CHICAGO — Warmth and sunshine accompanied celebrations across the city Sunday as many around Chicago came together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
At Holy Name Cathedral on the Near North Side, clergy members said mass attendances continued to rebound as Christians came together for what many of the faith consider the holiest day of the year.
“Even COVID can’t quell the spirit,” said Pastor Andy Matikevic before Easter service. “Jesus conquered death and we are conquering COVID together.”
West Side church helps migrants celebrate first Easter in Chicago
Elsewhere on the West Side, Grace and Peace Church organized an ‘Eggstravaganza’ for the community of Austin, which featured a special emphasis on making new migrant families feel welcomed and at home.
“We decided to make sure our families had a celebration,” said Pastor John Zayas of Grace and Peace Church. “Especially with what took place with the migrants, and then the West Side, and then our community.”
The center of festivities on the day began with an Easter egg hunt featuring over 10,000 eggs scattered about for hundreds of children to stuff into their bags.
Antonio Scott Jr. said he had a blast going on the hunt for some Easter eggs, but is looking for more of a challenge next time around.
“Too easy,” Antonio said. “There needs to be way more, I would have had like five bags.”
Since August, Zayas said the church has wrapped it’s arms around migrants from countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Cuba.
“We still have migrants staying at our facility,” Zayas said. “We have like 42 folks staying at our facility.”
Twenty-five-year-old Erlis Perpinan arrived in Chicago from Venezuela back in September. Through Grace and Peace Pastor Elsie Rodriguez, he said he’s grateful for the members from the church’s congregation for welcoming him and helping him adjust to life in the city.
“[Perpinan]’s a professional mechanic,” Rodriguez said. “He’s already done some jobs where he has fixed some cars and trucks … so he’s awesome.”
James Hines, a member of the congregation at Grace and Peace, said he’s grateful to be a part of a church that embraces the community.
“I believe God put us here for a reason,” Hines said. “He put this church in this position for a reason. I believe it’s a testament of what God is capable of.”
After the ‘Eggstravaganza,’ families enjoyed a meal together, with Pastor Zayas saying it may turn into an annual event.