St. Patrick's ChurchSt. Patrick Church

 A Parish in the Diocese of Rockford 

612 Highland Ave.
Dixon, IL 61021

815-284-7719 phone
815-284-4758 fax

St. Patrick Church email

April 15, 2018

Dear Parish Family,

                Recently, someone brought to my attention a book titled “Going, Going, Gone,” which is all about how a large number of people throughout the country are leaving church and no longer practicing their faith.  Unfortunately, the statistics concerning this phenomenon are all too true.  Without even reading the book, I can tell you precisely why this is the case.  It is because all of us deeply and desperately want to BELONG.  We want to be welcomed and to feel like we are a part of something.  We want to fit in, to be accepted, and to belong.  So much of our culture is absorbed in media, whether on television or social media on the phone or computer.  People are becoming more and more isolated, we all desperately want to be a part of something and yet sometimes we don’t know where to turn.  The church is a place where people seek to find community, and while it is there, sometimes people don’t immediately sense that this is a place where their longing for belonging can be fulfilled.  All of these thoughts, prompted by the mention of this book, came to me on the heels of another conversation with someone else about the idea and concept of “parish life.”  The concept of parish life today is unfortunately a lot different than it was in the 50’s and 60’s.  Back then so much of what people did socially and recreationally was rooted in the happenings of their parish.  Nowadays of course there are so many different options out there for these things from other places (which is great!) but at the same time I feel like in the church in general across the country there isn’t as much offered and so the concept of parish life is different.  I however, want to do all that we can here at St. Patrick’s, to day-by-day revitalize and renew this sense of “parish life” that was so common decades ago.  I want for St. Patrick’s to feel like home, to feel like a place that you can come to belong.  I want for St. Patrick’s to be a place where community is vibrant and readily available, and where there are opportunities to live out your faith beyond Mass on Sunday (which is the greatest way for us to belong and be united as one as we receive the Eucharist together!)  Because of this, in the coming months you are going to begin to see new groups, ministries, and opportunities pop up!  I can’t wait to continue to grow and deepen our family bond and sense of belonging as a parish!

I know that I’m mentioning this WAY in advance, but I’m doing so, so that you have time to invite others or to decide to participate yourself.  Just 2 weeks ago at the Easter Vigil we had 5 Baptisms, 7 Confirmations, and 9 First Communions!  All of these sacraments were received by individuals who went through our catechetical programs this past year.  Our RCIA program for 2018 will be beginning in September and I hope that we can fill the room with individuals with open hearts who want to learn more about God and His Church!  If you’re not Catholic but have been thinking about joining or have been on the fence regarding a decision for a while, then I want to invite you to learn more about the Faith this upcoming year.  So too, if you are Catholic and have always been, but just want to learn more about this beautiful Faith and family that we belong to, then I’d love to see you at class too.  These weekly lessons are geared toward helping you understand and fall in love with the faith in a deeper way, so I hope you consider attending or even inviting a non-Catholic friend along to learn more and to check it out.

Finally, another way that countless people for the last hundred years have experienced the joy of belonging to this great community has been by attending St. Mary’s Grade School.  I cannot accurately put into words how great it is to be able to visit the school on a daily basis to teach the kids about our Lord and at the same time to delight in the fun stuff they all come up with.  It truly is a pure joy to be a “Father” for 180+ kids.  If you’re wondering if St. Mary School right across the street would be a great fit for your child (I can already tell you the answer is YES!) then I want to invite you to come over to our open house next week, Sunday April 22nd from 11:30-12:30.  Teachers, students, our Principal Jean Spohn, and myself will all be there to answer any questions and to show you around.  St. Mary’s school holds a special place in my heart, and I hope you can come on the 22nd so that you can see and understand why . . . and so that you can see why it can hold a special place in your, and your child’s heart as well.

God Bless you and know that I love being your priest and that I’m glad to belong to this community.

-          Fr. Romke

April 8, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Easter! Perhaps you're confused why I'm saying this when Easter was celebrated last Sunday, but the truth of the matter is that Easter is such a huge and momentous occasion and celebration that the church asks us to celebrate Easter for 8 straight days! So, no matter what cross may be present in your life, keep your focus on the resurrection!

The Sunday after Easter Sunday is also Divine Mercy Sunday, an incredible feast and celebration that was inaugurated by Saint John Paul II. He instituted this day because it is what Jesus asked for when he appeared to Saint Maria Faustina in Poland in the early 1900s. Jesus said that his Mercy is such an incredible gift and it is something that he wants to pour out upon each of us without measure! Sometimes we may be tempted either to think that we have done some pretty bad stuff or that the little things that we do add up and we just can't seem to stop them. No matter what we have done, Jesus says "The greater ones sins are, the greater right they have to my Mercy!" This of course is great news, the best news you will here today (regardless of who wins The Masters!)

So let us rejoice to know that Jesus is Alive, that He is risen from the dead, and that through His Incredible Gift of Mercy even though we may be weighed down with the death of sin, that He can take it all away in an instant. So trust in His Mercy, trust in the power of the sacrament of confession, and enjoy your life in Christ!

