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This episode, we hear from Catholic Teacher in St Louis, Missouri, Denise Brickler, on avoiding cynicism and burnout, as well as holding on to joy for her vocation and cooperating with Grace.

In this week’s edition of the Catholic Teacher Podcast, we hear from Catholic Teacher Denise Brickler, in St Louis, Missouri. Denise discusses how a truly Catholic high school can be great academic achievers, and the importance of spiritual leadership and cooperating with Grace in Catholic Schools. Additionally, Denise shares how to share the vision of sainthood with students, as well as the relevance of a spiritual director. Oh, also to ReTreat Yo’ Self.


0:00 Intro

7:42 When Denise first realised she wanted to be a teacher

9:32 The changes Denise has gone through in her teaching vocation

13:20 How is Denise’s vocation missionary?

14:52 How to avoid getting cynical and burnt out

17:17 What has Denise learned through hardships in her journey?

18:46 Trusting in God

22:00 What is the core of Denise’s vocation with young people?

24:15 How does Denise share the vision of sainthood with her students?

26:31 How a truly catholic school can be high academic achievers

28:31 Spiritual leadership in Catholic Schools

31:56 Steps teachers can take to combining great teaching and great faith

33:39 The elements of key Catholic leadership

39:05 What can confession and reconciliation offer to Catholic teachers?

41:14 The relevance of a spiritual director for Catholic Teachers

44:20 Denise’s experience with burnout and boundaries

47:09 What makes organisation and routine hard for people?

51:28 What can teachers do to combat burnout

54:05 How can we take steps to better understanding scripture?

56:55 Why is Denise so filled with joy about her vocation?

59:50 How do you decide when it’s right to move on?

1:01:24 Denise’s 3 key points for Catholic Teachers


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To find out about Jonathan’s book for Catholic teachers please click here

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Jonathan Doyle: 00:00:07 Hey everybody, welcome back to the Catholic teacher podcast. My Name’s Jonathan. Drove great to have the pleasure of your company for another episode. We’ve had some great guests in recent weeks and today’s no exception. We’ve got my really good friend Denise brickler joining us from St Louis, Missouri. We first met when I spoke at the NCAA convention. She is one of the people that is emblematic of all. It’s best about Catholic education, her joy, her energy, her enthusiasm, and as you’re going to hear in this interview, but denise understands is the engine room of what it takes to not just survive the Catholic education vocation, but to thrive in the Catholic education medication. She has a bachelor of arts in elementary education from the University of Iowa. She did an mts in theological studies from Ave Maria university in a in Catholic school, leadership from Saint Louis University, and she’s currently doing her education doctorate in Catholic school leadership.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:01:08 So this is somebody who has got a really strong academic formation both in teaching. I love in this innovation talks that honing the craft, honing the craft of actual classroom teaching. She’s had experience in a whole bunch of roles. She’s a dog, she’s teaching middle school and you get to hear what she’s talking about, what she loves about that time in young peoples’ lives. Had that relates to catechesus. There’s just so much in this, but really when we get to the meat of the interview, you’re going to hear her talking about how she sustained her enthusiasm, love for young people, their families who colleagues, and towards the end of the interview I asked her, so how do we replicate you? How do we take what the nice brings us in and see that manifest in other Catholic teachers? So make sure you listen right through because she really shifts some great stuff with the snare.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:02:01 Housekeeping from me, didn’t you pick five and if you’re not subscribed to the podcast, would you do that for me now? Apple podcast, I change, used to be called Google play android. We should be on spotify very soon as a backlog there in submissions, but you can hopefully find us there very soon. Just subscribed to the podcast so that we can keep the episodes coming to you. There’s also a signup box, hopefully other website where you’re seeing this, but doug subscribing to be a huge help. Look. We do a daily email. If you’re not getting it, it’ll be in the show notes. Just check out the show notes is a link to the daily email. It’s what I do is I just found a great quote about Catholic education. I post one a day at 8:00 AM, which I think you’re gonna really love some. Actually following that other news recently, I’ve just released my bestselling book, tools and fuels as an audio book, so we got to the studio.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:02:53 Didn’t have great audio book version, so you know this morning I was out on my bike for a couple of hours listening to a really good audio book from the great a great preacher. So look, if you’re the kind of person that enjoys podcasts, enjoys listening to stuff in the car, then make sure you grab yourself a copy. It’ll be in the show notes, a link. It could be on audible by the time you hear this, but just chicken the show notes. You’ll see the link to the audio book. Do that a police come and join our facebook group. Passionate Catholic teachers. They’ll be a link as well if you want to come and join us. They’re just trying to build a really good facebook community of committed, convinced, coherent, passionate Catholic teachers. So make sure you come and join us. You can find me on twitter of course, at being Catholic one.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:03:38 There’ll be a link to that in the show notes too if you’d like me to come and speak. I’ve done live keynotes now over 400,000 people around the world. If you’d like me to come and speak at your diocese, I’m just heading to the US next week. I’ve got an eight day speaking schedule starting in grand rapids, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington, New York, La, so please, if you’d like me to come and speak to your staff at an event or at a school sometimes you just got to get a few schools together to make it economically viable. Just get a few schools together and I’ll come over and just really share a great message to encourage inspire in your school community. I think that’s everything, so let’s proceed. Nice. If you’re listening to this, which I hope you are, thank you so much. You were great. Blessing to me. I was really encouraged and inspired listening to you, listening to you. I know the listeners are going to be as well, so everybody. Let’s do this. Let’s listen to my good friends and nice speak to us about the rich joys, the adventure, the highs and lows of Catholic education, so he would go to the next episode of the Catholic teacher podcast with me, your host, Jonathan Doyle.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:04:55 Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Catholic teacher podcast. We have a very wonderful guest for you today. Do these particular joining us all the way from Saint Louis, Missouri today. Spoke into the Catholic teacher podcast.

Denise Brickler: 00:05:06 Thank you, Jonathan for having me. It is such a pleasure and an honor.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:05:09 Well, thank you for staying up way past bedtime or way past my normal bedtime anyway, so you’re still standing pretty alert this time of night.

Denise Brickler: 00:05:17 Yes.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:05:18 Is Caffeine a big part of your life?

Denise Brickler: 00:05:21 It may be, yes.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:05:22 It seems to be one of the secret things for Catholic teachers around the world is a deeper relationship with Jesus and a strong affinity with caffeine.

