Catholic Techie Matt Swaim


Surely you’ve heard of the Son Rise Morning Show? And just recently, Matt Swaim became the voice of the show (he was the producer for many years).

Matt’s that special blend of snarky, smart, and self-effacing that make him not only fun to listen to, but worth reading and talking to, too. He’s the brains behind the #gratefultweet movement on Twitter, and he blogs with his wife, author Colleen Swaim, at Duel to the Death.

So what’s Matt have to share with us? Kick back…you’re about to enjoy yourself!


Tell us about yourself in five words or less.

Mostly appropriate user of words.

Of your pursuits, what’s your favorite?

I have to say that while my main thing is hosting the Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN, and other people only know me from the books I’ve written or co-written, my guilty pleasure is definitely coming up with eyeroll-worthy material on Twitter.  Some of what I do there is meant to focus on more serious endeavors, but coming up with a piece of boutique humor that only 5 people get is really fulfilling.  For me, the perfect Twitter joke is the one that only makes sense if you know something about science fiction, sedevecantism, mid-90’s Christian evangelical subculture, and maybe NFP.

When you think of the New Evangelization from your approach as a “Catholic Techie,” what excites you? What makes you want to continue?

What makes me want to continue is seeing more and more people who spell good and use grammar rightly.  When I started reading Catholic websites more than a decade ago, there were only a handful of members of the “St Blogs” community.  These days, it’s been a bit of a snowball effect; the more people who have gotten into the game, the more people are emboldened to join them.  The only drawback has been that there are so many boutique Catholic blogs that sometimes comment box conversations descend into a kind of tribalism, which reminds me of some of the nasty protestant message boards I argued on in college.  Not real proud of that.

I definitely love how many Catholic organizations are developing apps.  In the beginning of the technology, I think there was some fear that whatever you developed had to represent the comprehensive mission of your apostolate, and so I think people were intimidated.  These days, I think more groups are thinking, “Hey, what if we just made something for Lent?”  And I love that, because it means I have to delete way less stuff from my phone to download it 🙂

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?

From a radio perspective, it’s every time I hear about someone who’s been skipping through channels, heard us reviewing a movie they cared about or giving the sports scores, and going directly from that to the Saint of the Day, and got hooked from there.  I love learning awesome things about the faith alongside our listeners.  I get all kinds of calls and emails from people saying, “I went to Catholic school for 12 years, and never got to hear any of this?” And usually, I’m like, “Hey, don’t get too excited – I just found out about it myself this morning.”

In your spare time, what are we likely to find you doing? Do you have a gadget in hand or do you go native and screenless?

Any screen time is usually spent catching up on TV series.  I prefer shows to movies because I’m really into character arcs and development.  And then there’s my ever-expanding Lego collection.  It’s a good dad activity.  But of course, reading good books is my favorite pursuit when I can catch enough peace and quiet to make it through an entire paragraph.

Want more Catholic Techie interviews? Here you go.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.

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