I suspect that Christine Johnson has been a "techie" since her thumbs started working in her wee young days. Of course, back then, we didn't call it being a techie. We just called it liking gadgets.

It's been a pleasure of mine to get to know Christine through her blog, Domestic Vocation, and through Twitter, where she's @CatholicMomVA. Back in July 2012, Christine joined the CatholicMom.com contributors as part of our Tech Talk team, and she's been educating and entertaining all of us ever since.

Today, I get to take you "behind the curtain" with Christine. Though she doesn't write code, she's definitely a techie. Enjoy!


Tell us about yourself in five words or less.

Wife, mom, Dominican, catechist, writer-wanna-be.

Of your pursuits, what's your favorite?

I'm really excited to be working my way through discernment as a Lay Dominican. I knew I needed to grow spiritually, but needed direction, and the Dominicans give me the direction and guidance I need. Plus, it's good to be accountable to someone who will help me continue to study, especially when it comes to areas I'm not as inclined to study. Being a Dominican is like being in school again, only without the high-pressure final exams. (I do hear that there are essays and research, but that's okay.)

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

I really enjoy finding ways to make technology work for my life. Not every app I use is focused on the Faith, but every app I use (or, at least the ones I'm reviewing - we won't count games here!) *is* focused on helping me get better at my vocation as a wife and mother. Sometimes, I find a trick or an app or desktop program that helps me get more organized or makes something I do easier to cope with. If it can help someone else do the same, then I'm happy to have helped that person. As far as the New Evangelization, I think that even writing little tech reviews can be a part of that. I remember reading a convert's story, and she mentioned that she read blogs from ordinary people who happened to be Catholic, just to see what Catholics were like. Sometimes, just being an ordinary person who happens to be Catholic can evangelize, too. It helps people who might not know a lot of Catholics that we're not that different from them – we just belong to the Catholic Church. Father Barron's series on the New Evangelization talked about attracting people to the Faith by simply living with joy. I hope this comes through in my writing both on CatholicMom.com and on my own blog. It's really wonderful to be Catholic! We're fun people!

What's the most rewarding aspect of your work?

I think what's most rewarding for me when I write is when I can have a dialog with someone about a part of the Faith that they might not have considered before. I wrote a piece about Mary and the Communion of Saints not long ago that had its start as a conversation on Twitter. I don't know how much of what I write sticks, but I pray that I can at least plant seeds. Really, that's all I can do if I'm directly writing about the Faith: plant a seed and see what that person does with it. Maybe I'll never know in this life what happened, if anything.
In my regular, offline life, what's really rewarding for me is when I'm teaching my kids at home and I see them get through something that's been difficult. When my older daughter wrote her first real research paper last year, it took her the better part of the school year to organize, research, organize again, write, re-write, and get it turned in to the graders in an acceptable format. When she got it back with an A, we both celebrated. My younger daughter dances, and when she works hard at her numbers or gets chosen to do extra dances for recital, it's a big deal to me, too. (No, her talent is definitely from God - I can't really dance.) When either of my girls work hard and accomplish something big like that, that's the best part of my day. I can get lots of re-tweets and hits on my blog, but, really, when I think about it, my family really is the most rewarding part of my life. I know that sounds a little hokey on some levels, but I can't help it. I'm a real sap, and I love being a wife and mother more than anything.

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've been trying to work on putting down the iPhone more often. I've always been a reader, though it seems that a lot of my reading has been online lately. Studying for the Dominicans has forced me to do more book and research reading, and I'm also trying to keep up with my high schooler's literature requirements. (It's far easier to help her with essays if I've read the books, too.) But I have to admit, I definitely fool around with game apps, usually word games. Our family can also often be found watching Doctor Who together, though, or nearly any kind of sci-fi we can get our hands on.

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Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard