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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.

Johnny Tremain and Howard Roark


The year 1943 saw the publication of two American books about liberty.  Both books sold well at the time and are still in print, and two books could not be more different.  Both The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand, and Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes, are novels describing struggles for freedom.  Only one reflects a moral compass [...]

Johnny Tremain and Howard Roark2020-10-10T18:34:52-04:00

Cornell Woolrich’s Very Readable Stuff


“He is known in the trade as an idea writer,” explained Raymond Chandler to his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, in February, 1943, “liking the tour de force, and not much of a character man,” and Chandler added, “I think his stuff is very readable, but leaves no warmth behind it.”  Chandler was referring to Cornell Woolrich, [...]

Cornell Woolrich’s Very Readable Stuff2020-08-15T04:45:16-04:00

Forty Years of an American Crime Fighter


With the Declaration of Independence celebrating more than 240 years, a national treasure turns forty.  McGruff the Crime Dog first appeared in July, 1980, and he has become an enduring part of American culture.  He stands as a symbol of the Declaration’s commitment to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and the Constitution’s dedication to [...]

Forty Years of an American Crime Fighter2020-07-08T05:34:58-04:00

Mrs. Muir and Captain Gregg


Seventy-five years ago, a short novel charmed readers and became popular enough to get made two years later into a major Hollywood film.  Twenty-one years after the film’s moderate success, the story became a weekly half-hour television show, lasting two years.  Along the way, most people seem to have forgotten the book, by R. A. Dick [...]

Mrs. Muir and Captain Gregg2020-05-15T04:10:59-04:00

Easter Monday along Monastery Run


Monastery Run bubbles up from a spring by some trees in western Pennsylvania and meanders through woods and fields northeast to the Loyalhanna Creek, itself a tributary of a tributary of the Allegheny River.  It gets its name from flowing for much of its length past a Benedictine monastery. Strolling along that stream, a modern monk [...]

Easter Monday along Monastery Run2020-04-14T20:47:12-04:00

Holy Week in a Time of Plague


Monday of Holy Week the reading at Mid-day Prayer at our Benedictine monastery happened to be from Lamentations 1.  “How lonely sits the city,” the young monk read, “that was full of people . . . The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the appointed feasts.” A monastery that runs a college and a [...]

Holy Week in a Time of Plague2020-04-09T04:24:06-04:00

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
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