Over 50 students and staff members from St. Mary’s Colgan attended both the Rally for Life in Topeka and March for Life in Washington, D.C.

At the rally in Topeka, students and faculty chaperones were able to attend Catholic mass at the Topeka Performing Arts Center before marching to the Capitol and participating in the pro-life rally. The school administration provides transportation for the staff and students, as well as hiring substitute teachers.

“We always encourage our kids to stand up for their faith,” Jr. High and High School Principal David Stephenson said. “It is important for our kids to understand that life is a precious gift from God and go out and live that message.”

Teachers from St. Mary’s Jr. High said it benefits the students greatly to see young people rallying for their beliefs.

“St. Mary’s Colgan Junior High has attended the Topeka Rally for Life for several years to give students the opportunity to stand up for all people, as expressed by Bishop Carl Kemme, from ‘womb to tomb,’” Jr. High Teachers Debbie Butler and Bev Presley said. “We think it’s important because the pro-life movement goes beyond our school and parish community, and it’s beneficial for our students to see so many people, including a great number of teenagers, who support the cause.”

St. Mary’s Colgan Student Brooklyn Caskey said she chose to march because it is important to stand up and support life.

“It is very important,” she said. “Everyone with the same love for life getting together is great.”

Aiden Fleming also attend the rally and said the trip was great. Students saw former Governor Sam Brownback at mass and listened to guest speakers during the rally. Student Jane Kerr said one speaker in particular resonated with her.

“One of the speakers was a failed abortion and that was pretty powerful,” she said.

Students and chaperones also traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the March for Life on January 19 — the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Fleming described the historic court decision as devastating.

“It was a devastating court decision that changed the U.S. and disrespected life,” Fleming said.

Fleming also had a simple message for those who agree.

“Join the march,” Fleming said.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.