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Newburgh girl chosen to meet with Pope Francis in East Harlem - Times Herald Record

CITY OF NEWBURGH – When the call came, Citlaly Garcia answered with a resounding yes.

It was Tuesday when Yliana Hernandez, principal of Nora Cronin Presentation Academy in the City of Newburgh, asked the eighth-grader if she wanted to join other schoolchildren at a special meeting with Pope Francis.

“I was surprised because I couldn’t believe that I would be able to meet the pope,” Garcia said on Wednesday as she sat with her mother in a computer lab at the private middle school for girls. “This will be a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

On Friday morning the Newburgh resident and her mother, Azucena Garcia, will board a train for New York City. Their destination will be Our Lady Queen of Angels elementary school in East Harlem.

Citlaly Garcia, 13, is hoping she gets time to say a few words to Pope Francis, a native of Argentina whose ascension to the papacy is a particular point of pride with Latinos.

“Right now I think I would ask him to pray for the people who have been mistreated by the way they look because there’s more to them than their appearance,” Citlaly Garcia said. “I would like the world to be in peace.”

Garcia is one of the local students from the Archdiocese of New York journeying to the school to see the pope, who will arrive in New York City on Thursday. Veronica DiPaul of Otisville, a senior at John S. Burke Catholic High School in Goshen, is also going.

The excitement at Nora Cronin began Tuesday when Hernandez received a call from a former student who is now head of Catholic Charities Community Services in New York City and wanted to know if the school wanted to send a student to see the pope.

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