Catholic Techie Chris Weitzel

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I had heard Chris Weitzel’s name here and there, but it wasn’t until I flirted with Google + addiction that I really got to “know” him. (And I use that term loosely, as I’ve recently had to scale back on my G+ fun…with sobs on top.)

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You can hear Chris on the Life on Fire podcast, which he records with his wife, and on the Steampunk Chesterton podcast, which is a rather entertaining feel-like-you’re-eavesdropping sort of listen. He also posts random sketches at Squid Crossing.

Chris’s wife Tanya is one of our columnists here at CatholicMom.com, and this has me thinking that I could do a whole series of interviews of “Husbands of CM Contributors.” And maybe I will…

But until then, let’s dive into this interview with Chris.

Tell us about yourself in five words or less.

Ghosbusters fanatic, faithful family man.

Of your pursuits, what’s your favorite?

That is a pretty broad question.  The other problem is that I get new ideas that I pursue all the time and then abandon.
While I wouldn’t say that it is always my “favorite” pursuit, I think that the most meaningful one is my drive to be a better and more faithful husband and father.  Being a truly faithful person and living as an example of that faith to one’s spouse and children is God’s calling to every family man.  Really, it is trying to develop one’s own spiritual life with Christ and then trying to live that in the family life.
The pursuit of the Christian life and living that out is not an easy pursuit, is not always fun, and can only be accomplished with God’s grace.  This is especially difficult for people who struggle with laziness, such as myself.  Again, it isn’t my favorite pursuit but, it is the most important one in my life.

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

The most exciting thing for me is how social networking can establish real connections with people and allow a platform for anyone to display and defend their faith.  I’m not talking about the shallow, surface-level stuff that tends to be purvasive in social circles but, really connecting with people and establishing real relationships.
For example, on Google + I am part of a circle of people known as Shenanigans.  These are all great, faithful, and Catholic people.  We are always goofing around, sharing music we like, and things like that.  However, we also share our struggles and sufferings.  Despite having never personally met any of these people, they are some of the closest Catholic friends I have ever had.  We even started a podcast together called the Steampunk Chesterton podcast, which we record twice a month.
Another exciting thing for me is the idea of decentralized communications.  Normally, a single computer allows multiple people to access a web site or a set of files.  However, if that computer goes down, so does the content.  In the case of decentralized communications, a single user might produce the content but, it is then shared and distributed by multiple people so that there is no single point of failure.  Such forms of communication could prove to be very important in the future, as censorship, secularism, and increased hostility towards religion grows.
I think the biggest thing driving me to continue is the idea of getting the message of Christ and His Church out to the world.  We are all called to evangelize, through actions, word, and deed.  Technology offers the opportunity to share and live out the Catholic faith to everyone.  It is so easy for anyone to start a blog, a Facebook page, or something else which will allow them to share their faith and their lives with others.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?

My actual job is more in a technical support field.  I’d say that the most rewarding aspect of that for me is when I can be a listening ear and help a person to feel better.  Anyone can fix a technical issue, but it is when you help the person rather than just helping them to fix an issue, that is when the job is the most rewarding.
On the technical evangelization and new media side of things, the most rewarding thing is the relationships which I have made through the use of social media.  In addition to those relationships, The Life on Fire podcast has been a staple of Tanya and I’s marriage, having been started in January of the year we were to be married.  It has given Tanya and I a somewhat constant common interest and has brought to light some of the best and some of the worst parts of our lives.

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?

Spare time?  Is that something that exists in the family life?
In all seriousness, I tend to like lounging around in my spare time.  I have been exercising more, mostly through the use of DVDs or videos from YouTube.
I am slowly working toward my goal of having a full Ghostbusters outfit and a Proton Pack prop replica.  However, such things are not cheap so it is a “when I have some spare cash” kind of hobby.
I also enjoy hiking, geocaching, and having simple date days with my wife, Tanya.  Coffee roasting has changed from being a hobby to a necessity.  I mean, seriously, if you could have full control of the type of bean, level of roast, and have the ultimate in coffee freshness, why wouldn’t you?

Want more Catholic Techie interviews? Here you go.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2013 Sarah Reinhard

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