“If faith does not have works, is dead” – James 2:14-17
RGV Beyond Arts Magazine and The Mobile Journalists of Our Lady of Guadalupe honored The Forgotten Hero of Raymondville, Kent Karl Kauten with a full Catholic funeral mass and a military burial.
Rosa Barrera, Carla Bocanegra, Ralia Cortinas, Jose Trevino, and Celyna Vasquez set out to report on life in their community. With the assignment to chronicle poverty and homelessness in Raymondville, the five students from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish interviewed a bearded homeless man who was often seen near the Expressway 77 overpass.
The students, ranging from sixth graders to a high school junior, were impressed by Kent Karl Kauten’s warm and friendly manner, and he told them he had served in the Vietnam War and was a Navy veteran.
Kauten was found dead just three days after the interview, and, when the student journalists learned that he would be cremated and buried in a pauper’s grave, they sought to ensure that Kent Karl Kauten’s passing was honored the way it should be, with a full Catholic funeral mass and a military burial.
|Mobile Journalist Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe In aymondville, Texas Getting Ready For A TV Shot Back Row, from left to right: Sue Groves, and Polo Sandoval, reporter, KRGV-TV Front row from left to right: Ralia Cortinas, Celyna Cortinas, Carla Bocanegra, and Jose Trevino. (Not pictured but an integral part of the team from our Lady of Guadalupe In Raymondville: Rosa Barrera)|
“Things have come to me with greatness and add vitality to my life because everything is energized by God. Our reach must always exceed our grasp. In Philippians, Paul says “Not that I have already attained, or am perfected, but I press on. Journalism is a ministry. Not only do we have the opportunity to call attention to challenges in our society, such as poverty, we can also fulfill our missions as Christians by practicing the works of mercy, including feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and burying the dead,” said Sue Groves, Contributing Writer, RGV+Beyond Magazine and coordinator of mobile journalist program.
Working with local officials, the five students were able to confirm Mr. Kauten’s military service and his eligibility for military honors, and they raised money to pay for his funeral-often seeking donations on the streets. As the students participated in the funeral at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and the burial, they stood in place of his family and ensured that the combat veteran was treated with dignity and respect.
|Mario Sandoval, news photographer, KRGV-TV, Ralia Cortinas, Celyna Cortinas, Carla Bocanegra And Jose Trevino|
“Our Lord said that the poor will always be with us. Many people use that as an excuse: “Well, I can’t help everyone, so I won’t help anyone.” We can all learn from the example of the Mobile Journalists – they helped someONE. It begins with a single step, and they put ten feet of love in action,” Groves said.
These five journalists saw poverty and homelessness first hand, however they didn’t just take a snapshot-they made a difference. They recognized a need and they stepped in where no one else had to ensure that an American hero would not be forgotten. These 5 amazing young people earned the top prize in the Diocese of Brownsville’s Mobile Journalist Project for their project, titled “I Am Raymondville,” work has been entered in a national contest.
|Sue Groves And Bishop Daniel E. Flores|
“We are so proud of these amazing young people who give their dedication and love to our community,” said Oladayo Sanusi, President of RGV Beyond Arts Magazine.
The Mobile Journalists of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a program put together and championed by young dedicated disciples that fear no walls, they objectively seek the truth in knowledge based on service and commitment to humanity.
For More Information about RGV+Beyond Arts Magazine: http://www.beyondartsmagazine.com/
For More Information about The Mobile Journalists of Our Lady of Guadalupe:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catholic-Diocese-of-Brownsville/128264227192252