Mayor orders religious shrine removed from state land

AP News
Posted: Aug 17, 2017 8:00 AM

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — A religious shrine that has served as a focal point for Hispanic residents of a New Jersey city has been removed after occupying ground on state-owned land for 14 years.

Workers took down the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Passaic on Wednesday. It consisted of a wooden log enclosed in a glass case, surrounded by statues, candles and flowers. It came together over the years after a Hispanic teenager claimed to have seen the face of the Virgin Mary in the stump.

Mayor Hector Lora tells The Record ( ) he ordered the shrine removed because of separation-of-church-and-state issues. He says he had tried unsuccessfully to relocate it.

A local group — Mayordomia Guadalupe — maintained the shrine and hopes to find a place for it.


This story has been corrected to show Hector Lora is the mayor of Passaic, not Paterson.


Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.),