Catholic School Matters

May 14, 2017

Disappointment & Density

The Gospel for this Sunday reminds us of how dense the disciples were after the Resurrection. Week after week we hear the disciples saying things like, “"Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” This comes from Thomas and it illustrates the doubts and disappointments which plagued the people who were close to Jesus. Even after the Resurrection, they struggled to make sense of their future.

The conversion journeys of the disciples were uneven. In fits and starts, they—the people who saw the actual Risen Christ—couldn’t make sense of their lives. I must admit, I find their incomprehension comforting. My own conversion journey has been one of fits and starts. Just when I think I have things figured out, the landscape changes.

In my conversations and visits with teachers and principals, I have noticed that the disappointments from this year and doubts about next year are interfering. Maybe you’re ending the year in the red or your fundraiser didn’t raise enough or your registrations for next year aren’t quite high enough. At this time of year, our energy is low and our hopes can be easily dashed.

Take comfort in the bewilderment of the disciples. We are a Resurrection people. Although sometimes it feels like we are still in the tomb!

Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent

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"Catholic School Matters" Podcast

This week, there are two great podcasts. Tomorrow, Episode #50 is an interview with the President of Healey Education Foundation, Christine Healey. She talks about their innovations and support of Catholic schools. On Thursday, Episode #51 is an interview with the one and only Roy Petifils--author, podcaster, counselor, speaker, friend. Roy talks about the anxiety epidemic among teens and how Catholic schools shaped his life's work.

Last week there were two very personal podcasts. I've reached out to a couple of old friends who are doing admirable work. Episode #48 is an interview with Fr. Roc O'Connor, a Jesuit pastor in Milwaukee. Roc was one of the "St. Louis Jesuits" and is a noted liturgist and composer. Episode #49 is an interview with John Bland, the Catholic founder of the Amigos for Christ, a charity involved with improving lives in Nicaragua.

Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe to the podcast so new episodes will automatically download. The show is also available on Stitcher and Google Play. If you don't have accounts with any of those content providers, here is the link to my basic page with the podcasts.

I have finished taping Season One except for the final episode. For that episode, I'd like to answer questions from listeners. Please use this form to send me questions. If you have nominations or ideas for Season Two, send them via email.

Last week, Dr. Uhl blogged about:

  • TUESDAY: Roc O'Connor's podcast
  • WEDNESDAY: Book Blog: Beyond Reform
  • FRIDAY: John Bland's podcast

This week, Dr. Uhl will blog about:

  • TUESDAY: Christine Healey's podcast
  • WEDNESDAY: Book Blog: Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip & Dan Heath
  • FRIDAY: Roy Petitfils's podcast

You can find and subscribe to the blog at

The Week Ahead

Monday: St. Paul Mission Grade School visit (Hays)

Tuesday: Sacred Heart school visit (Miles City)

Wed: Pretty Eagle Catholic School visit (St. Xavier)

Thurs: St. Matthew's School visit (Kalispell)

Fri: De La Salle Blackfeet School visit (Browning)

Next week: 1,488 miles

Last week: 385 driving miles

2016-17: 30,482 driving miles; 35,077 air miles

What I'm Reading (Last 5 books)

  1. Finding Your Posts: Grounded Living in Times of Change by Kent Hickey (underway)
  2. Leaving to Learn by Eilliot Washor & Charles Mojkowski
  3. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  4. Leverage Leadership by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo
  5. At the Heart of the Church: Selected Documents of Catholic Education Ed. by Ronald J. Nuzzi & Thomas C Hunt

Click this link for a full list of Dr. Uhl's professional reading along with links to Wed Book Blogs

For Principals & Teachers

  1. DOH employees will receive a $25 gift card for proof of participation in the Fun Run during the Governor's Cup June 10th.
  2. Make sure to fill out your safety survey ASAP. Here is a link. If you fill those out and take two safety courses (found at you can receive a rebate.
  3. We are in need of teachers to offer breakout sessions for our Catholic Teacher Days (Oct 19-20). So far, 7 teachers have offered to teach. Email Dr. Uhl ASAP!
  4. Here is the flyer for the Sophia Institute's religion teacher workshop on October 19th. Here is the flyer for the August Retreat. Please print out and share!
  5. NWEA is offering a great webinar on end of the year summary reports. Here's the sign up for the May 15th event.
  6. NCEA has a great list of upcoming webinars. It also has compiled a list of great summer 2017 professional development opportunities.
  7. The Justice for Immigration project of the USCCB offers resources for undocumented immigrants.
  8. Are you ready for ESSA? Here is a link to a massive amount of new documents. ESSA has not been repealed and it's time to get ready! Here's more guidance from the USCCB.
  9. On the Horizon:
  • June 14: administrator meeting (Helena/Cathedral) 10-3
  • August 14-15: Catholic Schools Retreat
  • Oct 19: Sophia Program for Religion Teachers
  • Oct 19-20: Catholic Teacher Days

American Catholic News

Catholic Schools Opening, Closing, Consolidating

  1. Queen of Peace HS in New Jersey to close
  2. 2 schools to close in the Archdiocese of Hartford
  3. Last Catholic school in Ithaca (NY) to close.
  4. Fr. Bob Gross at the Archdiocese of Dubuque explains in a video why two Catholic schools will consolidate.

Leadership Links

Teaching & Learning


What is entropy? - Jeff Phillips