This’ll be lots of fun!
This Wednesday, you’ll get to see something you don’t get to see very often: a Catholic priest competing on American Ninja Warrior!
If you don’t already know, American Ninja Warrior is a fun TV show in which contestants try to successfully traverse a difficult obstacle course as fast as they can. If you’ve never seen it, you can watch this season trailer to get an idea of what the show is like.
The aspiring #ninjapriest is Fr. Stephen Gadberry of the Diocese of Little Rock, AR. Fr. Gadberry previously served in the Air Force, which is where he heard his call to the priesthood. Ordained in 2016, he is now an avid crossfitter.
Here is Fr. Gadberry’s announcement on Instagram:
He also posted a video of himself and a friend on the American Ninja Warrior set showing off a Catholic t-shirt.
Taking orders now!! Many have asked about the #jesusismyhomie shirts. (# on back/Rosary on front) Now’s your chance! Message me if you are interested& for how to pay. Payment required at order. $15 kids. $20 adult. $25 XXL & larger. Add $5 for shipping. PayPal or in person payment. Tri-blend synthetic shirts. Proceeds go to seminarians of the Diocese of Little Rock. Printed locally after order is made. #jesusismyhomie #fatherflex #playingispraying #ninja @ninjawarrior @anwnation @papalninja
If the video doesn’t work for you, you can view it here.
Fr. Gadberry says his interest in fitness has opened many doors to evangelism you might not expect.
“Fitness has given me a platform for evangelization and ministry,” he told Jared Zimmerer at Word on Fire. “For example, it is easy to be embarrassed with life’s struggles and it can be a challenge to bring those problems up right away when we talk with our priests.
“Individuals have approached me before and said, ‘Hey, I’m trying to get better at my bench press. What should I do…By the way, my marriage is falling apart.’ Or, ‘I want to start exercising but don’t know where to start….By the way, my son is on drugs. How can I help him?’
“The fitness platform gives people a way to begin hard conversations. This is just one way of many. It doesn’t take much to consider the countless spiritual parallels that we can draw from sport and exercise: determination, hard work, focus, attention, patience, respect, teamwork, vigilance, communication, etc.”
Amazing. Say a prayer for his ministry!