Messages of faith, hope as Kendrick Castillo laid to rest

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More than 80 men, decorated in red, purple and green regalia, gathered in front of St. Mary Catholic Parish in Littleton. The Knights of Columbus traveled from across Colorado to honor Kendrick Castillo, a young man who aspired to be one of their own.

Friends and families — many parents arrived hand-in-hand with their young ones — trickled into the church for the May 17 funeral. Inside the sanctuary, surrounded by windows of colorful stained glass, Auxiliary Bishop Jorge Rodriguez spoke of faith and hope to the crowd of hundreds.

Castillo, the 18-year-old killed in the May 7 school shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, has “left this world of evil to be with God,” Rodriguez said.

The procession led guests to Seven Stones, a cemetery and botanic garden near Chatfield State Park, about eight miles south of the church. Golden rays beamed through a cloud-covered sky as a soft breeze blew through Aspen trees, weaved among manicured grass and headstones made of granite, glass and metal. The mountains, a place where Castillo loved to fish and hunt, stood tall in the background.

There, the epitome of Colorado beauty, is where John and Maria Castillo laid to rest their son, a hero who risked his life to save the people he loved.

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