Family of Luis, L-R, father Irving Arguello, sister Natalia Arguello, brother, mother Victoria Inglis, stepfather Ulises Parada listen as Archbishop Cordileone prays.

Archbishop leads prayers for slain teen

By Valerie Schmalz

Standing on a hilltop in Dolores Park, the skyline of San Francisco’s downtown in the distance, San Francisco’s archbishop prayed for the soul of 19-year-old Luis Arguello-Inglis, blessed his family and led those gathered in prayer for an end to violence.

“We come together with very heavy hearts, broken hearts,” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said, reminding those gathered: “God is close to the broken hearted. “

Natalia Arguello (L) before the portrait of her brother at Dolores Park.

“We entrust our brother Luis Manuel to your mercy. You loved him greatly in this life,” the archbishop prayed, praying also for his family and asking for peace and unity in his family as they grapple with their great grief.

Luis Arguello-Inglis was hanging out with friends at Dolores Park on June 5, as he often did, when he was shot multiple times around 10 p.m. His family and friends have been gathering for weeks now, remembering him, and creating a small shrine near the benches where he met with friends, and near where he died. Police have not arrested anyone yet for the homicide. His funeral at St. Paul Church was held shortly after his death.

Archbishop Cordileone sprinkles the site and the portrait of Luis with holy water.

“Come Holy Spirit and redeem this space and the people from the pain and violence that occurred here. Return it to a safe place, a place of love, a place of life, a place of hope. That which was taken away from us in violence we reclaim as a place of life, community and hope,” Archbishop Cordileone prayed. He sprinkled the space, including the picture and small shrine for Luis, with holy water.

“We pledge to work for a world free from violence and self-destruction and full of love and hope,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “We reclaim the humanity of both victim and victimizer.”

“It is with love that we fight evil,” said Julio Escobar, coordinator of the Archdiocesan Restorative Justice Ministry, who organized the St. Francis Prayer Service, held at noon July 1. The ministry holds street prayer services in Marin, San Mateo and San Francisco counties for those who die by violence.

Luis’s sister Natalia Arguello, 28, said now she understands that there is evil in the world. “People always told me that there’s good and evil. There’s yin and yang, there’s the devil, and there’s God. And I always heard that, but I never fully understood. Now I understand more because Luis is taken from this world by violence, which is an illness that we have a disease, an illness that we have in society,” she said.

Luis’ dog Cucho rests from the sun under the bench next to his picture.

Now her brother needs prayers, Natalia told those gathered. She said he is also crying for the time he won’t have.

“He was a very happy person. And even when things were hard and that happiness was hard to access, he was happy to be here. He was making plans for the future. He was deciding what type of man that he wanted to be. He was learning from others,” Natalia said, standing next to Escobar and the archbishop. “So, he cries too, that he had to leave his world, but we have to accept what is, and that God needed him a little bit earlier than we expected. But for now, for this coming month or two, he really needs all of our prayers and our presence to get him where he needs to go so, he can finally, deeply rest.”

For more information about the Archdiocese of San Francisco Restorative Justice Ministry,

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