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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.

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

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
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