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

December 17, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

As part of the mission of our Church, we are called to educate our children in our beautiful Catholic faith.  To do this, it takes all of us; those who have small children, grown children, grandchildren and those who don’t have any children.  We are all responsible for their Catholic Education.  

We know giving a child a Catholic Education at a Catholic School is a sacrifice for families and our church communities.  Now there is a new and exciting opportunity we have here in the State of Illinois.

Earlier this fall, the State of Illinois passed the Invest in Kids Act.  This legislation outlined the state’s program to fund public schools, but it also created the tax scholarship program.  The tax scholarship program is designed to give all families, regardless of income, access to choices in education…including Catholic Schools. 

The new law has allowed for private, non-profit organizations to accept donations and give out private school scholarships to students in grades K-12 based on income.  Our Diocese has chosen to partner with Empower Illinois and all correspondences will go through them.

Scholarships of 50, 75 or 100% of tuition and necessary fees based on income will be available to students.    A chart with qualifying incomes is available in today’s bulletin.  If you or someone you know would qualify, please encourage them to apply!

However, for the scholarships to be available to needy students, we also need your help.  This is not a state funded program.  The program will be funded completely by donations.  Donations can be made on the corporate level or as an individual.  No amount is too small! 

As an incentive, the State has agreed to give a 75% tax credit for the amount of the donation up to $1 million dollars.  For example:  A person donates $1000 to the program.  In return they receive a $750 tax credit on their State income taxes.  So their $1000 donation really cost them $250. 

Individuals can direct their donation to a specific school or subset of school.  If you decided to donate, we ask that you specify St. Mary Elementary and Jr. High.  This way we can help the families right here in our community give their children the blessing of a Catholic Education in a Catholic School.

DONATIONS:  In order to donate there are some steps that have to be taken ahead of time, so please review this information at the Empower Illinois website,

The applications for students are expected to begin January 24, 2018. 

Now obviously this is the simple explanation of the new tax scholarship program.  If you would like to know more information or have specific questions, please contact Beth Heitkamp at the Rockford Diocese 815.399.4300, Jean Spohn at St. Mary’s 815.284.6986 or Caroline Toppert, Business Manager/St. Mary’s 815.284.7719

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Keith Romke

December 10, 2017

Dear Parish Family,

Two weeks ago I was happy to announce the direction that we are going with regarding the flooring project that was begun by Fr. Sehr before Fr. Easton’s and my arrival.  Over the last 6 months many people had asked me what the status of the project was so I was glad to be able to give an update.  For those of you who may have been out of town, or for anyone who wanted a little more clarification, I figured I’d recap things here:  

The current carpet has been in place since 1997 and has all of the wear, tear, spills, stains, and fading that you’d expect to see after 20 years of use in a high traffic area!  So too there is a large hole by one of the doorways.  Because of this Fr. Sehr had begun to get bids to redo the floor.  Since my arrival the finance council as well as the parish pastoral council have had numerous in-depth discussions the direction of this projects, and we have decided to move ahead with it.

The first phase of the project will see a beautiful new marble floor installed into our sanctuary.  The councils and I looks at many different samples and products to see what material would be the best fit, and after factoring in the that the cost of labor is the same regardless of what product we select, we realized that it was not all that significant of a difference to renew our floor with a beautiful marble rather than a different material.  So the plan will be to install a crème colored floor into our sanctuary along with the necessary addition of 2 handrails to assist the cantors, lectors, and Eucharistic Ministers to have safe access the sanctuary during Mass.  The second phase will be to replace our existing carpet with quality carpet squares which will allow us to replace individual pieces should spills, stains or other issues arise in the future.  The ability to easily replace damaged sections of the carpet along with the durability of a marble floor will make these new additions last for generations which of course is a great thing!

We hope to begin phase 1 this spring, with phase 2 getting underway shortly thereafter so long as we have the funds for it.  The entire project is going to cost roughly $58,000.  I would like to ask you to please prayerfully consider giving to this project.  You can do so either by stopping in the office to drop off your donation or by placing it in the collection in an envelope clearly marked “flooring-project.”  Allow me to also say thank you in advance both for your generosity with this plan and also THANK YOU for making St. Patrick’s a special home for us all and a great place to be!

