Easter Bunny visits children at La Rabida

April 24, 2011 4:43:40 PM PDT
The Easter holiday was celebrated across Chicago in worship services and at other events.

The Easter bunny even made a special delivery to kids at La Rabida Children's Hospital.

Sickle cell anemia recently landed Noah Luckett, 8, of Aurora, and his mother Adrienne Sanders in La Rabida, where they celebrated Easter Sunday.

"I thought I wouldn't be here for Easter," Luckett said.

Luckett still managed to strike his version of the Heisman pose with a new football -- courtesy of a gift basket celebrating the day.

There were other celebrations as the Easter Bunny visited 20 other inpatients at the hospital, bringing smiles to some of those who think this is a special day of gratitude and love.

"It's really special. She's on her road to recovery and had a little accident about a week ago but everything is good," said parent Paul Gnap.

In other parts of the city, Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ on Sunday. While some enjoyed a traditional mass at Holy Name Cathedral with Cardinal Francis George delivering the homily, others joined together to acknowledge rebirth and the importance that the message still has today.

"We can each have a resurrection experience of our own and enjoy the Christ presence that is alive and well within each and every one of us on this Easter morning," said Rev. Derrick Wells, Christ Universal Temple.

At Armitage Baptist Church on North Kedzie, Senior Pastor Charles Lyons used the Lady Gaga song "Born This Way" as the title of his sermon. He said Jesus confronted the status quo in his preaching, teaching and in his serving.

Again this year, the Four Seasons Hotel was hopping with excitement with a spring-inspired brunch. The day was also experienced through food at Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles where families chose to break bread in a different way.

"Most of the people who come on Sunday we see every Sunday anyway, so they are pretty much like friends or family," said Harry Wilson with Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles.

Regardless of the food or the fanfare, Robert Vasser says although some traditions may change, he'll never forget the true meaning of the day.

It's not about the hiding of the Easter eggs and the dressing up and going to church, but it's about Christ. I learned to put him first and he works it out for me," Vasser said.

Earlier on Sunday, a group of Christians gathered for the fourth year in a row for a sunrise service at Daley Plaza shortly before 6:30 a.m.

The service was organized by the Thomas Moore Society, which is an interdenominational group. They say their idea is to promote the celebration of religious services, whichever they may be, in a public arena.

"It's just wonderful to think of the resurrection of our Lord and be here with others who are celebrating this wonderful, wonderful Easter Sunday," Joronda Crawford said.

"We're very excited to be down here today with the opening of the image of 'Jesus, I Trust in You' because we have actually been here since the morning of Good Friday. We started at midnight, maintaining a vigil that began at that time, and we will be here until Divine Mercy Sunday, which is a week from today," Rich Wenzl said.

Sunday is the first time the image called the "Jesus, I Trust You" was placed in Daley Plaza for Easter. Organizers say it's part of a project called Prayer in the Public Square with the goal of bringing the ideas of community and service outside of closed doors.

Others spent the Easter holiday giving back. For example, the non-profit group Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly" hosted Easter parties for seniors who would otherwise spend the day alone. About 200 volunteers also delivered meals to homebound seniors.