God Bless you,
Fr. Romke

March 25, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are just one week away from Easter!  We of course have been preparing our hearts for this great celebration throughout this time of Lent.  At the same time, there have been a group of incredible men and women who have been preparing since September to become Catholic and receive the sacraments for the first time.  In light of these incredible gifts from God, the sacraments, I wanted to share with all of you something that the 8th grade daughter of a friend of mine wrote for class recently:

“Many of my friends have asked me why we need sacraments because they don't believe that they actually do anything good for us.  I always say the same thing: The sacraments are like food.  You never really feel the food getting digested unless you're sick, but you are aware that it is happening.  It is the same for the sacraments, without the sacraments we would not be able to grow or carry on our Catholic lives.  Without food you are just lazy and you don't have any energy to do anything.  Like food, without our sacraments we are spiritually lazy and don't have the energy to help others.  There are also different types of food that do different things.  For example, eggs give you protein which gives you energy, whereas meat gives you unsaturated salts that help your body in a different way. The different sacraments also do different things. Baptism is like baby food it introduces us to the faith.  Reconciliation and anointing of the sick are like medications that help us when we are sick or sending so that we may be healed.  Confirmation is like red meat, it gives us the energy to help others and be good spiritual adults.  Matrimony and holy orders are like vegetarians and meat-eaters, they are both good in their own ways but they have different ideals.  And the Eucharist is at water, it is the most important thing to consume and we could not possibly live without it.  All these put together makes us good Catholics, and help us all in different ways.”

I’ll sum it all us by saying that we need the sacraments even more than we need food because the sacraments keep us alive for eternal life, not just life here on earth.  It is my hope that as our new Catholic brothers and sisters receive these sacraments for the first time, that you might reflect on the depth and importance of your own receiving of these sacraments.

Finally, I would like to invite all of you to join your parish family for the celebration of the Sacred Triduum for the following services:

Thursday, March 29th – 7:00 Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Friday, March 30th – 1:00 Good Friday Passion Service

Saturday, March 31st – 7:00 Easter Vigil

Have a great last week of Lent!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

April 1, 2018

Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Rejoice for the Lord has Risen!  Today is a day of pure joy because as Christ rises from the grave we are taught that nothing can keep Him down – not even death.  The reason why we can take heart in this is because GOD LOVES US SO MUCH that He comes into our very bodies and souls through the sacraments and in doing so He shares His very eternal and resurrected life with us!  So, it is 100% completely true that since nothing can keep Jesus down, that nothing can keep us down either, so long as we remain united to Him by living our lives in accord with His loving plans.

I want to take this opportunity to say again how grateful I am to God for being here at St. Patrick Church with all of you!  The LIFE of this parish is inspiring.  Just last week when Fr. Gary Caster was wrapping up his mission, he referred to our parish as “Catholic Disney Land” and said that when he retires he’d love to move into our neighborhood and help out here at the parish!  I was so happy that he was able to see the vibrant life that exudes from all of you because you possess the life of Christ!  (On a side-note: His mission was incredible and I’m so grateful that he came.  If you missed any or all of the talks you can still hear them by clicking on the homily icon in the “myParishApp.”)

Finally, I’d like to personally thank everyone who helped make the St. Joseph’s day Dinner and Celebration a beautiful opportunity to rejoice for the example and presence of St. Joseph in our lives as well as an occasion to get together to share a DELICIOUS meal as a parish family!  So thank you from the bottom of my heart to Jen Sagel for the idea and for organizing everything, and thank you to Joey Sagel, Krista Ballard, Ted and Nancy Dunphy, Kara Grot, Josie Whaley, Anthony and Beth Welty, Jeremy Lehman, Missy Rhodes, Jen Hernandez, Diane Melton, Jeanne Powers, Jane Jungerman, and Colby Ardis for your incredible and invaluable help! THANK YOU!!!

Happy Easter and know of my love in Christ for all of you!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

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All day preschool

First Communion

to our First Communicants who received the Sacrament of Holy Communion on April 14, 2018!
Jessica Ardis
Ariella Ashley
Teague Bray
Kyara Chavez
Charles Connors
Aubrey Devine
Aracely Flores
Jade Grossmann
Miles Grot
Jason Hemmen
Desmond Kelly
Kyle Lahey
Isabella Lanning
Abigail Levan
Alana Lorenzen
Mindy Lorenzen
Braelynn Melsness
Brooks Palmer
Jackson Palmer
Beckham Rock
Mason Schaefer
Lola Schwarz
Trevor Simpson
Brennan Summers
Tatiana Velasco
Ryann Wadsworth
Tyson Williams
Brady Zeller-Rosinski

From the Desk of Father Romke

It is truly a joy to be the administrator of St. Patrick parish here in Dixon!  From the time that I joined the diocese as a seminarian in 2003, as an 18 year-old who had just graduated from High school in Elgin, up until the day before I arrived here and began calling St. Patrick’s my home, I heard people speak about how loving, caring, and vibrant this parish is.  As I made my way through 4 years of Philosophical Studies at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Nebraska, followed by 4 years of studying Theology in Rome, I wondered with great anticipation what parishes I would serve as an associate priest after my ordination in 2011, and ultimately what my first parish as administrator would be.  I served as an associate at Holy Cross Parish in Batavia and St. Bridget Parish in Loves Park along with being the Diocesan Director of Vocations since 2013.  When the time came that the bishop entrusted me with shepherding my own parish, and I was told I’d be coming to St. Patrick Parish in Dixon, I was thrilled and humbled to be asked to minister to the people of such a great community and parish.  Know that I am ready and willing to help everyone and anyone however I can so that we can all continue to grow in our love and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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   We have Assistive hearing devices available in a basket on the usher’s table in the narthex.
There are four and there is a sign out sheet. They must be returned at the conclusion of Mass for the next user.
Need help? Just ask an usher.