LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The friendly Super Bowl bet between Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati has raised more than $22,000 in tuition assistance scholarships so far, the archdioceses announced today in a joint statement.
Thanks to the L.A. Rams' 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, it also garnered Gomez a case of Cincinnati's own Graeter's ice cream -- though Gomez is also sending his wager of baked treats from L.A.'s famed Porto's Bakery to Schnurr ``out of gratitude and in consolation.''
Each archbishop plans to share the sweets with students at a school in his respective archdiocese.
``As we said before, our bet was with our Catholic school kids all the way,'' Gomez said. ``They are always winners in our book! We want the kids to get in on the fun to celebrate the great sportsmanship of both the Rams and the Bengals who gave us such an exciting game, and the generous support of all those who donated to the Bishops Big Game challenge.''
Gomez plans to hold an ice cream party with students at St. John Chrysostom school in Inglewood, near Sofi Stadium, on March 1 -- Fat Tuesday.
Schnurr will gather with students from Our Lady of the Rosary school in Dayton, Ohio, to share the Porto's cookies and pastries sent by Gomez -- also on March 1.
The archbishops also used their Super Bowl bet as an opportunity to raise funds for each archdiocese's Catholic Education Foundation -- with the winning team's diocese getting 60% of the money raised and the other diocese getting 40%.
The website BishopsBigGame.com will remain open through the end of the day Friday to receive any additional donations, the dioceses said.
``The Bengals and Rams certainly brought their A-games to the gridiron, and the fans of both teams did as well through their generous donations in support of Catholic education, and that is deserving of a real celebration,'' Schnurr said.
``Archbishop Gomez and I are grateful for the generosity of the people of our respective archdioceses and thank everyone who joined us in our friendly wager. We are delighted to celebrate this moment with at least some of our wonderful Catholic school students, teachers and staff members,'' he continued. ``We look forward to sharing the love and support of our Catholic communities in the form of delicious Graeter's ice cream and tasty treats from Porto's Bakery. A win for Catholic education all around!''