Denise Brickler: 00:05:31 Yes. I have a huge coffee cup that I feel in the morning and it usually takes me about until 2:30 in the afternoon. Drink at all. Yes.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:05:41 Uh, I wanted to ask you now we’re going to explore so much good stuff in Catholic education, but I want to ask you, is it true that your dog’s name is really buck buck?

Denise Brickler: 00:05:50 Yes. Bark bark the dog. She actually has her own twitter account and sometimes bark bark will tweet and I won’t that she’s tweeted really so true. Who called buck? Buck, buck, buck. So this is a good story. I used to teach fifth grade language arts and I had my students. I teach or I had my students write dialogue. The mini lesson for the day was dialogue using quotation marks. And one of my star, our pupils wrote this amazing. I’m a dialogue between herself and her dog and every time the dog spoke she read out loud bark, bark the dog. So I took that home and I started calling my dog bark bark and now she is bark bark.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:06:40 Okay, that’s good. We’ve actually just added a dog to our family, so we have three very young children and we just added the dog because we wanted some more redemptive suffering in our life and we figured that we’d add a, a puppy to the mix as well. So Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Catholic teacher dog podcast, sharing the use of a beloved Catholic animals random world. Today’s we have so much to talk about. I, uh, you’re one of my best memories of speaking at NCA in 2017. Your joy, your energy was just really memorable. So it was great that we could make contact and have some time together on the podcast. Look, one of the things we want to get to is really how you maintain your hope, energy and enthusiasm. Because I think as you know, for many teachers in the complexity of modern teaching, that can be hard to do, but I want to go back a little bit to the back story. Just bring us up to speed your interest in Catholic education, your movement towards the vacation begins really early for you, doesn’t it? Like way back in elementary school you had some sense that the path of teaching might be a direction you take. So. So tell us about those first memories.

Denise Brickler: 00:07:45 Absolutely. So when I was little, I used to play school in my room and I was always the teacher and my little brother was always the student and I think God put on my heart that desire to be a teacher and God would never give us the desire to do something that we wouldn’t be very good at. And I grew up always knowing that I would be a teacher. Thank goodness it’s worked out.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:08:07 And as your brother gone on to become a professional student or what did he say?

Denise Brickler: 00:08:12 Actually he has, he is still in school. He’s like me. He just works on degrees and earnings one and then we’ll work for a couple of years and then go back and start another one. So he is working on nursing right now.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:08:26 Okay. And if we were to interview him, would he tell us you were a good teacher all those years ago?

Denise Brickler: 00:08:33 I think so, but I would make him sit in the corner because that’s what I thought teachers did when I was three or four years old because yeah,

Jonathan Doyle: 00:08:43 So this year you’re going to be, you’re going to be teaching seventh grade. What are you most looking forward to in this coming year?

Denise Brickler: 00:08:51 I love middle school students. Middle School really are starting to form their personal relationship with Jesus and they start to ask questions about life in general and it’s really good for me to be placed in this position to form these relationships with these middle school students and I’m so excited for that. It’s been a few years since I’ve taught teenagers, so I’m excited to get back there and God placed me exactly where I’m supposed to be this year.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:09:23 No, this is a big year of change for you because we’re going to get to this later, but one of the things you’re really passionate about is around boundaries. Selfcare for teachers. Take us through some of your recent experience. What changes have you gone through recently in your own teaching vacation?

Denise Brickler: 00:09:39 So I taught for 16 years in the archdiocese of St Louis and I felt called to pursue Catholic education, Catholic school leadership. So I earned my masters in Catholic school leadership and took a job as a Catholic school principal last year. So when I met you at NCA I had just been hired to be a Catholic school principal and I was so excited and I was a principal last school year until about January, January. I left the school and I have spent the rest of the school year working in youth ministry, doing retreats for confirmation students and teenagers and also substitute teaching because I felt God was calling me back to the classroom and that’s exactly what, what I did for the rest of the school year and he’s placed me in school and in Catholic school now this year that I feel I’m supposed to be there. And it’s good.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:10:42 I want to pick up on something you mentioned a minute ago about the, this sort of in the kind of Montessori tradition and the, the Catholic understanding of that, which is often there’s a thing called catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which is a Christian interpretation of Montessori approach. There’s a theory called sensitive periods, which is this an idea that it key moments in child and adolescent development. There’s an openness, a window that isn’t there at other times. You were talking before about students asking, yeah, middle school students begin to ask questions that begin to form this relationship with Jesus. What sort of questions do you notice them asking? What do you, what do you think is the sensitive period, that window, the opportunity there?

Denise Brickler: 00:11:28 I think they start asking questions about how the Catholic Church doesn’t Mesh with what they see happening in our secular world and so they’ll ask questions because they don’t understand, not because they disagree, but they really truly don’t understand what the Catholic Church teaches about certain things that they might see peers or on media or their parents or their families living a certain way that doesn’t Mesh up to what the church teaches, so that’s their period and through the relationships that they form with strong Catholic educators and their youth minister, other pastors, the deacons in the church. Really our job is to walk with them and accompany them to get to know Jesus through the church and see the beauty and the truth and the teachings of the church so that they can take that and live with Jesus in their life.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:12:25 What you’re saying, I just listening to you carefully and there’s a beautiful line that I often talk about from the church documents, which on education, which is that what young people need is convinced and coherent educators that I always love those two words, convinced and coherent that that we have to be convinced of the truth of the faith and we have to be coherent and how we’re communicating and how we’re living. And also there’s a great line from Fulton Sheen, Murray, you know, famously city goes this, there wouldn’t be 100 people in the US who actually hate the Catholic Church who genuinely hate the Catholic church, but there’s many more that hate what they think is the Catholic Church and listening to you, your, you’re highlighting this disjunct between what the church actually teaches, which has a catechetical question and what young people assume it teachers, which for me makes sure work missionary, right? I mean, can you speak to that a little bit? US Like I, I see you guys kind of on the missionary frontier at a new moment in history is, is that something of your experience?

Denise Brickler: 00:13:30 Absolutely, and also it’s being present with Christ and being authentic in that relationship with Jesus so that you are living authentically so that just by looking at me as a Catholic school teacher, my students know that I know Jesus, but I don’t have to tell them like, hey, I hung out with Jesus. He’s my best friend. They know because they see my joy. They see my reverence and respect for the church. They see that I love when I’m doing that. I’m called to do what I’m doing as a Catholic school teacher and they see that and it’s authentic. I know that there’s a disjuncture with families too, and some families just are not churched, meaning they just don’t know. They haven’t been present in the Catholic church they left and we need to get them back.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:14:23 So this, what sustains you in this? Like you have this, there’s a character logical aspect with you from having you like there’s a, uh, an energy, a joy talking to you is like talking to the, my good friend Rose Palais. If people haven’t heard her recent interview, you bring an energy and a joy that that’s just partially natural, but it’s deeper than that. Right. So I was going to get to this towards the end, but how do you stop from getting cynical from getting exhausted from getting burned out? What has kept you going this long?

