You may not know him, but I’ve known him for years. Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say I’ve known of him. We “met” through a Yahoo group (remember the days of Yahoo groups?) here in our Diocese, and he gave me my invitation to Gmail back in the days when it was still a beta idea.
Turns out he’s the real thing. Consider his answer when I asked him to tell me a bit about himself:
I still work with MarieBellet.com and put up her first site in 2006. Her son just finished working on a new site entirely remade and I think you’ll agree that it looks great. I don’t do much design work anymore, only back-end programming.While not Catholic, per se, I have been working with Mimi Cummins in Canada on her Christmas-Cookies.com website since 2002. She designed it, I programmed all the back end systems. I am pretty proud of it.In 2002 I partnered with Chris Lyons to create a bible concordance based off of the RSVCE. I created a script to parse a database of the bible into a concordance with contextual references. It was published in 2009 by Emmaus Road Publishing.I started a “vlog” last year. I was walking a lot to lose weight and was taking her for a walk and decided to create a series called, “Walks with Juliana.” It is mostly about my day-to-day life and stuff most people wouldn’t care about. but it is something I’m working on. It’s not daily anymore, but I still do it and I like seeing how my little girl is growing up.
Tell us about yourself in five words or less.
I like to learn.
Of your pursuits, what’s your favorite?
I love working with Marie Bellet. She is a wonderful Catholic singer and it brings me joy to help her and her husband Bill. I wish I could do more for them but as a father of eight, it is hard to carve out all the time I need. They keep wanting to pay me for the help I do for them but I just conveniently forget to bill them. I am excited for her re-design that their son Luke is working on.
When you think of the New Evangelization from your approach as a “Catholic Techie,” what excites you? What makes you want to continue?
Well, I feel the new Evangelization is sort of directed towards someone like me. I haven’t had a complete “Crisis of Faith” but I certainly of late have had my share of struggles. For about five years I went through a period where I felt my prayers were never being answered; as if God had simply abandoned me. It seemed if I prayed for something or someone important, the opposite of my petition would come about so I stopped praying and actively worked against praying for people because I felt if I did it would ruin their lives. I never stopped loving the Church and the Eucharist as it’s heart I just felt alone.
Pope Emeritus Benedict’s New Evangelization is focused on ‘re-proposing’ the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith. And while I hadn’t lost my faith altogether. I certainly needed a reminder that the Lord hadn’t abandoned me, that I was still His beloved.
Things that helped me come back to a life of prayer and hope is the technology utilized by Catholics. I love Catholic Blogs, I listen to podcasts like Catholic in a Small Town (with Mac and Katherine) and the Catholics Next Door (with Greg and Jennifer) as well as listening to the daily readings from the USCCB on my way to work. I follow good Catholics on Google Plus and Facebook. Oh, and videos by Fr. Robert Barron are simply great. These are the things that have brought me back to where I should be.
Now I find a renewed vigor for my prayer life, the Church and my family. And through that I am inspired to try to live in a way that shows the Gospel to others. When I was just out of College and working in Washington, DC. I never mentioned my faith to others, I wasn’t outgoing, I answered questions when asked but was never blatant about anything. But somehow everyone knew, I was a Catholic and a faithful one at that. Even complete strangers that I would work with at conferences would make comments about me being Catholic and I never even spoke to them even a little bit about myself. This is the kind of person I strive to be today. I don’t always succeed, but I am doing much better than before.
I’m inspired to want to write the book about being a father of 7 boys (and one girl) and I want to eventually use my vlog to spread my faith.
I’m not sure if I answered your question but this is what I was inspired to write!
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Accomplishment. I love working on a project and seeing it through to completion. When I am given a project and a deadline I meet it and “I love it when a plan comes together.” to quote the great Hannibal from the “A” team.
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?
I would love to say I go screenless, because that is what I SHOULD be doing. And I am making a conscious effort to do so. However, all too often I have my MacBook Pro out on my lap watching videos or playing Minecraft or Star Trek online with my sons. We built a Minecraft server together and have a great time working together on building that up.
Want more Catholic Techie interviews? Here you go.
Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard