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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.

Bricks, Bolts, and Donkeys for Lent


Department store magnate Harry Selfridge said, “There’s no fun like work,” but probably most people would disagree.  The daily monastic routine can help a monk appreciate the daily secular treadmill of a married man who gets up, shaves, showers, gets dressed, and goes off to a job he once thought he was just the man cut [...]

Bricks, Bolts, and Donkeys for Lent2022-02-19T17:07:42-06:00

Benjamin Franklin’s Virtues


Benjamin Franklin called my ancestors “Palatine boors.”  It was nothing personal, of course, since he was worried about all the German-speaking peoples settling in the British colonies along the eastern seaboard, especially Pennsylvania.  In 1683, about five miles west of Philadelphia, a special enclave, Germantown, was set up for them, but they were spreading farther afield. [...]

Benjamin Franklin’s Virtues2022-01-14T00:45:34-06:00

Hemingway and Hunters


An American student in his twenties asked me if I had heard of an author named Ernest Hemingway.  The student had found an old Scribner’s paperback of Hemingway’s fiction and was enjoying it very much.  When I told him that Ernest Hemingway was one of the most famous authors of the twentieth century and one of [...]

Hemingway and Hunters2021-11-24T01:52:47-06:00

Washington Irving and Monastic Life


On the main street of the small town of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, stands a state historical marker commemorating Irving Female College, locally known simply as Irving College.  Founded in 1856, it was a liberal arts college for women, and it closed in 1929, one of its buildings eventually becoming the town’s hospital.  The college’s name honored Washington [...]

Washington Irving and Monastic Life2021-11-04T18:58:18-05:00

Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sin, and Prayer


In 1911, John Muir published his diary from 1869 and called it My First Summer in the Sierra.  On 2 August, 1869, he recorded an odd experience.  In the afternoon, while on a mountain called the North Dome, he “suddenly, and without warning” was “possessed with the notion that my friend, Professor J. D. Butler, of [...]

Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sin, and Prayer2021-10-16T20:27:23-05:00

Saint Anselm and the Cloisters Cross


One word often used to describe Thomas Hoving was “brash.”  A former U.S. Marine who earned a doctorate in art history from Princeton, Hoving (1931-2009) served as a curator at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and then, from 1967 to 1977, as its director.  A self-described “publicity hound,” Hoving’s self-promotion included a memoir, Making the [...]

Saint Anselm and the Cloisters Cross2021-09-02T16:52:52-05:00

A Hobby for Old Men


Whenever debates flare up over what should be taught in American schools about America’s past, a dusty old book comes to mind, Mary G. Kelty’s Other Lands and Other Times.  Published in 1942, its subtitle, Their Gifts to American Life, indicated that it would put America in the context of continuity with a great past.  It [...]

A Hobby for Old Men2021-08-04T02:43:19-05:00

Juror Number 45


It was the first full day of summer, a balmy Monday morning as more than a hundred people waited outside the county courthouse in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.  Their ages ranged from early twenties to well past retirement.  Silently they stood there until the doors opened at 8:30 and deputy sheriffs guided them through security screening. Then it [...]

Juror Number 452021-06-26T19:45:46-05:00

On the Trail with Francis Parkman


In the mid-1950s, John Hancock insurance ran full-page magazine advertisements featuring famous people from history.  In 1955 one of those ads focused on Francis Parkman.  “He brightened the dim record of our past,” the ad began but conceded that “a lot of people today don’t know about” him, although they ought to, since “there is so [...]

On the Trail with Francis Parkman2021-05-18T05:43:45-05:00

George Will at Eighty


As George F. Will turns eighty, it bears noting that just as Whig writers in the eighteenth century learned their craft by studying the essays of Joseph Addison, so, too, have American conservative writers honed their writing skills by reading the columns of George Will.  While Will’s authorial elegance and insight have been influences on many [...]

George Will at Eighty2021-04-27T05:53:30-05:00
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