Denise Brickler: 00:15:02 That’s a great question because I struggled with that last year as a Catholic school administrator and I had just stepped back and say, this is not for me at this moment in time because I was burning myself out thinking that I could do everything and fix everything and do it my way. So what keeps me sustained is my relationship with Jesus and if possible I go to daily mass and I am so blessed to be in a school where three days a week there’s a 6:30 AM mass and I don’t. I know I am so blessed and lucky to just be there because I haven’t been in a school where that’s been the practice. So daily mass a prayer. I have a pretty long drive to school. It’s about a 45, 50 minute drive. So that’s rosary and it’s prayer every day. I pray for my students. I pray for my students’ families. I pray for my principal, the pastors, I prefer everyone in our office of Catholic Education Information and the archdiocese of St Louis just every morning is devoted and that’s my relationship with Jesus and that sustains me and it gets me through even the hard times where I’m not sure that I’m. I’m doing what God is calling me to do, but I am and it’s good. God is good.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:16:28 Well, listen to you talking about praying for the students and praying for. It’s funny that when you really pray for people consistently and daily, it’s really hard to say this bluntly, to dislike them. It’s kind of hard to to. You tend to just progressively want to see the best in people if you’re simultaneously praying for them as well. Right?

Denise Brickler: 00:16:49 Absolutely. Yes.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:16:52 I wanted to ask you, there must’ve been a real cross few last year because you were very excited about starting a leadership role. You’ve been humble and honest enough, even in this interview, to sort of say that there was an awareness that the timing wasn’t right, that you had to ask for help without over spiritualizing it. It’s almost like the the paskel arc from Good Friday, calvary into resurrection, so take us through some of the hardship of that time. What did you learn through the journey?

Denise Brickler: 00:17:22 So I left in January and it wasn’t quite lent, so between January and when Leonard started, I went to adoration every day and sat with Jesus for at least an hour and just cried and every day. And you know what the great, beautiful part of that is, is Jesus was there and Jesus took it from me. Jesus took my disappointment, my sadness, my frustration with myself. He took it all, and about two or three weeks later I was able to discern through all of that praying what is next? What is God calling me to do next? And God opened doors for me that I hadn’t realized that I should be opening. Right? Like working in retreat ministry and Youth Ministry and going back to the classroom. It was a blessing and it was such a gift of time to be able to spend it discerning and figuring out what is next.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:18:20 You said something really beautiful in the nights leading up to our time together where you said, when God anoints you and appoints you, he opens doors for you. I just, that’s so counter culturally how that nowadays, isn’t it? Because we’re a culture that’s all about creating our own opportunities, hustling, pushing harder and harder. But you’re saying to us that, that when you develop this trust in God and his plan for you, that he opens the doors. Do you find that easy?

Denise Brickler: 00:18:52 Um, I should, but my personality and how God created me is I like to be in control. So I had to let some of that go. And the last few months, and in fact this is a fun story, I just finished sending out 75 emails with resumes and cover letters attached to 75 different Catholic school principals to be substitute teacher in their school because I figured that’s what I would be called to do this year. I am going to substitute teach and probably 10 minutes after I sent the last email to the last principle, I got a phone call from a Catholic school principal asking if I would come in and interview for the teaching job that I am. I now hold for this school year in stores and God is so good. So it’s me stepping back and figuring out what am I called to do, how am I going to serve the church?

Jonathan Doyle: 00:19:52 Gosh, that’s an amazing story with your emails. Often share a story where, uh, when I finished high school I was about seven and a half, 18. And in Australia we have this thing, it’s, you probably have something similar in the u s where you do a gap year. Like rather than go straight to college, university, you finished high school and you take a year out to go and do something. So at that time, what we used to do here was you apply to go over and work in boarding schools in England, which you know from Australia is a pretty big adventure. Back in the early 19 nineties. And uh, I applied to 36 schools and I got 35 rejections and every day I would walk to letterbox and I’d be going, oh, come on, come on, come on, come on. Just an every day. It was just rejection after rejection and then I get accepted. The only acceptance was to the best school out of all of them. It was a 500 year old Jesuit School in, uh, in England. And my conversion essentially started right there. So it’s amazing that you kind of, that God often carries us and has plans for that at the time, I think we struggled and we kinda just disparate to kick the doors down. But, but it’s learning that were carried is that little bit of what you went through last year.

Denise Brickler: 00:21:11 Amen. Yes. However, God’s plans are always better than what we could even imagine or dream for ourselves is what I’ve learned. Yeah.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:21:20 So I wanted to ask you, your fundamental sense of vocation is around this idea of intentionally forming young people to become saints and to get to heaven. That’s a authentic, deep, enriched Catholic understanding of what it means to be Catholic educator. I want you to talk to that. My sense in the last decade or two is because of in our country the professionalization of teaching. There’s become an increasing reliance on systems, programs, initiatives to try and and there’s a place for those, but I’m concerned that we can lose the ultimate mission to share your heart with us about what you genuinely believe is the fundamental mission that the core of your vacation with young people.

Denise Brickler: 00:22:09 I truly believe it’s to get all of our students to have in just like in the Sacrament of matrimony. You’re called to get your spouse to heaven, right? Because you bring herself to heaven as in your secondary vocation. As a Catholic school teacher, that is your ministry and you’re called to get all of your students and to lead them to have in. To form them intentionally and to have them understand that St Hood as a journey because I feel like they hear the stories. If we’re really good Catholic school teachers, we tell them stories about the saints and we sprinkle in things that they could achieve and could do, but they see the end product when they hear about how the saints in Heaven, they need to understand that their journey to St Hood is a journey and we are helping them accompanying, walking with them to happen and even us. We have to be vulnerable as Catholic school teachers to say, we don’t have all the answers. We ourselves are getting to heaven. We need to receive the sacrament of reconciliation to with them and walk with them to get them to heaven. And the other thing in Catholic schools is to teach the truth and in a beautiful, well done Catholic school, the curriculum is the truth and so all we’re doing is forming saints and teaching the curriculum also known as the truth. It’s kind of awesome like how we’re called to do this.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:23:35 I just. I’m just smiling, listening to you going please explain this to. Because there’s so many awesome Catholic teachers out there who had, who had good people to do a really good job, but they’re not for complex reasons across some of the richness of this because I think once you understand this, it sustains you in a way that simply working harder doesn’t. I wanted to press on her. A couple of other things like to say sell that to your students is to sounds too mercenary, but, but how do you bring this vision to your students? Are you explicit to you at the time say, Hey, this is what we’re trying to do here. This is where we’re hitting our you that explicit, or how do you share this vision of sainthood and getting to heaven with your students?

Denise Brickler: 00:24:22 Well, I’m very intentional at back to school night when I talked to the parents about we are partnering with you to get your kids to heaven and they get that. They understand that like educating also, but partnering with the parents to get the kids to heaven. I will tell my students that, yes, my job is to get you to have into form you, to also introduce you to my best friend, Jesus and so get you to know him and to fall in love with him too because I’m intentionally or unintentionally. Some of them. Think of Jesus as a storybook character. They know he was a true guy who, a real guy who lived a long time ago and all of these things really happened, but doesn’t it seem like unrealistic too, especially I’m a little kid or a teenager, that there’s a virgin birth, that he is raised from the dead.

Denise Brickler: 00:25:14 That he did all these miracles but so to encounter Jesus in a personal way and for me to give that gift to my students, to have them encounter Jesus in a very personal way. Either through their interactions with me and me mirroring God’s love to them, their interactions with each other and their interactions with their parents and just the love that they feel in the community of school, but also to give them the gifts of everything a Catholic school can give them like retreats, sacramentals, sacraments, mass. Every week, just the beautiful prayers that we say as a school community, all of those are intentionally forming saints.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:25:59 Well, I’ll just, uh, I’ll just went quiet. I’m just like, it’s just, you’re articulating the essence of, of how we can have this, but also we can have, you know, I think often people think, well, you can have professional academic excellence or you can have religion, but you can’t have a deep, deep spiritual core and cutting edge 21st century pedagogical excellence alongside it. But my take is that a truly Catholic school where the teachers understand their vocation will also be a place of really high quality academic formation. Right?

Denise Brickler: 00:26:40 Yes. Amen. And need a good spiritual leader of the school who possibly would do something like bringing in your book for book study tools and fuels or um, your program to do weekly formation as a faculty isn’t. It was beautiful when, um, I was in a school that did that.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:27:05 It’s pretty amazing just to, just to. I mean that that whole program we built came out of just the awareness that there was. There was very little resistance to formation. There wasn’t people going, well, we’re too busy, we don’t want to know our Catholic faith better. It was just that that people just weren’t getting access. Well, I’ve been doing some more postgraduate at Franciscan Steubenville and one of the units we did recently have talked about this and other podcasts was around basically on catechetics on and I didn’t realize just how from the very early church from the first century church, the teaching of the faith. Though this comes back to what you said at the start of the interview, the, that, the questions that young people have, you know, that we, we’ve sort of lost a bit of this catechetical core as teachers that we haven’t received the formation often.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:27:54 That it’s hard for teachers to actually answer some of these difficult questions. Which leads me into, you know, one of the big topics that you’re really interested in. I want to get you talking to us about that for awhile, which is, you know, you’ve articulated in the notes we have, you know, there’s obviously been a huge change since about the 1960 second Vatican council where the vast majority of Catholic school leadership and staffing was religious and that’s shifted to almost completely lay leadership and line staff. Let’s talk about Catholic school, spiritual leadership. What are you seeing? What do you think the need is? I’m assuming principles are very stretched in multiple directions. Talk to us about this, this crucial issue of, of, of spiritual leadership in a Catholic school,

Jonathan Doyle: 00:28:43 so this is almost the most important thing that a principal can be for the faculty and their staff and for this school just in general is to be a solid faith filled, zealous, excited spiritual leader. Right. But this sometimes it doesn’t happen. I feel like there’s been a big shift and there has been between in the past when the school leadership and a lot of the school was staffed by consecrated religious to now being mostly lay people. There was a great, maybe a loss of Catholic identity. There’s a loss of something, something Catholic or something was just lost and it might’ve been like what you said, the catechetical formation that was sadly lost and now we have some Catholic school principals who just don’t feel equipped to lead their faculty in being the spiritual leader and that’s I think were pastors need to step in and the pastors need to team with the teacher or the teacher, the principal to lead the faculty in their own faith formation.

Denise Brickler: 00:30:00 Oh, absolutely. My thesis, at least in this country and have been clear with a lot of our guests that there is a significant difference between the Australian and the US context for Catholic education. We’re still, we have government government funding, which is an absolute nightmare. So I say to all my American friends, be very careful what you wish for because the fact that you’re not flushed with cash isn’t necessarily as as bad as you think, but what happens here is that I think principals often he had don’t have a deep level of personal faith formation. That’s not a judgment. That’s not saying they’re bad people. They just haven’t. You know, there’s been a sort of collapsing catechetics going back 40, 50 years, so our principals and many of our principals have come through without a deep level of formation and I think what happens here, and I’d be interested to save your seat much in the US context, is they make a kind of assumption that the, that the key to survival in this country is academic excellence because you can sell that to parents because enrollments of the issue.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:31:02 So if you’ve got high performing academic outcomes, you can point to those on induction nights. See before you’re talking about when you say to parents that your role is to help get the kids to heaven. I mean other listeners might email me in apoplexy when I say this, but in this country that would almost be nonexistent, but what we’re doing is we’re pointing to the academic and they doubled down on it or they doubled down on his pastoral program. Or here’s this thing that we do. And I think that often in terms of spiritual leadership that in this country, principles will double down on that. And that has obviously big a fix on the faith formation, that whole school community. So what do you think, how can principals navigate this cultural moment where there’s a pressure for academic excellence and they also may not have had that level of formation? What can principals and teachers who are listening to this, what can they do? Because they’re like, well, okay, I’ve got to be a great teacher, but I had oil, so do the spiritual stuff. What are the steps they can start to take?

