At the newspapers I used to work on, I was responsible for coming up with a splashy feature each year for Easter day. At one point, I used this opportunity to hit up my employers for business trips, such as a trip to New Mexico in 1998 for the country’s largest pilgrimage at Chimayo, just north of Santa Fe. But it never occurred to me to not have a story, as the big religious holidays were my chance to get above the fold on A1.
So this year, I surveyed a bunch of California newspapers to see which ones had made any effort to provide decent Easter coverage. The Orange County Register covered a cowboy service and a sunrise service; in other words, the minimum.
The San Bernardino Sun covered how the local Catholic bishop did not preach on the previous week’s shootings that left a student and teacher dead and a student wounded. A story about the Easter Bunny got better play. The Sacramento Bee had an opinion column on the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to foreigners. Chances are those foreigners, like the Chaldeans, knew more about Christ and the Resurrection than the Easter rabbit.
The San Francisco Chronicle barely gave lip service to two sunrise services while devoting much of its Easter wrap-up to a Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence event featuring a contest for the best Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary.
I could find nothing in the Los Angeles Times other than a San Diego Union Tribune story that I’ll get to in a minute. The Ventura County Star had nothing. But the Redding Record-Searchlight had several over the weekend: An account of Easter at two local churches and the recreation of Christ’s walk to the cross by several Hispanic churches. Redding is the site of the enormous Bethel Church so religion is important to much of the local populace.
Back to the Tribune’s story on the local Chaldeans, 60,000 of whom live in their circulation area.