In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, a unique tradition takes center stage. This time-honored custom unites the Catholic bishops of the competing teams' cities, Kansas City and San Francisco, in a friendly wager. Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop James Johnston and San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone have agreed on a two-part bet, combining the spirit of competition with a shared commitment to their faith and community.
A Friendly Wager with Heartfelt Stakes
The stakes of this friendly wager reflect the bishops' love for their cities and their dedication to the sanctity of life. If Kansas City loses, Bishop Johnston will send Archbishop Cordileone a gift pack from the American Jazz Museum, a celebration of Kansas City's rich musical heritage. Additionally, he will support a pregnancy care center in the winning diocese, a testament to the bishops' shared belief in the importance of motherhood and the gift of life.
Should San Francisco lose, Archbishop Cordileone will reciprocate by sending Bishop Johnston a case of Rice-A-Roni, an iconic San Francisco treat. Like his counterpart, he will also make a donation to a pregnancy care center in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.
Football and Faith: A Powerful Union
This year's Super Bowl features several players who have been public about their Christian faith, including Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker. The bishops' wager serves as a reminder of the powerful connection between faith and sports. As the players take the field, they carry with them not only the hopes of their cities but also the unwavering support of their spiritual leaders.
A Bet that Benefits All
Regardless of the game's outcome, one thing is certain: the wager between Bishop Johnston and Archbishop Cordileone will have a positive impact on their communities. Both bishops have expressed their love for mother and child and the importance of supporting pregnancy care centers. This friendly bet serves as a testament to their shared values and their commitment to serving their flocks.
As the teams prepare to face off at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST, the spirit of friendly competition and shared faith will undoubtedly be a part of the game. For Bishop Johnston and Archbishop Cordileone, the stakes are high, but the rewards – a celebration of faith, community, and the human spirit – are well worth the wager.
In the end, whether it's the taste of Rice-A-Roni or the sounds of Kansas City jazz that fill the air, the true winners will be the mothers and children supported by the pregnancy care centers in both dioceses. In the words of the bishops, this wager is a celebration of life, love, and the enduring power of faith.