Supreme Knight Carl Anderson posthumously gave Kendrick Castillo the Caritas Medal, the second highest award in the organization.
Kendrick Castillo was a heroic 18-year-old who died in May trying to save his friends from a school shooter in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. His actions helped disarm the shooter and save many lives.
Before his death, Castillo had expressed interest in the Knights of Columbus and wanted to become a member. He even had his first degree ceremony marked on his calendar.
In honor of his supreme act of courage and self-sacrifice, the Knights of Columbus gave to Castillo posthumously the “Caritas Medal” at the Knights’ national convention in Minneapolis this past week. It is the second-highest award anyone can receive in the organization.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson explained in his remarks how,
This award recognizes those who most profoundly embrace our Order’s principle of Charity in their service and sacrifice for others. He is only the fourth recipient of this award.
Castillo’s father, himself a member of the Knights of Columbus, was present to accept the award. The Catholic News Agency reported that he said, “And as we go through life, just remember, be like Kendrick. Be selfless…I wish could say I taught Kendrick those things. There’s a few things I did teach him…But in all actuality, he was the angel who saved my life, who taught me how to live. I will never forget him.”
Jack Mauro of Aleteia summarizes the incident that earned Castillo the Caritas Medal.
He was only three days from graduation when two gunmen entered the school and opened fire. While terrified students sought cover, however, Kendrick Castillo charged forward, ultimately sacrificing his own life to subdue the assailant.
The 18-year-old reacted to the shooting immediately and was able to pin the attacker to the wall before he was fatally shot. Castillo’s bravery inspired two other students to come forward as well and together they were able to disarm and subdue the gunman before any more were killed.
After receiving the assent of those assembled to give Castillo the award, Anderson concluded his remarks by exhorting all those present to follow his example.
My brother Knights, we have made a momentous decision. Kendrick wanted tojoin the Knights of Columbus to be more like us. By your acclamation, you havetold the world that we want to be more like him. We may never be called to give up our lives to save others. But we are all called to give of our lives for others every day.