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 17, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
Sometimes I find myself thinking how cool it would be to be the manager of a sports team, getting to sign players that I like and to make trades to bring my favorite players into the fold.  The interesting thing about this little scenario is that I think it can be used as an analogy for life, and when we look at it in this way, the scenario actually becomes real!  You see, imagine that we live your own life as being the manager or decision maker of a sports team.  Of course your greatest goal is to thrive and achieve victory, and you are ready to do whatever it takes to win. For those of us who are baptized, our team consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and our fundamental strategy is living a life of Grace!  We have the best lineup possible in the greatest team imaginable alive within us.  At the same time however the “Team of the World” constantly calls us up and pleads with us to make a trade.  The world daily offers this other “Players” that we could plug into our team with the promise that things will be more exciting!  In other words, every day the world offers us the chance to trade away God, who is the most valuable player ever, for the sake of adding something that is clearly lesser.  It seem like a no brainer to reject this trade and to not even give it a second thought, but if we’re being honest, I think we all have to admit that sometimes we give in and accept some horrible trades when we sin.  The thing that we have to realize is that sometimes the world talks these other “Players” up and make them seem like the best thing out there, but nothing is better than God, and He is on our team!  We will win every time so long as we keep giving playing time to the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and trusting them in crunch time and when the game is on the line.  The key is realizing what we have, and understanding that God has everything under control even when things seem difficult.  Focus on God, trust in what He wants to do in your life and in your heart, and let go of any of your fears that you aren’t good enough and that you need to seek pieces of the puzzle apart from God in order to win.  Trust in God and “Fly the W!”
 
God Bless,
Fr. Romke

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 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

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

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 www.lotwem.org/video

From the Desk of Father Romke

                                                                  Welcome!RomkeKeith
 
 
 
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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