Robert R. Ballecer
|Born||May 28, 1974|
|Residence||San Francisco, California|
|Other names||Father Robert|
|Education||Bellarmine College Preparatory; Santa Clara University|
|Known for||This Week in Enterprise Tech; Know How...|
Robert R. Ballecer (born May 28, 1974), also known as Father Robert, the Digital Jesuit, or by his handle PadreSJ, is a Catholic priest and technology podcaster. He was the host of the shows This Week in Enterprise Tech and Know How... on the TWiT.tv network.
Ballecer was born on May 29, 1974 in Hayward, California, and grew up in Fremont, California. His parents had emigrated to the United States in 1970, and he grew up in a traditional Filipino household. He would dumpster dive for computer parts and built his own computer. In the 1980s, he ran an online bulletin board system. He started working for R&A Professional Consultants in 1988.
Ballecer studied at Bellarmine College Preparatory and Santa Clara University, where he majored in computer engineering, though he also became interested in becoming a Catholic priest. He joined the Jesuits in 1994 and ran a computer server to put the order's California Province online. He studied philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, and then taught computer programming at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. He studied theology at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University.
Ballecer helped the Jesuits set up their own email addresses and started websites for Jesuit high schools. He served at the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Jose, and was named director of the Center for Apostolic Technology. In his vocation, he oversaw efforts to encourage young men to pursue the priesthood. For four years starting in 2009, he worked for the Jesuit Conference as the National Director of Vocation Promotion in Washington, D.C. He produced a series of short films titled Jesuits Revealed to improve the Jesuits' online image.
He became a fan of the TechTV show The Screen Savers, which ran in the late 1990s and 2000s. He started blogging for "The Tech Stop" in 2001. Leo Laporte found Ballecer in TWiT's chat room in 2010. Laporte asked the chat room who could host show on enterprise technology, and the chat room suggested "PadreSJ", the chat handle for Robert Ballecer, could host this show. Ballecer started hosting the show This Week in Enterprise Tech, anchoring live events, and hosting the do-it-yourself show Know How.... He has also appeared as a guest on other TWiT.tv shows, and hosted Coding 101 and Padre's Corner. Ballecer lived in St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco in 2016.
- Cassidy, Mike (November 30, 2012). "Cassidy: Digital Jesuit Robert Ballecer aims to connect with people where they live". The Mercury News. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- "Province News" (PDF). Mission: Jesuits of the California Province. California Province of the Society of Jesus: 4. Fall 2007. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- Kalish, Jon (October 15, 2016). "'Digital Jesuit' hosts shows on tech-focused podcasting network". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- Kalish, Jon (October 3, 2016). "Geek Squad? Nah, Try TWIT's Chat Rooms". PC Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- "Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ". TWiT.tv. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- Ryan, Zoe (February 15, 2013). "Religious life in the digital world: Three pioneers see reaching out via technology as part of their calling". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved June 10, 2018 – via The Free Library.
- "Jesuit Brother Appointed Director of National Vocation Promotion". Jesuits West. May 24, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- "Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ". Retrieved June 26, 2019 – via LinkedIn.