If you were to meet me as a kid, you would have seen a tallish, scrawny kid with aviator glasses, and a head of hair like Fonzarella. Dork.
In my free time, I would be in 2 places. Either reading books on top of the back shed, or writing novels in notebooks. The only thing I ever wanted to do was write novels about fantasy and science fiction worlds.
In 9th grade, I read a thick book for fun on the History of the Hebrew peoples. Yep, total dork. I thought it would be perfect research for a building fantasy worlds.
As it turns out, like with anything that comes from God, that book was a seed that sprouted for years. I became hungry to learn about the ancient context and origins of our Catholic Faith. I wanted to understand: how does God work with fallen human history?
Right around then I started with graphic design, and spent about 8 years working for private schools and small businesses. Deep inside, I hungered to serve the mission of the Church. To help share the church’s story in the modern context.
It was midsummer of 2020, and I was trying to think of a way to help Catholics.
I loved podcasts. So I decided to throw a quick website together to start helping Catholic speakers create podcasts. I thought about being a clearinghouse to help more Catholics make an impact.
That was when it seemed like a fun idea to run an online conference, to help all the speakers who were out of work because of Covid, and help bring home-bound Catholics together. So we started with ‘A Renewed Hope,’ as an event to celebrate why we are excited to be Catholic.
And there you have it. A novel-writer is now helping Catholics everywhere he can to fall in love with the story and point of our beautiful faith. The rest has been a blur of crazy activity.
Since then, I’ve begun to realize something else. My little girl has started school.
When I look at her materials, and the discussions we’re going to have, I realize that there are no textbooks that bring together everything I’d been learning about science and history.
We have wonderful Catholic books on the Catechism. And wonderful secular books on science. And plenty of anti-Catholic books on history.
I don’t know if anyone is connecting the dots. Maybe they’re out there. I bet that if I haven’t heard of them, not many have either.
How do we live like St Francis or St Hildegard in the space age, with quantum computing, and social networking? We need an intelligent, faithful approach that makes sense of all the information. What would Fulton Sheen have done with Facebook Lives? What would Pope St John Paul have done with Instagram?
In fact, we can look to His Holiness Pope Francis for guidance that challenges and spurs us to action. Some dislike his approach. Many are on board.
I decided to stand up and speak for all the good, wonderful people out there, the ones who can’t stand up on their own. My childhood was a wet blanket of apocalyptic prophecies. My future isn’t. We need to start dreaming about our future together again, because it’s the dreamers who build the future that the rest of us live in.
Call me an optimist. Call me unrealistic. Go ahead. 🙂
I know there’s lots to get sad about. But if there’s one thing the saints tell us never to do, is to be sad. We do the best we can, and when we know better, we do better.
I prefer to be merry and brave, like Robin Hood’s merry men of Old England. I choose to speak in kindness and truth, and create a cadre of friends.
I choose to build up others, celebrate the good, and fight for what is lovely and true wherever it’s found, in any religion, situation, or person.
I want to figure this out for myself. And I want to figure it out so that I can pass it on to my little girl.
And if I want it, I know that you probably want it too.
Welcome to SmartCatholics.
We’re building a place for us to live a culture of kindness and learning, collaborate in creative ways to support each other, and help bring about smart, faithful programs to live out being Catholic in the modern world.