I am a cradle Catholic who really enjoys working in Catholic New Media. I had been lukewarm to my faith until purchasing my first iPod in 2008 and discovering Fr. Roderick Vonhogen on SQPN and the many other inspiring podcasters. Fr. Roderick encouraged me to start a blog, which he featured a few times on SQPN, and is now about to celebrate three years online with 85,000 unique readers. I was also encouraged by my cousin, Monsignor Charles Pope, who writes a great blog of the Archdiocese of Washington. I also draw inspiration from my uncle, Fr. George Pope, who served as a Holy Cross priest in Bangladesh for 53 years, and knew Blessed Mother Teresa, and with her inspiration started health clinics for the poor in Dahka.
I was also inspired by Fr. Robert Barron, and before his Catholicism Series was finished, became an Ambassador for Word On Fire, and promoted it at my first Catholic New Media Conference in Kansas City. It was a great experience to network with so many fantastic people who worked in Catholic New Media, which then inspired me to start Catholic Web Services, a non-profit company to help build websites and bring technology to parishes and Catholic organizations in service to Christ.
We build websites in WordPress that use responsive design (mobile-friendly). At Catholic Web Services we follow about 1,000 great producers of Catholic Media, and I share the best social media highlighting the Beauty, Truth, and Goodness of our Catholic Faith with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ using Hootsuite.We hope that our non-profit ministry will continue to serve the church in helping serve the poor and connect communities with technology. We will be posting an Indiegogo campaign soon (Veterans Day to Christmas) to raise money for Greater Good Technology — serving the poor and homeless in training and access to Google Tech.
I also share the best of the week in my Sweet Tweets with Lisa Hendey every Friday on her blog A Good Measure at Patheos.I made my profession in July to the Secular Franciscan Order (3rd Order of St. Francis of Assisi) in the Mount LaVerna Fraternity. The Secular Franciscan Order is the largest order in the entire Roman Catholic Church with 400,000 members, but many sadly do not have a website (90% in USA need websites), so we started one.
We were very happy to have a new Secular Franciscan saint canonized last weekend Saint John XXIII (20th Pope who was a Secular Franciscan), and I made my first YouTube video with iMovie in his honor.
Tell us about yourself in five words or less.
Faithfully Called To Holiness.
Of your pursuits, what’s your favorite?
My favorite pursuit is my service to the church and helping others with my gifts and talents. I pray that I can help others and stay true to living the Gospel Life.
When you think of the New Evangelization from your approach as a “Catholic Techie,” what excites you? What makes you want to continue?
I am excited about the internet in the New Evangelization and its potential to reach many people who have left the faith, or who are just learning about the faith. My friend, Brandon Vogt said, St. Paul would have given his right arm if he could have the internet in his day to reach so many people. I am always inspired when I get messages from individuals around the globe who have read something I have posted or shared, and it touched their lives.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?
The most rewarding aspect of my work is hoping that I am helping to bring others to Christ, and to faithfully make this a better place for all mankind.
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?
Outside of the church, I enjoy photography and disc golf. It is nice that our disc golf course is in the mountains without cell phone access, so I enjoy being offline at times. I find it is important and a challenge to get the right balance in life for prayer, silence, family, and friends.
I also build websites outside of the church. If you like Beer, Bacon, and Music — check out this two-day epic festival.
I just entered the annual photo contest (with the photo below) at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, DC (one of my favorite places for prayer).
Want more Catholic Techie interviews? Here you go.
Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard