He also happens to be a contributor, along with myself and a number of notable Catholics, in a new book - The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet. It will be released at the end of the summer.
Here is my interview with Matt:
MARCEL - Matt, how did you get involved in the different initiatives you have undertaken in the past few years, including flockNote, Catholic blogging, etc.?Thanks to Matt for granting the interview. Please keep him, and all of our Aggie Catholics, in your prayers.
I was volunteering a lot at my parish and was seeing some genuine deficiencies in how the Church communicates...on both a large scale and the parish level. So, I figured I'd see if I could help. It started with a kind of basic group networking/communication website for Catholics (keep in mind this was before Facebook, etc. had exploded), TweetCatholic.com, QuoteCatholic.com and other projects and then I eventually came up with something very different and that really worked - flockNote.com. And it's continuing to grow every day. God is really doing some big things.
And blogging was always just an outlet for the steam I didn't work off elsewhere. It's been really healthy for my own personal, spiritual development. I love it.
MARCEL - What is it that drives you to work in this area of Catholic evangelization?
MATT WARNER - I love my Church. And I want to help. That's really it. I think each of us have some unique talents that God has given us specifically to build up His Church. I don't want to make the mistake of wasting them or burying them somewhere.
MARCEL - Tell us about your experiences at St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M. How did St. Mary’s help prepare you to go out into the “real world”?
MATT WARNER - My experience at St. Mary's is partially one of regret. I regret not getting involved more than I did. I was very busy with full loads of tough classes (and the REC Center) back then - which is a really bad excuse. I did make it to Mass every Sunday. But I hadn't matured enough yet to appreciate everything else that St. Mary's offered.
But most of all, and most importantly, St. Mary's kept me grounded in my faith. It was constantly calling me back every Sunday no matter how late I had been up the night before and no matter what everyone else was doing. It was a sanctuary of peace amidst the volatility of college life. I remember feeling so many moments at Mass there of love and contentment. A genuine peace that even immature, searching, insecure, mixed-up college students can latch on to no matter what other confusion or uncertainty they are experiencing in their life. The Mass just rings true. And I'm so thankful that my parents instilled that in me and that St. Mary's was there to sustain me during an important time of my life. The certainty in that foundation is ultimately what drove me deeper and deeper into the treasures of the Church as I matured and "grew up."
MARCEL - What does the future hold for you?
MATT WARNER - It seems like just yesterday I was making the not so short - but not so unusual - walk from Aston Hall all the way down to St. Mary's, dressed up in the heat of the day to catch the late morning Mass. Now I I'm a decade older, on a second career, with a little less hair (and a lot less muscle), I've been blessed with a beautiful wife and two kids and somehow the Ags still haven't won a national football championship. In the blink of an eye, life just happens.
I used to spend a lot of time planning and working toward the future and not enough time being present in the present. So, in the future, I plan on spending more time in the present.
MARCEL - You still support St. Mary’s Catholic Center. Why?
MATT WARNER - I still support St. Mary's because it's the best campus ministry program in the country. And the Aggies there need it more than ever. More of the world needs to hear about and learn from what is going on there. Aggieland is a special place. St. Mary's is one of the big reasons why.