Oakland, Calif., Oct 4, 2017 / 14:37 pm
Whether he’s navigating a harrowing obstacle course in front of the camera or doing behind-the-scenes content editing for an evangelization website, Sean Bryan wants people to know that he is proud to be Catholic.
Also known as the “Papal Ninja,” Bryan competed for a second time this season on NBC’s obstacle course competition show, American Ninja Warrior.
“I hope (the audience) can see that the faith is not something extra-ordinary, but rather, something that is meant to be extraordinarily ordinary,” Bryan told CNA.
When he’s not training for daredevil feats of strength and agility, Bryan is working for Lay Mission Project, a website dedicated to equipping lay people with the tools to live their faith within the secular culture.
Through coursework and small groups, the project’s mission is “to form laypeople to delve deeply into the mysteries of the faith, to come to know Jesus at an intimate level, and to be lit on fire to act in his place in the secular realm.”
Bryan first garnered national attention in the eighth season of American Ninja Warrior, when he wore a bright yellow shirt with the words “Papal Ninja” written across the front. This year, he sported a papal flag emblem, and was one of three finalists, becoming the first contestant to defeat an obstacle known as “Wingnut Alley.”
No champion took home the $1 million prize this year, but Bryan said that he is grateful for his own personal improvement from last season, and for the ability to glorify God through his talents.
“These abilities truly are God-given, for his glory, and are part of his plan for me in some way – no matter what the performance-specific result may be.”