Denise Brickler: 00:32:07 So teaching is a craft and you have to hone your craft every year. You’re expected to participate in professional development and hone your craft and become a master teacher that’s expected, especially in Catholic schools. And I don’t think it’s either or. I think you can have both. You can have a Catholic school that was academically excellent and solidly, beautifully Catholic with a solid Catholic identity, but the principal has to be on board to make that happen. It has to come from leadership and also in partnership with the pastor.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:32:46 Absolutely. And I think that key word. My first master’s was in leadership and I was talking to someone recently about the, you know, the scanner with Cardinal Mccarrick and and all those sorts of issues and that one for me is devastating because because that kind of shows that there was a collapse in leadership right up the chain and I’m like so much comes down to leadership, doesn’t it? Like basically with a bishop or set a tone in the diocese, which will then set a tone for diocese and agencies, which will then set a tone for the education office, which will then set a tone for how they form principles. So leadership’s crucial. What do you think are some of the key elements of Catholic school leadership? So and that doesn’t necessarily mean principals. I see an individual teacher in a classroom as being appointed by God as a leader over that tiny flock. What do you think are some of the key elements of authentic Catholic leadership?

Denise Brickler: 00:33:45 I think to be an authentic Catholic leader, you have to love Jesus with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your being. And you have to have that authentic relationship and you need to do everything you can to gain that, that love and to have that love for Jesus because no matter even if you don’t love Jesus, he’s going to love you and the Church and um, and how we are so undeserving, but yet we still receive it and it’s beautiful. But that is the number one thing I think that Catholic school leaders need to work on developing their own personal faith journey in their faith life. And if that’s done through just immersing themselves, drowning themselves in the sacraments, it can be done. And it’s awesome. So I’m very blessed to be able to go to daily mass and my current school, but also, um, I had a challenge to go to reconciliation and to receive the sacrament of reconciliation every week.

Denise Brickler: 00:34:44 And I did this after I left in January, my previous school and I went to reconciliation every week and it was beautiful and awesome and it really built my face and my faith life and just. I just felt so much love and mercy and it was awesome. So that go on retreat once a year, especially if you are a Catholic school leader, go on retreats, leave, leave and go and gain that relationship and get to know Jesus because you wouldn’t be doing what you were doing without Jesus because God put you exactly where you’re supposed to be. So do it. I mean, you’re just live authentically and I dunno, it seems easy, but it’s,

Jonathan Doyle: 00:35:36 It’s the great paradox because I say this in seminars that my. One of my favorite lines from old church documents is the line that John Paul two opened redemptor hominis. So he wrote this amazing document and the first line of it is very, very simple. You’re literally. The first sentence is Jesus Christ is the center of the universe and of history. And that always stuck with me and when I’m listening to you and the more I work in this field over decades now, it’s ultimately always an only ever about some form of Christology, right? That pretty much everything, every question can be resolved through a reference back to a deeper relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. And I think sometimes we want enormous complexity if we want to really complex answer, but it’s like what you’re saying is if, if principals and teachers will simply respond to the invitation of Christ to develop their relationship with him, then I like to say that we need to make our problems God’s problems that then we make it all his problem.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:36:50 We go, you know what? I’m here on before you. I’m turning up and now I need to let you work. But what I think what you’re reminding us of is that this is what I call positioning because this is what you’re doing. Your. You’re choosing, your cooperating to the extent that you’re going. You know what? I’m going to go to reconciliation once a week. I’m going to go to daily mass. It’s your. You’re doing your part just by choosing to be in the position and then you’re letting God work, right? MMM. You are cooperating with grace. That’s what you need to do. We cooperate with grace and let that grace overtake you and lead that grace. Make you a teacher. By strengthening your relationship with Jesus, you are automatically going to be a better Catholic school teacher. Cooperate with grace.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:37:38 Yeah. I posted a video last week with a better quote from St Augustine who it’s translated differently, but he basically said that he who made you without your help will not save you without your consent. I always like that. It’s just such a deep statement. It’s like that God didn’t ask her permission to make his, but he will ask permission to save us and sanctify us. He’s not going to force that. Honestly. It’s just going to ask us if we want to show. I love what you’re talking about with reconciliation. Like often joke that where I live in the national capital here in Australia, we only really have two things. We have politicians and for many years we were the center of the pornography industry in Australia was in this town, so we. I said this town’s famous for two things, politicians and pornography and I would go to confession once a week in the be basically no one there.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:38:31 And I used to say, of all the places like, you know, we’ve got politicians and these guys and all this other stuff, like this place should be packed, but it’s not packed. And like what you’re saying, I go there not because, um, you know, every week committing horrendous scenes, but as you go into developing the spiritual life, you just gradually get a sensitivity to the motivations of your heart, the subtle ways we can interact with people and this, this constant need for a deeper sense of the mercy and presence of Jesus. Can you talk us through that? Because often I talk about daily mass and adoration, but I probably don’t as often talked about the sacrament of confession, reconciliation. Why is that so important to you? What can it offer a Catholic teacher?

Denise Brickler: 00:39:18 I think the sacrament of reconciliation is your way to receive forgiveness from Jesus obviously, but also to forgive yourself for everything that you feel that you have just messed up. So it’s two part. It’s Jesus. You receive all the forgiveness and the grace and mercy and all the love, but you also are able to forgive yourself, which was a great gift. I think it’s Catholic school teachers. There’s so much that we’re expected to do and to be and it’s easy to go to reconciliation and just say, you know, Jesus helped me. This is, this is what happened in the last week. Talk it through. Especially if you go to the same priest or if you’re lucky to go to to a bishop to receive reconciliation. They can talk you through and they get to know you through the confessional and this is the great gift. When you keep going to the same priest, especially if it’s your pastor. You formed that relationship and then you have a spiritual director and the spiritual director might meet with you outside of the confessional to to talk about spiritual reading and that was a great gift that I received in my parish where I was able to form that relationship in the confessional. To be able to now have the spiritual director outside of the confessional and I think it’s key, especially if you’re in Catholic school leadership, you need a spiritual director and that was great advice given to me previously by um, someone very smart and

Jonathan Doyle: 00:40:55 yeah, this is crucial. I, I looked at this in the notes and I want to, I’d like you to talk to us a bit more about that because spiritual direction for a lot of our listeners would be a relatively unknown thing. It’s been a huge part of my life over the years. Take us through, you know, for the teachers and principals listening. What’s your experience been of a spiritual director? What is the relevance for Catholic teacher? Take us through that a little bit.

