Tampa, FL, June 9, 2015 – The leaders of the home Catholic dioceses for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning have bet iconic foods from their cities on the outcome of the National Hockey League championship.
Archbishop Blase J. Cupich has promised enough Chicago deep dish pizzas to feed the 300 guests of Pinellas Hope, a shelter for homeless individuals in Clearwater, Florida, if the Blackhawks lose their race for the Stanley Cup.
“Heaven knows there is no ice in Tampa,” said Archbishop Cupich. “So while it is a long shot, we promise to send our real pizzas south in the unlikely event Chicago loses.”
Bishop Robert N. Lynch has answered the challenge by offering to ship cases of Florida grapefruit to St. Leo’s Residence for Veterans, a Chicago Catholic Charities ministry if the Tampa Bay Lightning team is defeated.
“Chicago could use some Florida sunshine,” said Bishop Lynch. “If by some miracle the Blackhawks win, we will send our beautiful grapefruit to the veterans at St. Leo’s Residence.”
Bishop Robert N. Lynch is the head of the Diocese of St. Petersburg which includes five counties on the west central Gulf coast of Florida. The Catholic population of the diocese is nearly 400,000 and the principal cities are Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
Pinellas Hope, a ministry of Catholic Charities, is a temporary emergency shelter that offers its residents privacy and a safe place to sleep and leave their belongings while they are at work. This program facilitates the transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Since its inception in December 2007, Pinellas Hope has assisted more than 1,800 individuals. For more information see: www.pinellashope.org.
Archbishop Blase J. Cupich is the head of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the third largest archdiocese in the United States with more than 2.3 million Catholics in Cook and Lake Counties.
St. Leo’s Residence, located in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, is an example of Catholic Charities’ dream to keep veterans safe, off the streets and treated with dignity. The innovative integration of services offered there helps to stabilize and improve the lives of formerly homeless veterans. They leave the long-term transitional housing facility with restored self-sufficiency and a renewed sense of pride. For more information see: www.catholiccharities.net.
– Press release courtesy of the Archdiocese of Chicago.