LOWELL — When she was younger, Rita Mercier says her mother would take her to City Hall to see the Nativity scene set up outside around Christmas, a tradition she enjoyed very much.
But this Christmas season City Councilor Mercier and others who walked around JFK Plaza outside City Hall saw nothing because the city decided to move the manger display to the nearby yard of Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church.
Mercier is now leading a charge to have the city place the manger back in its traditional place next Christmas season.
She has filed a motion for Tuesday’s City Council meeting requesting that the council go on record in support of the crèche returning to JFK Plaza.
“It is a tradition,” Mercier said. “Now all of a sudden they want it somewhere else. It should be back where it always has been.”
The councilor, who along with her colleagues will start a new term this week, said she has heard speculation that the city moved the manger from city property because of legal concerns.
Can’t say I don’t disagree with Rita’s sentiment here. An icon as splendid as the birth of baby Jesus deserves a far more serene setting than a charming historic church yard that’s a mere 150 yards from its original location. Nobody can get adequately offended there. We need to move it back where everyone can find it. Especially the lawyers. For Lawyers to notice a constitution trampling nativity scene on the front lawn of a church would require a Christmas miracle. We need this thing back on the front hall steps, and we needed it yesterday.