God Bless You,

Fr. Romke

November 26, 2017

Dear Parish Family,
There's been a whole lot going on lately and there's a whole lot coming up for our Parish so I figured I would take this space to recap and refresh everyone on all that is going on:
- Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent and will be our Parish liturgical New Year celebration weekend!  Please invite lots of your family and friends to come to Mass - Especially those who may have been away for a while!
- The traveling vocation chalice program for families is in full swing! If you are interested in bringing the chalice and prayer book home for a week please stop in the office to sign up!
- The MyParish app has been working wonderfully and is a great way to have access to the bulletin, to know what's going on in the parish, and also a great way for me to keep in contact with all of you! If you don't have it yet you can text "APP" to 88202 and then follow the instructions.
- Confession is one of the most powerful  and freeing sacraments, so we have two great upcoming opportunities to receive God's Mercy! The first is Wednesday, Oct. 6th at a joint Advent Penance service for both Dixon parishes held at St Ann's at 6:30 p.m.  The second is something new that we will be doing this year which is an Advent version of the "Be Reconciled day" that we typically do in Lent.  So on Wednesday, December 20th the confessional at st. Patrick's will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.  I hope that everyone takes advantage of these great opportunities!
- Finally, I know that many of you had been waiting to hear an update on what would be happening with the sanctuary floor in the church.  It was exciting for me to be able to unveil the plan this weekend and I can't wait to see how it is going to look when the floor and the railings are completed.   I ask again that you prayerfully consider donating to the project and helping our church to continue to look beautiful for years to come!
Thanks for being an amazing Parish and for making your priests proud!
God Bless,
Fr. Romke

December 3, 2017

Dear Parish Family,

I am filled with emotion as I tell you that a new, beautiful statue of St. Peregrine has been donated to our parish by Bob and Gerry Stevens.  For those of you who don’t know, St. Peregrine is the patron saint of those who have cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.  I have been wanting to bring awareness of this incredible saint to our parish because there are so many people among our own family, friends, and parish who are affected by this disease. 

Here is a quick overview of his story: St. Peregrine was a priest member of the Servite order in Italy, who in the 1300’s was diagnosed as having a painful cancerous ulcer in his right leg that would not stop bleeding.  After a doctor came to visit the friary, everyone was in agreement that the only way to save Peregrine was for the leg to be amputated.  The night before the operation was to occur, despite the pain, Peregrine made his way into the chapter room so that he could pray in front of the crucifix that was there.  After a while of intense prayer, he fell asleep, and in a dream he saw Jesus come down from the cross and touch the wound on his leg.  When he awoke he looked down at his leg which was completely healed and when the doctor arrived he declared Peregrine to be cancer free. Word of this miracle quickly spread and following his death in 1345, those who were sick began to ask his intercession, many of which have been cured.  The lesson for all of us is not just that a miracle was granted but that a faithful servant placed himself, unconditionally, in the hands of God.  Peregrine’s trust in God therefore serves as a model for those dealing with sickness.  For this reason Peregrine is the patron Saint of those with Cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

In conjunction with receiving this great gift, I will be blessing the statue during the 10:30 Mass on Dec. 10th.  Then, following the Mass there will be a short service during which anyone who is seriously sick may come forward to receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Sometimes people ask who this sacrament is for – the Catechism explains that the Anointing of the Sick "is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived."  This beautiful sacrament is a great source of strength and defends against fear that can come in the face of illness.  So if you or anyone you know may be in need of this sacrament, please make sure to come or to invite them to come to the 10:30 Mass and to stay afterwards on Dec. 10th!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

CSW Breakfast 2018 front page of website med

         LOTW LogoSave the date to attend the LOTW Retreat

February 9 - 12, 2018

Please join us on this extraordinary retreat offered right here at St. Patrick's. 

This is your one opportunity to attend this retreat in 2018.

More info can be found at

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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Assisted Hearing Logo

   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.