Blessed Margaret Celebration and outreach Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, May. 09, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

apostolate group
Fr. Gary Krahenbuhl, pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Portage, shares a joyful group photo during the parishes recent Blessed Margaret Celebration. (Catholic Herald photo/Kayla Schiesser)

PORTAGE -- St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Portage recently hosted a Blessed Margaret Celebration. The celebration began with a Saturday afternoon Mass, followed by a shared meal.

As was the case with such celebrations at the parish in previous years, a special effort was made to expand the event and to invite all persons with disabilities in the larger community, not just parish members.

Fr. Gary Krahenbuhl, pastor, in his homily gave a special welcome to persons with disabilities, family members, caregivers, and volunteers. He invited all to enjoy a delicious meal and opportunities to socialize after Mass. In his message, Father Krahenbuhl also stated that “All are precious in the eyes of God.”

Many volunteers planned and provided support to ensure the event was a success. Several parishioners provided food and helped serve the meal.

Students from St. Mary School also created special homemade cards that were presented to participants. Attendees also received a white carnation as a reminder that they “are precious in the eyes of God.”

Those who attended the afternoon Mass and meal felt it was a very joyful event and look forward to future opportunities to celebrate and encourage the active participation of persons with disabilities in the life of the parish.

Blessed Margaret of Castello history

Margaret della Metola was born in Italy in 1287. She was born blind and with a spinal deformity, which made it difficult for her to walk. At a young age, a priest began to instruct her in the faith and ensured that she received the sacraments.

Margaret became attracted to Religious life. However, due to her disabilities, no convent would accept her. Eventually, she was admitted into the Third Order of St. Dominic and received the Religious habit, which she wore for the rest of her life.

In spite of the challenges related to her disabilities, Margaret established several schools which provided religious instruction to children. She was beatified by Pope Paul V on October 19, 1609.

New initiative

Beginning with St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Madison, the Diocese of Madison began an inclusive event to highlight the accomplishments and contributions of parishioners with disabilities.

The initial event coordinators requested and received grant funding from the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities (APD) in the Diocese of Madison.

Given the success of the event, APD began the Blessed Margaret Celebration initiative in 2016, to replicate such events throughout the diocese.

Parishes can host event

The APD provides grants to parishes that would like to host a Blessed Margaret Celebration.

There are only two initial requirements to receive funding: establish a suggested date for the parish event, and obtain written approval from the parish pastor for the event.

Parishes can receive funding for a Blessed Margaret Celebration each year. Any parish interested is encouraged to contact the APD at 608-821-3050 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it