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Faith in the home team

O’Malley, Vancouver counterpart make friendly Stanley Cup wager

If the Bruins win, Catholic Charities of Boston will be $100 richer. If the Bruins win, Catholic Charities of Boston will be $100 richer.
By Travis Andersen
Globe Staff / June 4, 2011

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Like many Bostonians, the leader of the city’s Catholic archdiocese is pulling for the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup. But Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has an added incentive to root for the home team — he’s out $100 if they lose.

The prelate has a friendly wager with his counterpart in Vancouver, the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB, leader of the Vancouver archdiocese. According to their press aides, Miller approached O’Malley with the idea of the bet: If the Bruins win the Cup, he will donate $100 to Catholic Charities of Boston; but if the Canucks ultimately prevail, O’Malley will have to send the same amount to Project Advance, a Catholic charity in Vancouver.

The prelates said in a joint statement yesterday that they hope their bet will highlight the work of both charities, as well as each city’s passion for hockey.

But the gesture of goodwill did not stop their spokesmen from trading barbs yesterday in separate phone interviews.

Despite the Canucks’ victory in Game 1 on Wednesday night, “Vancouver is feeling a little insecure about winning the Cup, so they started it,’’ quipped Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for O’Malley.

Paul Schratz, a spokesman for Miller, fired right back. “The way [Donilon] put it to me was, ‘It figures you guys would be asking for money now that you’re up 1-0 in the series,’ ’’ he said. “We have no doubts about how it’s going to turn out.’’

Schratz said the youth ministries in each archdiocese also have a bet going, in which the losing ministry will serve up a feast of its regional cuisine to the winner. “We’re looking forward to that clam chowder,’’ he said.

Donilon said staffers in the Boston archdiocese still believe the Bruins will win the series, Wednesday’s 1-0 loss notwithstanding. Game 2 is scheduled for tonight in Vancouver.

“We’re going to pray and we’re going to cheer them on,’’ he said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com.

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