August 13, 2017


Sometimes I think I spend more time channel surfing than actually watching full TV shows. Maybe it has to do with the dearth of good programming these days. But in any case, sometimes I stumble upon something that is very interesting. Take, for instance, last Sunday evening. I caught a little bit of the American Ninja Warrior TV show. Now you have to admit, it’s pretty fascinating to watch these young, and sometimes not so young, men and women competing with each other on those incredibly difficult and challenging obstacle courses. It’s exciting and nerve-racking, and even exhausting just watching them.

The competitors can be very diverse; an interesting collection of characters who portray themselves in some unusual ways. My timing in tuning in was perfect – the competitor being introduced was wearing a warm-up jacket that had what looked like the Papal insignia; the Pope’s coat-of-arms! It was Sean Bryan, a young man from California who is very Catholic and not the least bit shy about sharing his faith publicly. In fact, as part of his introduction, they ran a video clip about him and his private life. It showed him at his work with the Salesians, interacting with priests and religious, and even praying before the Blessed Sacrament. And during the actual competition it became very apparent that he was praying his way through it. I should add that he completed his course successfully and will move on to the next competition in Las Vegas, which, incidentally, is referred to as “sin city”.

At one point, Sean had entered formation to become a priest but eventually redirected, at least for now, to pursue other goals while still remaining very, very close to his faith and the religious community where he works. In a recent interview with Word-On-Fire Ministries, he admits that his life as a competitor serves as an evangelistic tool. His mission in competing is to bring his faith into the public arena, and to show that faith in God is cool and that it should be celebrated. He even used the term “intentional discipleship”, and I would say that he is very intentional in what he is trying to do on behalf of the kingdom.

You can find the full interview very easily by just googling “papal  ninja”.

I hope you enjoyed your time with Fr. Nduka last week. I thought he was not only a very bright and interesting young man, but also quite holy as well. Before he left, we went to the Heavenly Cruz Car Show where he had his picture taken with a very interesting automobile. Not only that, he got a short ride in it as well. It was very loud. As he was about to leave, he fell to his knees there in the field, and asked for my blessing.

God bless Father and his work with the St. Paul Mission Society. And I’m going to make a prediction. Someday, he will be a bishop. Any further donations to Father’s missionary order can be sent to MSP missions Missionary Society of St. Paul PO Box 300145 Houston, TX 77230–0145.

~Fr. John


Next week is the Bishop’s dinner for potential seminarians. Are any of you young men interested? Have any of you parents, or grandparents, or friends extended an invitation to a good young man to at least consider the possibility?

You remember a few months ago that there was a movie, based on a book called The Case for Christ. The movie is going to be released on DVD this week. We have pre-ordered a copy and intend to show it at the September movie night. I want you all to see it. Period.

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven is Tuesday. It’s one of those holy days of opportunity.


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