The Papal Ninja Swings Back into ‘American Ninja Warrior’

The Papal Ninja Swings Back into ‘American Ninja Warrior’ July 23, 2017

Sean-Bryan-Papal-NinjaOn Monday, July 24, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” moves to the Los Angeles City Finals, featuring several familiar faces, including Sean Bryan, a k a, the Papal Ninja.

This is how Sean, a devout Catholic who lives in the Bay Area, describes himself:

Sean Bryan is an American Ninja Warrior competitor and the Lay Mission Project’s Animating Director. Sean received his Bachelor of Arts at UC Berkeley, where he studied physics and was on the men’s gymnastics team. After graduation, he spent four years in various Salesian ministerial settings while discerning his vocation. In 2015 Sean completed his Master of Arts in Theology with a Salesian Studies concentration at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology. His Masters thesis analyzed the ecclesiology inherent to documents of the Second Vatican Council, and proposes the Scriptural notion of liturgy as an interpretive lens that elucidates the relationship between formal ritual worship and its integrated expression in everyday life. His exploration led to practical applications geared toward the animation of the faithful in the Church’s mission, including the Lay Mission Project itself. Sean is also known for his participation in the NBC show American Ninja Warrior, where he has taken on the identity of the Papal Ninja, stealthily using his gifts to help accomplish the mission of the One who sent him into the secular realm.

Oh, yeah, and he also flips and spins and climbs rocks.

Click here for his 2016 American Ninja Warrior submission video, and here to learn more about him, in an extensive email interview.

And, Bryan now has gear inspired by his persona. Click here to dress like a Papal Ninja!

Here’s what NBC had to say about the episode:



“American Ninja Warrior” travels back to Universal Studios’ “New York Street” where the top 30 competitors from the Los Angeles Qualifier tackle the City Finals course. In addition to the obstacles from the City Qualifier, contestants will face the Salmon Ladder, Stair Hopper, and 2 challenging new obstacles: Swinging Peg Board and Elevator Climb. Top competitors Kevin Bull, Grant McCartney, Sean Bryan and Flip Rodriguez will take on the course. Competitors will vie for a chance to compete in the Las Vegas finals, to win a cash prize of $1,000,000 and the title of “American Ninja Warrior.”

Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila hosts as Kristine Leahy co-hosts.

NBC supplied a preview of Bryan’s run:

Bryan’s also become a good friend of Family Theater Productions, the Hollywood-based Catholic production company where I blog and manage social media. Earlier this year, Bryan stopped by and talked to FTP at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anahem, California. That interview has become three videos, featured on FTP’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter pages.
They’re quick and fun and infused with the Holy Spirit. Take a look.

He also shared with us a special remembrance of a spiritual encounter he had with FTP’s founder, Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.

We hope to do more with Sean, who has our prayers to continue in the competition!
Image: Courtesy NBC

Don’t miss a thing: head over to my other home, as Social Media Manager at Family Theater Productions; and check out FTP’s Faith & Family Media Blog.

"Meant to say she walked from downtown DC. Amended."

My 9/11 Moment: Black 47, the ..."
"Ah, yes, the Fenians! Surprised to find out years later, after moving to LA, that ..."

My 9/11 Moment: Black 47, the ..."
"I remember later that September the two of us going to the Irish festival in ..."

My 9/11 Moment: Black 47, the ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment