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

September 10, 2017

Dear Parish Family,

Earlier this week, one morning before Mass, I was praying at the chapel in the rectory and the question of whether or not I truly strive to follow God's will each day kept surfacing in my mind and it just wouldn't go away.  At first I thought to myself "Well, of course I'm following God's will, because He called me to become a priest, I became a priest, and each day I fulfill my duties."  However, as I continued to pray, I felt drawn to revisit this idea on a deeper level.  Immediately I felt the Lord speak to my heart and say “You followed my call to become A priest, now will you follow my call to become THE priest that I’m calling you to be?” As I allowed this to sink in, and as I began to reflect on it, I realized that God calls us to live in a deep union with Him each and every day in all aspects of our lives. It can be so easy for any of us to wake us and say our morning prayers, go about our work, do what we need to do around the house, and think to ourselves that we’re doing pretty well and fulfilling what is required of us. In some sense this is how I can tend to view my priesthood.

But on that recent morning, I sensed the Lord asking me to go deeper, and to bring each aspect of my daily life to Him. Before each phone call or e-mail I need to be praying for the person whom I’ll be calling or sending a message to. When I’m in the car I can be listening to Catholic Podcasts rather than sports radio (which I really like to listen to!) It’s not that sports radio is bad, but maybe God wants to use that time in the car to fulfill my heart on a deeper level. The bottom line is that in the big picture we may be where God wants for us to be, but the question that remains to be answered is if we’re taking to job seriously enough and if we’re ready and willing to go deeper and to let God be in control. So please pray for me, and for Fr. Easton as well, that we might not simply be priests, but that we can be the priests that God is calling us to be, and be assured of our prayers so that you can become not just sons and daughters of God, but the son or the daughter of God that He is calling you to be.

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

P.S. – I just want to remind everyone that our RCIA class, for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith or becoming Catholic starts this upcoming Wednesday at 7:15pm. Being involved with this class is always one of the highlights of the year for me, and anyone is invited, even if you are already Catholic and you just want to learn more about your faith.  I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

August 27, 2017

Dear Parish Family,

One of the most comforting passages in the entire Bible comes from the Prophet Jeremiah, where God says: "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  I love these words because they are a direct assurance that no matter what we are experiencing, we know that God has everything under-control.  This is the case when things continue to go along for us as they always have, and it is still the case when things shift unexpectedly and we don't know quite what the future holds.  The bottom line is no matter where we find ourselves, there is never a situation that God doesn't have under control, and not only does He have them under control, but He assures us that he will provide us with hope and a future.  My hope is that this reminder can give you a lot of comfort!

One particular place where I have seen God's faithfulness unfold recently has been in our own parish office.  Let me begin by saying that this staff both at the parish as well as at the school is top notch, and I am so grateful for the contributions, inspiration, and great work that everyone does.  I can't believe how blessed I am to work with such a great team.  One person who has been invaluable to me in my short time here, and who has served this parish faithfully for so many years is Molly Smith who is the heart and soul of the day to day operations of the parish and the smiling face that greets you whenever you walk through the door and have any business to take care of.  Molly and her family are going to be moving - and we are sad to see her go - but the amazing thing is that God has already revealed His plan for her in that she'll continue to make an impact through her faith by serving St. Benedict parish in Fontana, Wisconsin, as their Director of Religious Education!  Let us all be sure to pray for Molly as she embarks on this new adventure.

I am also excited to announce that Kara Grot, a life-long parishioner whom many of you know, will be serving this parish as the new secretary.  She too, like Molly is incredibly faith-filled, she loves to help others who are in need, and I'm sure that her joy and positivity will be contagious in the office.  With Kara at the helm God's promise rings true yet again, in saying that He has plans to give us hope and a future!

Feel free to stop in this week to wish Molly good luck and to welcome Kara!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

August 13, 2017

Dear Parish Family,

I was recently reminded of how important it is to be filled with gratitude on a day-to-day basis and to take note of the things that we have to be thankful for.  As a result, I have spent a lot of time the past week praying and thanking God for the fact that we have such a beautiful Church, a loving, caring, and supportive parish community, an amazing office staff that is helpful and welcoming, and an incredible school that thrives due to the attentive care of the administration as well as the passion of the teachers.  We truly have so much to be thankful for here at St Patrick's and St Mary's!  If we were to add in all of the other various aspects of our lives that we have to be thankful for, the list would go on and on.  I encourage you to take time this week to pray and ask God to help you see all the things that you have to be grateful for.

The reason why I am specifically pinpointing gratitude as something that we need to call to mind is because being thankful can help us to avoid many of the temptations that can threaten to take away our peace on a daily basis.  You see, anger, jealousy, impatience, and any other slew of attitudes or feelings that can creep in will be unable to sink in and grab a foothold in our hearts so long as we turn our minds to God in thanksgiving for all that he has given us.  However, if we fail to take note of all that we have been given, it can be oh so easy to be filled with self-pity and to feel like others are mistreating us and leaving us without the things we need to be happy.

So think about all that you have been given, give thanks to God, and live each day of your life as a response of gratitude to the God who has given you so much!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

August 20, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Over the last week I've seen a whole lot of emotion on the faces of our children!  I've seen some very very joyful faces that have been filled with excitement as well as a good number of faces that looked quite forlorn.  Ninety-Nine percent of the time when I asked what was going on they informed me that school was starting for them either last week or this upcoming week!  My guess is that some of their teachers probably fall into both camps as well!  

The bottom line is that regardless of whether or not you enjoyed it or dreaded it as a child when it was time to return back to school at the end of the summer, you didn't have a choice, so you went back and the end result was that you learned and grew smarter and more knowledgeable over time.  Perhaps on a day to day basis you weren't able to feel as if you were learning or to perceive that your brain was expanding, but it was nevertheless!  The fact of the matter is that from the start of the year until the end of it, great and noticeable progress is made as a result of faithfully showing up each day.  This cycle of course repeats itself year in and year out.

What I want to propose today is that just as our brains grew and grew as children, that as adults the very same expansion can happen in our hearts if we commit ourselves to studying our Faith!  Wouldn't it be great if all of us adults could join the kids in solidarity and make the choice to learn and grow so that we can expand not only our minds but especially our hearts?  Perhaps as you read what I just proposed you were filled with excitement, or maybe you began to feel apprehensive and forlorn.  Let me assure you that it doesn't matter how you initially feel about the idea, all that matters is that if at the beginning of this school year you decide to embark on a journey of learning your faith in a deeper way so that you can in turn love it in a deeper way, that over time you will notice an expansion of your heart!

One great way to learn more or even just to refresh yourself with what we believe as well as why it is that we believe what we believe, would be by attending our parish's RCIA class that will be launching on September 13th and then running on Wednesday evenings up through Easter.  So too starting shortly I am going to be putting a link into this column each week that will give access to a short video or lesson that we can all watch online together so that we can learn more and more about our faith - I'm super excited about this because I'm sure that I'm going to learn a lot too as I try to find interesting a relevant faith-filled material for us all to take-in and absorb each week.  I hope you'll be as excited about this as I am, but even if you're forlorn - know that in the end it will be worth it to "go back to school" and that in the end your heart will thank you.

Let me conclude by saying that Fr. Easton and I are praying in a special way for all of our students as well as all of our teachers that you all have a great year!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

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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