Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald editor, to retire Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 02, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

Mary C. Uhler Kevin Wondrash
Mary C. Uhler Kevin Wondrash

MADISON -- After 47 years on the Catholic Herald staff, including 34 years as editor, Mary C. Uhler will be retiring as of July 6.

Uhler joined the Catholic Herald staff in 1973 in the role of the "gal Friday," a position that later became known as the administrative assistant.

Shortly thereafter, Uhler was promoted to news editor.

In 1986, she was named editor of the newspaper by Bishop Cletus F. O'Donnell of Madison following the retirement of Msgr. Andrew Breines, the Catholic Herald's first editor.

Since that time, the Catholic Herald has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence from the Catholic Press Association and other organizations.

Uhler, herself, has won dozens of awards for her own work. In 2000, she was given the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, a papal award given to laypeople for their service to the Church.

Comments on Uhler's retirement

Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison had the following to say about Uhler's retirement.

"Mary has been a remarkable servant of the Church her entire life and has dedicated her talents, energies, love, and faith to the Truth of Jesus Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel through her professional expertise as a journalist. We thank her profoundly as she retires and pray that God give her the reward of her goodness!"

Upon learning of Uhler's retirement, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York sent her a brief message saying, "Say it ain't so! Congratulations on your retirement. Thank you for all your efforts in Catholic journalism."

Cardinal Dolan served as the Archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009, which is home to the Wisconsin Catholic Media Apostolate that owns and publishes the Madison Catholic Herald, along with the newspapers in Superior and Milwaukee.

Diocese of Madison Vicar General Msgr. James Bartylla said, "In working with Mary Uhler and the excellent Madison Catholic Herald staff, I've always been impressed by the quality of our diocesan newspaper. I would be hard pressed to be able to articulate a better diocesan newspaper in the United States. We're so grateful for Mary's service, but even more importantly, for her fidelity to the Church and witness to the faith. I pray she enjoys her well-deserved retirement with her family, and we'll miss her."

Msgr. Ken Fiedler, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison, where Uhler and her husband John are members, said, "I am proud to congratulate Mary for all her dedicated work. Her excellent journalism and so many awards reflect her strong faith. Her extraordinary memory will certainly be missed by all at Holy Name Heights. Congratulations, Mary. You deserve to spend more quality time with your family and friends. I pray you also stay in good health."

Longtime Catholic Herald Associate Editor Pam Payne, who herself retired earlier this year, said, "Delivering a quality Catholic diocesan newspaper with international, national, and local diocesan news into Catholic homes in the Diocese of Madison was one of Mary's goals as editor, and she achieved that weekly. I was proud to be part of the Catholic Herald team that helped her achieve that goal."

Catholic Herald Advertising Consultant Steve Hefty, who has been on staff for 20 years, said, "It's been an honor to spend the last 20 years of Mary's 47 years with the Catholic Herald newspaper. Mary has led the award winning newspaper through some huge events in the Church and world over the course of her time with the paper. When looking back, the years seemed to fly by so quickly. I wish Mary good health, and a chance to live out some of her dreams that she will have time for now."

New editor

Current Catholic Herald Assistant Editor Kevin Wondrash will take over for Uhler as interim editor.

Wondrash, 36, joined the Catholic Herald staff in 2013 as a reporter and was promoted to assistant editor earlier this year.

He has won Catholic Press Awards for his writing, including Best Personality Profile for "Fighting for the Forgotten" about the efforts of Hosea's Heart in Swaziland; and Best Newswriting, Local or Regional Event, for his coverage on the 2018 Chicago March for Life.

Prior to working at the Catholic Herald, Wondrash worked in local television news as a producer, photographer, and reporter at stations in Eau Claire and Madison.

A native of Two Rivers, Wondrash graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 majoring in journalism and communication arts. During his time at the UW, he served as the news director at WSUM 91.7 FM, Madison Student Radio, among other on-air roles.

He is a member of St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison.