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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Teen who died saving classmates in school shooting made a Knight

As residents of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, mourned the loss of 31 people in mass shootings on 3rd and 4th August, the Knights of Columbus honoured a teen who died in May trying to save the lives of his classmates during a shooting at his suburban Denver high school.

Kendrick Castillo, the 18-year-old hero who charged a shooter at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado, was posthumously named a Knight of Columbus on 6th August at the organisation’s Supreme Convention in Minneapolis.

Castillo’s parents, John and Maria, also accepted the Caritas Medal on his behalf. It is second-highest honour of the Knights of Columbus. Their son is just the fourth recipient of the award, created in 2013 to recognise extraordinary acts of charity and service.

“Kendrick wanted to be a Knight of Columbus because he wanted to help not only people, but his community. And in his last moments, Kendrick Castillo did both,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said in an address to more than 2,000 convention attendees.

Castillo had taken part in 2,600 hours of service with the Knights, along with his father, who belongs to the Knights’ Southwest Denver Council 4844.

Picture: A chair sits empty in honour of Kendrick Castillo at the STEM School Highlands Ranch graduation in Colorado on 20th May 2019. Castillo, a Catholic, who was an 18-year-old senior at the school when he lost his life trying to protect fellow students from a shooter, has been declared a Knight of Columbus posthumously. (CNS photo/courtesy Knights of Columbus Council 4844).