Denise Brickler: 00:41:21 So I never thought I needed a spiritual director. This is crazy. In fact, I hadn’t heard of one until a couple of years ago because it’s just not talked about. But as spiritual director is someone, sometimes it’s the priest. It could be a deacon, it could be I’m a lay person to actually know a few women who provide spiritual direction. Uh, I chose to form a relationship and really get to know my pastor in my parish, in the confessional because that’s where I was most comfortable. I was receiving the sacrament of reconciliation. Um, but some people choose to find a spiritual director who they don’t receive the sacrament from like a lay person or a deacon and they’re able to meet. It’s kind of like Catholic counseling, but it’s spiritual. So you talk about what are the challenges in your life and for Catholic school teachers, they could be anything. It could be with students, it could be students, families with coworkers, with maybe some structure in the school. Your principal, it’s you and it’s not like a complaining session. It’s how am I going to grow spiritually in reacting to what is happening in my life? How is this going to cause me to grow?

Jonathan Doyle: 00:42:39 So true. And there’s also a deep Catholic understanding that a spiritual director is somebody who was a co discerner who, who listens with you, that you’re both positioned to listen to the action of God at your life in a particular moment. It’s hard though, isn’t it? Because it’s a, it’s a discipline that’s, that’s a little bit harder to find in the life of the church at the moment. There’s. There’s less directors around event. You’ve actually got to be pretty proactive to go and find them, right?

Denise Brickler: 00:43:08 Yes, you do, but it is so worth it. I, I would talk to your pastor in your parish to see because usually they know of other priests who could do it or even have lay people who have been trained to be spiritual directors. There’s usually like a short list that they’ll give you. Yeah.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:43:25 It’s such a gift. It’s. It’s such a cool look. I wanted to talk about another really key issue. It’s a huge topic and I want you to share your heart with us about it. We want to talk about avoiding burnout and setting boundaries. So my work really began from observing cynicism. That was my big opening sort of experience in working in this area was working with a lot of educators who were, who were cynical and I was always intrigued by it. I was like, okay. The question I developed was, you know, and in my keynotes I joke, uh, I don’t know if I said this is Louis, but I said, you know, every teacher has a first day, right? Like every team had had that day where they walked in the classroom for the first time and they weren’t cynical on the first day. So in which case that’s a learned behavior and it’s an environmental behavior and it’s a response to complex inputs. So let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about what you’ve observed, what you’ve experienced yourself. Talk to us about burnout and boundaries.

Denise Brickler: 00:44:27 So you have to set boundaries. As a Catholic school teacher, I usually will go to work super early and get everything done. I don’t know if you know this Jonathan, but Catholic school teachers like to chat and talk. So if you get there early enough, you can get tons of work done. In fact, I’m setting up my classroom right now. It’s summer and I’m setting up my classroom and I am trying to go when there’s no one there because when there were other teachers there, all I want to do is talk and to meet them and to catch up and just, just talk about the year and plan and it’s exciting, but also you don’t get your, your work done and what you’re being called to do if it’s grading papers or planning lessons or communication or writing newsletters, whatever it is. So I tried to set the boundary of going to work super early.

Denise Brickler: 00:45:19 Um, I give Jesus that time. So this is, this is an idea for if you’re a Catholic school principal, I would walk the halls, I would get there at like 5:30 in the morning. I would walk the halls and pray rosary and then I would open, unlock every classroom door, turn on the lights, and just that act of service for the teachers. Turn on all the lights in the school and it would take one rosary. It would take about 20, 25 minutes. And that was my prayer time. That was my time with, with the Lord in the morning and it was my offering and so you need that and especially if you’re going to get to school super early, do that. Now. I have a longer drive and I’m going to do it in the car on the way there, but get all your work done in the morning.

Denise Brickler: 00:46:08 If you’re a morning person. I am. And also, uh, you need to set boundaries like not responding right away. Right? So if you, if you get an email or a phone call, you don’t have to respond right away. I know parents especially and coworkers might expect us to respond because that’s the culture we’re in. You can have him wait for an answer, especially if it’s not urgent, if it’s, if it’s something not important, you can have them wait. And if especially if it’s your family time at night, like have that be your family time. Be present where you are and be alert and you’re living your vocation of matrimony. If you’re married at home with your husband, your wife and your kids, be there and live that vocation and set that boundary so I wasn’t so good at that. I’m going to be better this year.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:47:01 Well, what do you think makes it hard for people? Like it is hard, isn’t it? Like what you just said, they’re not responding instantly. Putting in, you know, routines and disciplines. What do you think makes this hard for people?

Denise Brickler: 00:47:14 I think people just expect say want to achieve greatness. They want to be great and you know what God calls us to be who we are and you can. You can still be good at something and that’s okay. Not Great but good and you’re still a good Catholic school teacher. You’re still a good wife and mother and husbands, but you don’t have to be great and respond right away because that’s what people expect can be great and set the boundaries instead.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:47:50 This is a really rich sort of topic because I’m convinced that our culture. I have a seminar where I talk about God’s economy, which is, you know, you think back to the scripture in Isaiah where God says, you know, as, as, as high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are his ways above as what he values, what he sees. We assume that bigger is better, faster is better. That it’s better to have a youth group of 100 people than it is to have maybe 50 and listening to you. It’s like, well, we need to have this boundary of it’s okay to be the best I can today. I don’t have to make everybody happy all the time. I don’t have to be perfect. There’s a paradox here, isn’t there? Because we’re loved not because of anything we do, but love can also become the engine through which we can do great things and that sounds a bit complex, but I guess what I’m getting at is that a lot of the compulsive driven behaviors for teachers and also because it is so complex. There’s so many expectations from government parents. It’s just, it is complex. There’s a lot to do, but it’s when I listened to you, it’s like you’re teaching us that, that if the relationship with Christ is in place first, if that dependencies in place first, then we’re not necessarily gonna wipe ourselves out too easily, trying to construct an identity through being perfect. That’s my amateur psychologist interpretation of some of what’s going on. So talk to us a bit more about this, about burnout and boundaries. What else is relevant?

