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 (https://njersy.co/2uRq9Wa ) 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.), http://www.northjersey.com