By Tim Harfmann
Nineteen-year-old Vivian Argoty and her church’s youth minster, Angelica Taveras, were preparing to attend World Youth Day in Panama when they received the news. “I randomly received an email,” said Argoty. “She’s like, ‘Angela, I got this random email!’ I said, ‘let me see what it is!” said Taveras, the director of youth ministry at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Queens Village.
It was from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Argoty was selected to be a candle bearer at an adoration prayer service for U.S. pilgrims. Argoty, a sophomore at Hofstra University and a parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, couldn’t believe her eyes. “At first I wasn’t sure, like ‘well, what is this?’ but then I got more information about it and said, of course I’ll do it,” said Argoty.
Nearly 8,000 teenagers and young adults will attend the daylong event featuring music, prayer and fellowship. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston will preside over the service. “I think she’s perfect for it!” said Taveras. “The moment I knew she was chosen, I was like, ‘oh, this is great!’ I think for her faith, it’s very important. She will continue to grow in her faith.”
Argoty’s pastor, Father Patrick Longalong, said it’s an encounter she’ll never forget. “I hope the experience may inspire her to see the Church as a whole and that she can encourage other people to be able to reach out and understand that the Church community is a very big community,” said Father Longalong.
This will be Argoty’s first World Youth Day. “I know I’ll definitely cherish the moment because I’ll be in the presence of God even more, to be part of the adoration,” said Argoty.
Argoty will be one of nearly 200 pilgrims attending from Brooklyn and Queens. The delegation is expected to be one of the largest groups at the worldwide gathering.