Catholic and love football? You bet!

Fr. Joel Church meets World, Free Range

We know that conversions are always possible, but can a Bear fan become a Packer fan? Apparently so. Archbishop Listecki of Milwaukee, a long time Chicago native, has apparently become a Packer fan. When he was first appointed Archbishop of Milwaukee, Listecki told his new diocese that he was still a Bears fan at heart. He would root for the Packers as long as the two weren’t playing each other. You would think then that Listecki would have bet on the Bears for the NFC Championship game. Not so, as the Archdiocese of Milwaukee reported on it’s Facebook page. Listecki called the office of Cardinal George of Chicago and wagered a gift basket of Sargento cheese against a real Chicago deep-dish pizza. A picture is worth a thousand words.  Looks like another conversion.

Apparently, this madness isn’t unique to Wisconsin either. CBS news reported that Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh won from Archbishop O’Brien a donation to his Catholic Charities. Now he’s going for the jackpot. Bishops Ricken and Zubik have bet on the superbowl. The loser must give a personal donation to the winner’s Catholic Charities. Even our Catholic college of St. Norbert’s has gotten in on the action.

This is one of the fantastic things about being Catholic. No, I don’t mean gambling, that’s just a human thing. I mean the sense of solidarity and brotherhood that exists between Catholics. It’s exciting that one Bishop can call another half way across the country and place a friendly wager. In this case the sense of solidarity is even stronger. Bishop Zubik spent three years as Bishop of Green Bay before being called back to his native Pittsburgh. It is also exciting to realize that even outside the US, no matter where a team traveled from, there would be a friendly Catholic Bishop. The big family of the Church extends everywhere, and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter who wins this evening, a Catholic diocese will be celebrating, and the poor will benefit. You can always bet on the Catholic Church.