Celebrating persons with disabilities Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Deacon Jim Hoegemeier, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Jul. 13, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
Enjoying the recent Blessed Margaret Celebration held at Blessed Trinity Parish in Lodi are Fr. Scott Jablonski and Deacon Jim Hoegemeier, associate director of the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities-Diocese of Madison, with Jamie Stratton. (Contributed photo)

MADISON -- Parishes throughout the Diocese of Madison are taking advantage of a program developed and sponsored by the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities-Diocese of Madison (Apostolate to the Handicapped).

Recently, nearly 50 people gathered at Blessed Trinity Parish in Lodi to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of parishioners with disabilities as part of a Blessed Margaret Celebration.

Blessed Margaret of Castello was born with significant disabilities to a royal family. In spite of the challenges she faced, Blessed Margaret grew in faith through the efforts of a priest who took the time to get to know her and to catechize her.

Blessed Margaret eventually opened her own schools to pass on the faith to young children and is recognized by the Church for her faith, perseverance, and virtue.

Celebration in Lodi

The Blessed Margaret Celebration at Blessed Trinity Parish in Lodi presented an opportunity for parishioners with challenges related to disabilities to spend time with their pastor and to share, or have a family member share, their recent accomplishments and contributions.

One young man shared how he had earned very good grades in school and was recognized for his skills in forensic competitions.

A young woman expressed how much she enjoys her position in housekeeping at an area hotel and helping to prepare for religious education classes at the parish.

Several participants told of how they were able to overcome significant illnesses and physical ailments due to the assistance and generosity of others. One woman mentioned how happy she was to overcome an illness so that she could get back to helping others in need.

Every person that shared their accomplishments and contributions was presented with a beautiful rose, a Blessed Margaret prayer card, and a medal and congratulatory note with a quote from St. John Paul II.

Great joy and warmth was experienced by everyone involved and they hope to make the Blessed Margaret Celebration a regular event.

Future celebrations

Anyone with an interest in hosting a Blessed Margaret Celebration at their parish should contact their pastor.

The Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities-Diocese of Madison strives to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the Church.

The apostolate is pleased to provide a $500 grant to the first 10 parishes in the Diocese of Madison that apply to host a Blessed Margaret Celebration. Should expenses related to a Blessed Margaret Celebration be less than $500, the remaining funds can be used to support other forms of disability ministry at the parish.

For more information, contact the apostolate at 608-821-3050 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Deacon Jim Hoegemeier is associate director of the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities-Diocese of Madison.