NBC’s competition reality show American Ninja Warrior will feature the grace-filled (and perhaps graceful) return of Catholic powerhouse Sean Bryan on Monday, July 24. Bryan, who holds a Master’s degree in Theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology as well as a physics degree from UC Berkeley, has been dubbed the ‘Papal Ninja’ for his leadership development work with the Dominicans as well as the Salesians at the Institute of Salesian Studies. When he competed and qualified on the show early last month, Bryan’s shirt caught attention, his way of communicating his deep faith to the viewing audience.
Since the show aired, Bryan has spoken in interviews and social regarding his desire to be an example in the faith community: “I hope they might be able to see faith as a normal thing, as something that doesn’t cast you aside from society, but as a good thing.”
Speaking with Word on Fire Faith Blog, Bryan further explained his stand:
One way of understanding Christian hope is “confident expectation.” As Christians, we confidently await the fulfillment that is already ours in Jesus. We believe in a providential Father who cares for us, his beloved children, in such a way that foresees our needs and provides for us. One way in which he provides is through his People. It is in this light that I can respond to the question of what I hope to accomplish. I hope to be in some way leaven for the world: to bring hope to others through my person – through my witness to the One who sent me.
Watch a preview of Bryan’s run at the finals below and Monday night’s episode of American Ninja Warrior to see how the ‘Papal Ninja’ places: