Christians and Catholics both locally and around the world celebrated Easter today with church services and community events. While the faithful reflected on the resurrection of Christ, some local Catholics also reflected on the rebirth of the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis led his first Easter Sunday service with a traditional open-air Mass in front of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. During the service, the new Pope retold the story of Jesus’ resurrection while making a plea for peace throughout the world. Parishioners who gathered at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City today reacted to the Pope’s message and leadership.
“It’s exciting that we have a new Pope,” said Karen Marquart. “But I would say our beliefs and values are still the same.”
“This is the meaning of our faith,” said Dan Pavlick. “This is what our faith is about.”
It was a joyous Easter for Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church as well. Members of the congregation danced in the aisles of the Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia, celebrating the church’s 10th Annual Resurrection Sunday service. The church also took up a collection benefitting a missionary college in Kenya as well as the Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia. Ultimately the church raised tens of thousands of dollars.
“It’s time for us to move beyond the symbols to the very truth of the message,” said Enon’s Pastor Alyn Waller. “As my grandmother would say, if we needed the Lord before, we sure do need him now.”
The A.I.C. Missionary College is a private evangelical non-profit institution in Eldoret, Kenya. The college was established in 1986 to "train men and women who have a call and a passsion to reach out to people with not only God's Word, but also with dynamic methods of assisting them to develop agriculturally, academically and socially."
The Freedom Theatre is a program that has provided arts education to children in Philadelphia and the tri-state area for over 50 years. Founded in 1966, it is Pennsylvania's oldest African American theatre.