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A day of inspiration ahead
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MONROE - "Out of difficulties grow miracles" is the theme for the Apostolate to the Handicapped Christmas dinner and Mass Saturday, Dec. 5, at Monroe High School.

"This is the story of our lives," said Monsignor Thomas Campion, founder and director of the Apostolate to the Handicapped.

Campion said the day provides a time for people to join together and share friendships, make new friends and be a source of inspiration.

"On that day the Lord says, 'I will gather the lame, I will assemble the disabled and those whom I have afflicted,'" Campion said.

Campion said the dinner and Mass are a high point of the year for the handicapped.

"It's a fun, solemn, reverent and happy time," he said, "with love and joy for all."

Saturday's event marks the 42nd year the Apostolate to the Handicapped has had its Christmas dinner and Mass. The program began with about 60 guests and now includes about 1,000 people who come from southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and Iowa. Some come from as far away as Chicago to attend the event.

It takes hundreds of volunteers to make the day a success, Campion said. They drive buses, cook meals, bake cookies, work on the planning committees and serve food, among countless other jobs.

Hugo and Heidi will begin entertaining at 9:45 a.m.

Bishop Robert Morlino and 15 other priests will concelebrate Mass at 11 a.m. The Diocesan Choir under the direction of Dr. Pat Gorman will sing for the Mass. Instrumentalists from Monroe High School also will perform.

The disabled community will bring the gifts to the altar and the bishop during the Mass.

A traditional Christmas dinner will be served following the Mass.