Denise Brickler: 00:49:30 Oh, you know, I think the best thing is to not identify yourself with what you do. So for example, if you are a Catholic school teacher, that is not your identity. Your identity should be, I am a child of God and I’m going to receive all of the love and the mercy because I am a child of God, not because I am an award winning Catholic school teacher or an amazing Catholic school principal or something working for the church. It’s you are a child of God first and if you put that first, then God will call you to do what you’re doing out of love, which is beautiful, but that’s going to keep you from getting burned out too.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:50:12 Well, it’s the gospel. Two weeks ago was look was the loaves and fishes here in Australia and I’m like my ultimate experience. So that was doing that NCA convention keynote with 8,000 people there. Like cause normally years ago it was very driven to be excellent and to have the perfect keynote prepared and some people would know that the story, but just as I was about to walk on stage, my wife Karen said to me, she goes, are you nervous? And I said, well, you know, not really. And she goes and I said, why? And she goes, I’m terrified for you. And I’m like, thanks. I think I’m like, you know, because if you go up on stage and you choke in front of 8,000 people, that’s a pretty big chuck. But honestly, what happened for me was a desire to be a blessing to people and to convince people in the room that, you know, God really wanted to speak to them and he was proud of the minimum order to encourage them. Once she get that shift, when she get that lens changes, then it doesn’t all depend on you anymore. Your job is to just show up and be the instrument, but you’re not as joined to the outcome. You just want to bless people, right?

Denise Brickler: 00:51:22 Yes. God works through you. Not because of you, but through you. Yes. Beautiful.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:51:28 So what else is driving the burnout for teachers? It’s such a big issue. What, what? Uh, what else is doing this? What can people do?

Denise Brickler: 00:51:34 Oh, I just think they just work too hard. They need people. They need a tribe. They need Catholic school teacher tribe. I’m telling you, I found mine on twitter and I know you’re big on twitter, John then, but Saturday mornings there’s Catholic ed chat is Hashtag Catholic ed chat. Saturday morning. It’s awesome. And that’s where you build your pln, your professional learning network. And those are people who are in the same boat as you. They are in their own classroom all day, all week, and you’re in your own classroom. That really talks to and helps foster this culture of isolation. Sometimes. Sometimes Catholic school teachers especially are really lonely. And I know Catholic school principals, sometimes they’re very lonely up at the top they need and we need just a network. We need a tribe. So collaborate.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:52:28 Well, this ties into something else that you mentioned in the notes which was around seeking help, about genuinely asking for help. Like why don’t we do that. There’s been times I think you know, you’ve shared where you didn’t do that. What stops people doing it? What stops teachers asking for help and how can they change that?

Denise Brickler: 00:52:47 I just think it’s pride. I think it’s, you want to not look stupid. I didn’t want to look stupid. I didn’t want to look in competent. So I didn’t ask for help. And I think as, as a teacher, you feel like you’re trained to do this, you’re certified to do this, to teach, to talk to parents. You should be able to handle anything and instead of asking for help or collaborating with others to make what you have better. Not the best, but just better. Yeah. Good.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:53:20 You also, I want to ask you a last couple of things around, um, we’ve talked about sacraments. We’ve talked about asking for help boundaries. Talk to us a little bit about scripture. You know, you, you, you said to the knights here, which I’d love to put on the Webinar with your permission, I’d love to put your notes up with the podcasts because they’re so rich, but you know, you said your words are nothing compared to his words. Find Scriptures that apply to your school life. Read the daily readings every single day. So I often tell people I use an app called daily readings or talk to us about that because as you know, as Catholics, we often don’t have that same level of exposure of the scriptures that our Protestant brothers and sisters do. How can the listeners get a deeper understanding of the importance of scripture? What can they do to start taking steps in that direction?

Denise Brickler: 00:54:13 So I have a good friend who suggested this when I was struggling with this, so she suggested to listen to the scriptures in the morning so I know that US CCB has all of the scriptures for each day. I’m in audio format, so in my drive to school or on my drive to school now, I listened to the scriptures for the day and I asked myself what is God trying to say to me today because God is alive in the scriptures. He is speaking to you in the scriptures. And then on my way home every day I listen to them again and I asked what did God say or do? How is God working through the scriptures or through my day today?

Jonathan Doyle: 00:54:58 Well, there’s a beautiful app which I found recently called dwell. I don’t know if you found it. You dw dw e double L. I’ve. I found it on the apple APP store. It’s called dwell dw e double l and it’s a beautiful audio app with the Scriptures. It’s really good. So that’s worth checking out for people. But yeah. This. I like how you said that your words are nothing compared to his words, like, you know, I think often we can be in the classroom and we can be so tired and this internal narrative can start up, you know, like, I’m exhausted, I’m so tired, this is hard and we just start to. People think this is just sort of a nice idea, but as we learn to immerse ourselves in scripture and we sit with scriptures like, you know, I can do all things through him who strengthens me and people go, that’s just a Jedi mind trick.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:55:48 And I go, well, it’s not because as you’ve just said, scripture has an internal power of its own and it, it actually changes our circumstances, changes the atmosphere of our experience too. And some of us have to work much harder than others to actually take this in. You know, internally. So for everybody listening, there’s a ton of apps out there. Denise is helping us understand how crucial this is. Just to position yourself. There’s that word again, to have some interaction with the scriptures every day. I wanted to ask a couple of final things first you’ve kind of spoken to this, but I’m fascinated. Explain yourself to us like how do you keep going and you got yes, it’s Jesus and yes, I agree, but see if I was in business, I would be like, okay, denise is employee of the month. How do we replicate denise, so how do we do that? Part of this is character, logical part of this is how you arrived, all that stuff. It should ditch your personality, but how do we. How can you explain to them, show us your joy, your perseverance, your desire to make sites, your positioning with the sacraments. Why not? Why aren’t you as cynical, burned out, cranky, unhappy person who is enduring Catholic teaching? Until you can take a pension. You’re not that person. No, not and everybody that’s ever met, she knows that’s not true. Explain that to us, denise. Explain yourself.

Denise Brickler: 00:57:25 That is so funny because I went on job interviews this summer trying to find a job and I went on all kinds of interviews and I’m going to tell you, I was completely authentic with every single job interview and basically, um, I had a few people just tell me like, you’re crazy, like you’re crazy. And I was like, but this is a Catholic school. This is. So I knew right then that I wasn’t meant to be there because I would come off crazy. Not Authentically Catholic but crazy. So I’m not, I’m not crazy. I am joyful. I am exactly where God put me in my life. God doesn’t make mistakes, right? So I remind myself almost every day, God does not make mistakes. Everything that we go through and everything that we experienced in our life is because God has a plan and we have to trust in his plan for us.

