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Speaking for those with no voice

Students from Superior and Douglas County pose together with Bishop James Powers, second from right, in front of Cathedral of Christ the King church Tuesday. The students will take part in today’s March for Life in Washington, D.C. They are, left to right, Ruth Moder, Aidan Jones, Noah Roe, Matthew Minor, Powers and Dane Nielsen. (Maria Lockwood / mlockwood@superiortelegram.com)

Five local high school students will attend the annual March For Life in Washington, D.C. today.

The theme is "The power of one." For Noah Roe of Superior, that statement sums up the last year.

Roe, a 16-year-old sophomore at Superior High School, attended last year's March for Life in Washington, D.C. with his mother Janelle.

"I think it's very important for us to speak up for the unborn, for those who have no voice," Roe said.

A historic snowstorm kept many marchers away last year, but not the Roes. They did get stranded for a few hours on the Pennsylvania turnpike during the return trip, which led to them being interviewed on national news.

"Last year I was the only one to go from Superior," Roe said.

Tuesday, five students from Cathedral of Christ the King parish began the journey to this year's march.

"It's amazing; I am so pleased," said church member Lynn Tracy, who is in charge of charitable ministries. She attended the march two years ago at the Capitol and thought then that it would be great to get young people involved.

Although he's never marched in the event, Fr. Andrew Ricci, pastor at Cathedral of Christ the King, said it's a great opportunity for these young people to see that they're part of something much bigger and get inspired.

"My job is when they get back, help them unpack it," Ricci said, by empowering them to share their experience with others.

He helped Roe speak at church to his peers.

"What was one is now five," Ricci said, crediting the great adults in the parish for their support of the students and their trip.

Among this year's travellers was Aidan Jones, 15, of Foxboro. He's been to Edinburgh, Scotland, but never Washington, D.C.

"It's a big jump for me," said Jones, who is home-schooled. "I think it's important to support the pro-life movement."

In addition to the march, which takes place today, the students plan to explore the city and attend a youth leadership event. Jones said he's looking forward to seeing the Korean War Memorial.

Generous donors and the Diocese of Superior are helping fund the trip, Tracy said, and Duluth churches have expressed an interest in teaming up with Cathedral in future years.

"Hopefully, it will become an annual event," she said.

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