Philadelphia, Pa.—Metropolitan Stefan Soroka, Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia and Bishop Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, bishop of Stamford, Ct. are rooting for different teams during the NFL Super Bowl LII on Sunday, February 4, 2018. This annual sporting event of the year will feature the Philadelphia Eagles, in their first appearance since 2005 and the returning Super Bowl Champion and perennial powerhouse New England Patriots.
To show their confidence in their respective home teams, the bishops have placed a friendly wager on the ultimate outcome of the game. The beneficiaries will be either the chancery staff in Philadelphia or the chancery staff in Stamford, Ct.
Metropolitan Soroka stated, “If the Eagles do not fly high on Sunday, we will provide a luncheon for the Stamford Chancery staff highlighted with Philadelphia cheesesteaks. However, I do not suspect I will have to do so.”
While Bishop Paul and his chancery staff are looking forward to the Philly Cheesesteak luncheon, the bishop states, “If the Eagles fly high and the Patriots experience a rare defeat, he will provide the Philadelphia Chancery staff with a luncheon with Boston Cream Pie as the dessert.”
The Philadelphia Cheesesteak and the Boston Cream Pie are local favorites of their respective cities that have become nationally and even internationally known.
The Philly cheesesteak was developed in the early 20th century “by combining frizzled beef, onions, and cheese in a small loaf of bread”, according to a 1987 exhibition catalog published by the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Philadelphians Pat and Harry Olivieri are often credited with inventing the sandwich by serving chopped steak on an Italian roll in the early 1930s.
According to the owners of the Parker House Hotel in Boston, the Boston cream pie was first created at the hotel by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian in 1856 and originally called a “Chocolate Cream Pie. While other custard cakes may have existed at this time baking chocolate as a coating was a new process, making it unique and a popular choice on the menu.
The name “Boston Cream Pie” first appeared in the 1872 Methodist Almanac. The Boston cream pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts, declared as such on December 12, 1996.
While both bishops are rooting for their respective home teams, they see this event as an American tradition that brings the nation together on Super Bowl Sunday.
“It is amazing how on this one Sunday, people throughout the nation, indeed throughout the world, come together to watch a game played by grown men. Families, neighbors and organizations have parties and socials to enjoy this American classic. It is a unifying event,” Archbishop Soroka said.
Bishop Paul commented, “While we all hope for an exciting and competitive football game on Sunday, we also look forward to good sportsmanship and camaraderie among the players and fans both on and off the field. For a few hours, we are able to forget about the many problems throughout the world.”
Depending on the outcome, in the near future either the Philadelphia Chancery staff will be enjoying Boston Cream Pie or the Stamford Chancery staff will be feasting on Philadelphia Cheesesteaks.