Press Release

Packers Partner with Catholic Charities for 57th Annual Bishop's Charities Game

Diocese of Green Bay LogoGREEN BAY, Wis. (July 27, 2017) -- On Thursday, August 10, the Packers will host the Philadelphia Eagles for the 57th annual Bishop's Charities Game at Lambeau Field. Over the years, the Bishop's Charities Game has raised approximately $3.9 million for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay. General ticket sales should be directed to, the Packer ticket office, or any Ticketmaster outlet.

During a pre-game ceremony, Bishop Ricken will present the 2016 Bishop’s Charities Game MVP award to kicker Mason Crosby. In last year's game, Crosby kicked field goals of 26 and 34 yards and was perfect on two extra point attempts in the Packers 20-12 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Contest Began in 1961

The charitable contest began in 1961 when the diocese approached Vince Lombardi with the idea. For 34 of those years, the Bishop's Charities Game committee -- led by the late Jim Hogan -- sold tickets for the game and produced the game program, including the sales of all advertising for the program. These efforts were so important not only to those in need, but also to making the preseason games a success for the Packers. The efforts of many who served on the committee created tremendous fundraising success for Catholic Charities. Beginning in 1995, the Packers took over responsibility for all preparations.

Over the past 20 years, the Packers organization has generously continued to support Catholic Charities through an annual contribution supporting those in need in our community. "We take this opportunity to thank the Packers for their ongoing support of the charitable works of Catholic Charities serving the Diocese of Green Bay," said Denis Hogan, general chair of the Bishop's Charities Game.

Commitment and Concern

The long-standing partnership between the Green Bay Packers and the Diocese of Green Bay through its charitable efforts shows the commitment and concern that both organizations have toward the well-being, health and vitality of the community. "This long-standing partnership between the Packers and Catholic Charities has helped thousands of people to overcome some of life's darkest and most challenging moments," said Ted Phernetton, director of Catholic Charities.

Bishop David L. Ricken and Packers alumni Bill Ferrario and Chris Francies will be available from 4:30-6 p.m. for autographs and photos at the Fan Walkway outside the Tundra Tailgate Zone on the southeast side of the stadium. Complimentary autograph cards will be provided courtesy of The Compass, the official newspaper for the Diocese of Green Bay.

Two 21st-Century Players

Guard Bill Ferrario played two seasons with Green Bay Packers after being selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft. In college, Ferrario, a native of Scranton, Penn., was a standout at the University of Wisconsin. He started all 50 games during his four-year career for the Badgers, including two seasons blocking for all-time leading rusher Ron Dayne. Ferrario, an all-Big Ten selection as a junior and senior, was a member of Wisconsin's back-to-back Rose Bowl champions in 1999 and 2000. Ferrario currently resides in Wausau, Wis.

Wide receiver Chris Francies played for the Green Bay Packers for two seasons after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2006. Francies, who is originally from Houston, Tex., was a football and track and field standout at the University of Texas-El Paso. On the gridiron, he was a three-year starter for the Miners and was named offensive MVP and third team All-Conference USA as a senior. In addition to the Packers, he also spent time with the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers. Francies closed out his pro football career playing two seasons in the Arena Football League. Francies currently resides in the Green Bay area.

Catholic Charities Serves 16 Counties

Founded in 1918, Catholic Charities provides social services to residents in the 16 counties of Northeastern Wisconsin that make up the Diocese of Green Bay. These services include mental health counseling; family strengthening programs to refugee and immigration communities; adoption and pregnancy counseling to assist birth parents, adoptive couples and people with unplanned pregnancies; budget counseling; and more. Catholic Charities serves all individuals, regardless of their background or faith.


Who We Are

As friends and followers of Jesus, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is devoted to fostering households and communities of discipleship through the mission and ministry of the Catholic Church. We are missionary disciples striving to lead all people to the Kingdom of God. Established in 1868, the diocese is composed of 324,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.


Justine Lodl
Director of Communications
Phone: (920) 272-8213
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Sarah Bradford
Communications Coordinator
Phone: (920) 272-8209
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