The Catholic archbishops of the two U.S. cities facing off in this week’s NFL Super Bowl announced a friendly wager involving hometown food items aimed at raising money for Catholic education.
According to a joint announcement Feb. 9, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles has promised baked treats from LA’s famous Porto’s Bakery to Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati if the Cincinnati Bengals win the Feb. 13 championship game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. In the event of a Los Angeles Rams victory, Archbishop Schnurr will offer a case of Graeter’s ice cream, a hometown favorite.
“I look forward to celebrating the Rams’ victory with the delicious Graeter’s ice cream that Archbishop Schnurr will be sending my way,” said Archbishop Gomez in the announcement.
“One of the best parts of the Bengals’ triumph will be digging into the famous Porto’s pasteles and cookies provided by my friend Archbishop Gomez,” responded Archbishop Schnurr.
Similar playful wagers between U.S. Catholic bishops ahead of professional sports championships have become somewhat of an unofficial tradition. Last year, the hometown bishops of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a Super Bowl bet that resulted in Bishop James Johnston of Kansas City-St. Joseph sending St. Petersburg, Florida’s Bishop Gregory Parkes Kansas City barbeque.
Archbishops Gomez and Schnurr called on Catholics to participate in the wager by following #BishopsBigGame on social media and visiting a special website set up for the occasion, BishopsBigGame.com, and consider making donations to either archdiocese’s Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) towards needs-based tuition aid for Catholic schools.
The CEF of the “winning” archdiocese will receive 60% of total funds raised, while the CEF of the other archdiocese will get the other 40%.
“I am so proud of the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the work of the Catholic Education Foundation. Through the generosity of the faithful the CEF is providing millions of dollars of financial assistance each school year,” said Archbishop Schnurr.
“We may disagree on the winning team, but on Catholic education, our bet is on our Catholic schools in both archdioceses all the way,” added Archbishop Gomez. “I’m proud of the great work of our students, teachers, staff, families, and parish communities that make our Catholic Schools great and for the generous support of the faithful through CEF so that our students have the opportunity to learn and grow to become the leaders of tomorrow.”