Denise Brickler: 00:58:20 And even though it’s not great and even though we’re suffering, like even suffering is a great gift because you can united to Jesus on the cross. Right? And I did, and I do, but I’m just telling you, this is just who I am. I’ve chosen joy and I’ve made the intentional conscious decision to choose joy in everything I do. And when something isn’t working for me anymore, I say goodbye. So do you know like there’s people in your parents too or maybe maybe something you’re doing or you’re involved in something that you don’t enjoy anymore? You don’t have to keep doing it. You can say goodbye. Like I sang in a choir for a long time and then, you know, over the years, new leadership, I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. I said goodbye and that’s okay. You can say I’m not joyful here anymore. I’m going to go find something that does make me joyful.

Jonathan Doyle: 00:59:17 So I want to ask you something on that. I love hearing that. I don’t want ask you a distinction which is at what point, you know, because there’s plenty of people in our culture who are like, I’m going to find my bliss. This isn’t what I want anymore. Or what’s the differentiation between what you’re saying, which is it’s okay to let something go. It’s okay to move on as opposed to pure hidden is and where people like, well this isn’t giving me enough pleasure or do something else. How do you experienced that yourself? I’m asking this for me because I’m actually interested in it because I’ve got so much complexity at Thompson. My life that I was thinking how do I let go of stuff or should I let go of it? How do you differentiate that

Denise Brickler: 01:00:00 so well through prayer, but also you ask yourself like, is it serving me or am I. am I serving? So if you’re doing something and if it’s serving you and if you’d just benefiting you and not in a joyful way but because you like receive accolades from it or because I don’t know are getting rich because of it or something like that. Like you have to decide is it, are you being served? Are you serving? Like it has to go back to the servant leadership and you decide through prayer. What is God calling you to do? How was he calling you to serve?

Jonathan Doyle: 01:00:37 Yeah. Yeah. I remember. I remember, you know, Teresa of Avila once sort of directing one of her young Novus is to basically go and have a steak and go to bed. It was just like this shit. This young sister was like, Oh, you know, you know, holy mother, I believe I’m being called to pray an extra 5,000 rosaries centuries. No, I just got to have a stake and get some sleep. So it’s hard, isn’t it? The spiritual life. I think there’s teachers too. I think, you know, often teachers want to give and give and give and they come to have an identity of I’m a professional giver. I give, give all day. You come home, you give to your family that it’s hard to, to actually step away and go, I can let this thing go. I need to pursue some joy here. So my last question for you is I’d like to ask, each guest is if you could imagine a room full of several hundred principals, teachers, all sorts of Catholic education or even young teachers starting out, what are two or three key things that you from your journey so far would love to impart to people?

Jonathan Doyle: 01:01:46 What are the three key things you think are kind of central to the Catholic education journey in the spiritual life?

Denise Brickler: 01:01:52 You have to pray and you have to pray every day, and that includes math. That includes reading scripture, that includes the rosary. Mary will bring you joy if you pray the rosary every day. In fact, there’s something called I just learned about this. It’s called signal grace, signal grace, and it’s one of the things or one of the benefits, one of the gifts, the graces you received from praying daily Rosary, and it enables you to see how God is working in your life much easier if you weren’t praying daily rosary. So pray everyday. This is my favorite. It’s retreat yourself.

Denise Brickler: 01:02:31 Retreat yourself. Go on retreat, retreat yourself. You need to go on retreat. You need to go away and get away at least once a year and it has to be overnight and it has to be away from your vocation, both with your ministry and your vocation. So if you’re married, go by yourself and get away from from teaching and just go on retreat and also bring joy. Find the joy in teaching and make it fun like it shouldn’t be. Like I’m a funeral, like Pope Francis writes about like going to mass shouldn’t be like a funeral. It’s teaching in a Catholic school should not be like going to a funeral every day. You should be excited to go find some joy in it and something that excites you every day.

Jonathan Doyle: 01:03:18 Yeah, the crucial need to make time for a treat and the deliberate decision to find joy, to look for joy and excitement in the Catholic education vocation each day that she big three.

Denise Brickler: 01:03:36 Yes. Jonathan, are you going to say retreat yourself?

Jonathan Doyle: 01:03:39 I’m gonna start saying retreat yourself. I’m in grand rapids, Michigan. Next week I’m going to just get up there and go, hey everybody. So what I want you to do, and you retreat yourself,

Jonathan Doyle: 01:03:50 Look on behalf of all of us, I really hope everybody else gets heaps out of this, but I’ve been really encouraged by it and as I’ve taken a bunch of notes here, so usually what that means is I’m going to steal your ideas, write another book, and pretend that I came up with them, not a not true. So I want to thank you for your generosity, for your joy, for being such an authentic witness to the essence of Catholic education, making sites, positioning yourself before the sacraments and the grace that’s there. I’m going to point everybody to find you on twitter. So if you’re not a big twitter user, come and join us. Um, you just search for it. Denise, brick, one word. I’ll put that in the show notes too. So make sure you come and say hi to denise on twitter at Denise brick. That would be really cool that you can follow her journeys there. If you ever need a bit of encouragement and a bit of joy, you can reach out on twitter, but nice, look from all this distance away even encouraged me. You’re doing great stuff there and I just thank you for your witness, your authenticity, uh, your time. And please give our warmest regards to bark bark.

Denise Brickler: 01:04:57 Jonathan, thank you so much. I am Hashtag big fan.

Jonathan Doyle: 01:05:01 Love it. Today’s thanks so much for taking the time. God bless you.

Jonathan Doyle: 01:05:12 Hey guys. Jonathan with you once again. That was pretty good, wasn’t it? Was she.

Jonathan Doyle: 01:05:18 Reminds me so much of rose pillay. If you haven’t heard the episode with Rose Pillay recently, shout out to you, rose a. go check that episode two, because both these women exemplify, I think what’s best about Catholic education. I love the people I love for Jesus. I love for the sacraments. I love for the faith and sharing that with colleagues, parents, students. So denise, thank you so much for making time for us today. I just got heaps out of that. Where do we start? Boundaries, burnout, sacraments. Can Fish and retreat yourself, as she said, retreat yourself at least once a year. Make sure you make time just to discern what God’s doing at any given time, so please share this with people. Grab this link. If you enjoyed the episode, share it on your social media feeds, share it with colleagues, put it on your school network. It would be a great joy to know that this message is reaching more and more people. Please make sure you subscribe. Check out the show notes so you can get the new audio book I’ve done. You can find the facebook group, all the stuff we’re doing. That’s it for me. I had a ball doing that. No one else has told you this recently. Thank you so much for what you’re doing in Catholic education. It’s deeply appreciated. I’m Jonathan Doyle. This has been the capital teacher podcast. We’re going to have another episode for you next week.