You know what I love almost as much as a good story? Seeing people who aren't wasting their youth. Thanks to this series of Catholic Techie interviews, I've had quite a few glimpses at what kind of quality people are going to be running the show soon.
And here is one of them, a young man who interviewed me recently (and found himself, I think, unable to say no when I turned the tables on him!). Ryan Eggenberger is the kind of guy who makes me smile: the mother in me wants to brush his hair and make sure his lunch is packed, and the professional in me wants to pick his brain for good ideas.
Over at Ignitum Today, his bio bills him as "a young Catholic convert" who "evangelize[s] by teaching people how to achieve their career, business, or entrepreneurial goals." He's active on Twitter (as @RyanEggenberger) and Facebook, just as you'd expect.
His latest idea, EntreCatholic, is something that has me nodding and smiling like a proud aunt. (I have sort of adopted him as a nephew. Poor guy.) It's the kind of initiative that's sorely needed, with the kind of energy behind it that makes it exciting.
So, what does a Catholic Techie like Ryan have to say? Let's see...
Tell us about yourself in five words or less.
Love never fails! St. Paul
Of your pursuits, what's your favorite?
My favorite always tends to be whatever I’m working on at the time. But time and time again I come back to the same two things: God and marketing. Thus my website, EntreCatholic. If I could just blog for the rest of my life, I would (and I just might!).
Writing has given me the opportunity to communicate the transforming power of God’s love, and what it actually means on a day-to-day basis. When you actually come to realize what it is he has done for you, and continues to do for you day after day after day, there’s no way you can ignore it. It impacts every aspect of your life, including work and business.
I love using new media to share my interests and my passions, which are the Catholic faith, leadership, and business.
When you think of the New Evangelization from your approach as a "Catholic Techie," what excites you?
What is most exciting about the technical side of the New Evangelization is the community that is continually being shaped online. I mean, we’re all real people out here, striving to live holy lives in a culture that really doesn’t care. That can be really tough, especially for young people who don’t always have a lot of peers with the same goal in mind.
So for me, I just get pumped by the fact that I can have some part in trying to help people come together and get to know one another, for the sake of building each other up and inspiring each other on toward holiness.
What makes you want to continue?
The fact of the matter is this: I’m extremely broken as a human being. I have a lot of sins in my past, emphasis on "a lot." There’s a real story here of a big-time sinner who has come to know Jesus Christ - the mercy of God Himself.
And yet I’m still a ‘normal’ guy. I like to run. I get beers with my buddies on Thursdays. I have a great family.
I’m convinced more and more that lives are changed when people meet Christians and get to know them intimately. When somebody can put their trust in me and know my real story, that is when they will put trust in me and trust in my witness.
And so, the more that people in our culture can get to know us as Christians, the more hope and light we can give them.
For me, opening up online and being transparent is not a sacrifice at all. For many, especially in our Catholic culture that is still somewhat wary of the Internet, it can be. And that’s fine, blogging isn’t for everybody; in fact, it’s probably not for most people. But I’m convinced that to those of us to feel like blogging fits within our vocations, we can have a seriously positive impact (please God) in the lives of those who come to know us.
What's the most rewarding aspect of your work?
My absolute favorite is when somebody sends me an email or sends me a note saying something I wrote had a big impact on their life. I can think of one post in particular that I wrote recently, “To Anybody Who Is Unsure About Anything.”
I wrote it to myself after a really bad day recently. But I actually received a few emails thanking me for brightening up their days. That was the best.
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?
Well, I love to travel and I love being alone. So you will often see me flying or driving away from the cold Michigan weather to warmer climates, and often by myself, to get away from the ‘noise’ of daily life.
I am way into green smoothies right now too. Like chopped up veggies and fruits in a crazy-intense blender. So good!
Finally, I’m not a big reader, but I do like to discover and read little-known Church documents, especially papal encyclicals that nobody ever talks about. I found an awesome website at www.papalencyclicals.
netand that has been keeping me going for a few months now. :)
Copyright 2013 Sarah Reinhard
About the Author
When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.