William (Billy) Newton is one of the small cadre of young men who I consider my brothers-in-Christ, and not just as a fancy way of signing email. (Note: Billy Newton has NEVER signed an email to me that way. I imposed my sister-ness on HIM, poor guy.) These are guys who make me appreciate this family we have in the Catholic Church and make me remember, with what are undoubtedly rose-colored bifocals, growing up with brothers.
Newton is a techie, though I don’t know that he could program a site or fix any of the doo-hickies I can’t figure out. (In his defense, maybe he COULD. I’ve never asked.) He’s also a blogger, and prolific in ways I shall never be.
He’s cultured and hilarious and…well, yes, I’m biased. So I’ll stop and let him do the talking…
Tell us about yourself in five words or less.
Writes and talks a lot.
Of your pursuits, what’s your favorite?
Truthfully, I like both writing and speaking equally well, because they are different. Writing allows me to work out a topic in a lengthier, edited format. Speaking gives me the chance to be spontaneous, and pick up things on the fly. Each activity ends up fueling the other.
When you think of the New Evangelization from your approach as a “Catholic Techie,” what excites you? What makes you want to continue?
I’m not a trained Catholic apologist, theologian, or philosopher. I recognize that those who have such skill sets are far above and beyond what I’m capable of producing, with respect to the New Evangelization.
What I do is ask people to question their underlying assumptions about our culture. I want them to not only prevent it from falling all the way back into the paganism from which it emerged, but in the process persuade those of good will to take a closer look at the Catholic Church: who she really is, not what they’ve been told about her. That’s my little task within the New Evangelization, as I see it.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?
First, the fact that other people find what I do worth their time is truly rewarding, and never gets old. There are only so many minutes we all have during the day. Knowing that people like what you do enough that they want to spend a few of those minutes with you, is really humbling.
Second, and even more humbling, are those occasions when someone has told me that they have begun to look into the Catholic Church seriously, in part because of something I’ve written or said or done. Why the Holy Spirit would want to use such an unworthy messenger, I have absolutely no idea – but then He’s God and I’m not, so best not to question it too much. It also makes me very much aware that in some cases, I may be the only practicing Catholic whom an individual reads or communicates with on a regular basis, so I had best try not to blow it.
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?
My spare time largely involves saving Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen from one of their many, repeated predicaments, so can’t really go into that.