordinary qualities.”  That description fit not only Chandler’s own fictional detective, Philip Marlowe, [...]

Certain Musty Old Values2022-06-08T21:21:18-05:00

Education from Henry Adams


Some years ago, a friend said he could not understand the ongoing popular interest in John Adams and his descendants.  Of that prominent American family, he said, “They were all smart, but sick.”  Brilliance and eccentricity (if not madness) do seem to pair together, and many of the Adams men were no exception. Such patterns fascinated [...]

Education from Henry Adams2022-05-17T17:09:40-05:00

Praying with Ricardo Montalban


Featured on the cover of the April, 1979, issue of Guideposts magazine was an actor, Ricardo Montalban. In 1945 Norman Vincent Peale founded Guideposts as an ecumenical outlet for inspirational true stories by people from all walks of life. A Protestant pastor, Peale might be best known for his book, The Power of Positive Thinking. In [...]

Praying with Ricardo Montalban2022-04-09T16:32:26-05:00
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