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


January 28, 2018

Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

                When I was away last week, many of you probably received my message that I sent out on the “MyParish” App.  (If you don’t already have the app on your smartphone, you can get it by going to the App store, downloading the app, and then selecting to register for our parish to receive important messages and reflections!)  The main gist of what I was experiencing when I was in Rome was how tangible the Faith was no matter where you were.  The Churches are huge, there are nuns and priests everywhere in the streets, and the religious goods stores are plentiful.  Even people who don’t believe in God will make a point of visiting St. Peter’s Basilica because of its grandiose nature and the beauty of all of the art inside.  You can’t help but have God and His Church on the forefront of your mind when you are there.

                In the midst of all of this, I began to realize that these same things unfortunately cannot be said of our day to day lives in the United States.  We, in fact, have to work a little harder to make the Faith come alive and to be able to experience it in a deep way each day.  But we shouldn’t let the fact that we have to work a little harder hold us back from experiencing God and His love for us on a deeper level!  What I want to invite all of us to do is to set ourselves up for success in making the Faith come alive more in our surroundings!  Perhaps we can do this by putting our favorite image of Jesus or Mary or one of the saints as the screensaver on our phone or computer at work or at home.  Maybe we put a statue of Jesus on our desk at work, keep a rosary in our car, and a crucifix above our bed.  Any small thing that we do to place a physical and tangible reminder of God’s presence in our lives will certainly help remind us to pray and to reach out to Him in moments of need or even simply to help us to be grateful when things are going well.

                So too, another way to keep Christ in the center of our lives and in the forefront of our minds is by availing ourselves of the many opportunities that we have to learn more about our Faith!  One perfect opportunity is the upcoming “Light of the World Retreat” which I wholeheartedly desire every single parishioner to experience within the next couple of years (so if this year’s dates of Feb. 9th-12th don’t work for you – then you’d better get ready for next year!)  This is a truly life-changing experience that is right here in your own backyard!  If you’re on the fence about going or not – let this letter be your sign that the Holy Spirit wants you to go!  Call the office to sign up today!

                The final thing that I’ll mention is that the Catholic Church doesn’t only consist of beautiful buildings, statues, music, and art – the Church consists of the people who gather each week to worship – and so while my journey to Rome allowed me to experience the beauty, richness, and depth of the Faith there was one part that was missing that I personally greatly missed – and that was all of you!  I’m glad to be home and to be able to worship God together with all of you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a living example of God’s love in the world.

God Bless You,

Fr. Romke

January 14, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

                As you read this I am currently in Rome, visiting and checking in on the Diocese of Rockford’s Seminarians who are studying here, as a part of my job as Vocation Director.  In this role, I of course am involved in vocation promotion, but I than also interview and work with candidates who are interested in becoming seminarians, and then once the men get into the program and begin studying at the seminary, I have to check in with them as well as have meetings with the faculty that are in charge of their formation.  So that’s why I’m away this weekend – I always miss my parish when I’m away and I can guarantee that by the end of the trip I’ll be anxiously desiring to get back to see you all!

                One of the most incredible things about being in Rome, as you might imagine, is the Churches.  They of course are huge and ornate, and are extraordinarily beautiful, but in my opinion all of those details and characteristics are just a bonus.  The real reason why I find these churches to be so incredible is because of the history of the Catholic Church that these buildings have played a part in.  Many of the saints whom we admire and whose intercession we ask went to Mass, received the Eucharist, and even went to confession in these very churches.  So too, many of these saints are still in these churches today, because their tombs are held within the altars.  My favorite Saint, St. Catherine of Siena, is buried in a beautiful church not far from the Pantheon – Church history down the road from Ancient History!  Then of course we have the amazing story of St. Peter’s Basilica (the world’s largest church) which is built upon the grave of St. Peter.  History has always said that after being crucified upside-down and then buried in 64 a.d. in a necropolis in a region called the Vatican Hill, that in 312 when Constantine legalized Christianity, he built this huge church so that the altar would sit right on top of the tomb of Peter.  Fast forward to the 150’s and they renovated the place the make it what it is today.  Then after doing extensive excavating, in 1968 they discovered the bones of a man who would have been in his 60s or 70s when he died (check) they were able to determine that his profession would have been that of a laborer – Peter was a fisherman (check) there were traces of purple dye on the bones – purple was reserved for royalty – thus the belief is that Constantine must have had the bones wrapped in this rare and prestigious purple cloth since Peter was so important to the Church (check).  And finally, there were no bones from the feet – which made perfect sense because when Peter was killed, in order to get his body down from the cross quickly, so that they too would not be captured, it was always believed that they would have run in quickly, chopped him down, leaving the feet on the cross, and hence there would be no bones from the feet – and there weren’t (Checkmate!)

I think that sometimes, in the midst of all that happens in our lives, it can be easy to forget about the fact that for 2000 years Christians have been gathering together throughout the world to celebrate the Mass.  What we do each Sunday is not something new!  We are a part of a family whose tree goes back 2000 years.  Take some time today to think about how incredible our Catholic Faith is, and thank God for letting all of us be a part of it!  I look forward to seeing you all soon!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

December 31, 2017

Dear Parish Family,

We are right on the cusp of having another year gone by with another one ready to start.  We have once again reached this point where even those who aren’t seeking to grow closer to God seem to want to grow, to improve themselves, and to become better people.  Hopefully this will go well for them.  But what about those of us who are committed to living for God?  Well, we have two big things going for us.  First, that we aren’t on our own to fulfill whatever we discover needs to be worked on.  We have the help of the Holy Spirit and the aid of God’s Grace in everything that we do so long as we ask for it!  Secondly, if we are doing things right, then we aren’t left wondering what a good resolution might be.  You see, God already knows exactly what He wants for you to work on, because He knows what you are capable of and who He is calling you to be!  If you want for this year to be better than the last, or for this year to be the best year of your life, it all starts with letting God plan it out for you, which requires letting go and letting Him show you what steps to take.  We all need to give God just a little more control (actually a lot more, but we’ll start small so as not to overwhelm anyone!) of our day to day lives so that He can maximize our potential for a great year.  So what are you waiting for?  This new adventure starts tomorrow, so get praying!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

January 8, 2018

Happy New Year Everyone!
Here we are at the start of the New Year, this great time when so many people make resolutions to better themselves and their lives.  Many people will get gym memberships in an attempt to get in shape, other will give up smoking or some other habit, and still others may resolve to spend less time watching T.V. and to spend more time with family.  The thing that amazes me (and I’m speaking from my own experience here) is how easy it is to get excited about a resolution and the change that it could bring about, but then within days, weeks, or months to have forgotten about the resolution altogether as we slip right back into our routine.
 
I think that the resolutions that seem to last the longest and that we have the greatest shot of sticking with and making progress in are those in which we have a trainer or a coach, or a partner whom we enter into the quest with.  It is invaluable to have another individual whom we are accountable to and who can help cheer us on.
 
Even though we’re a handful of days into 2018 already, I’m going to propose that the best way to grow and to improve ourselves is to invite Jesus to be our guide and our trainer.  What I mean by this is that we need to do two things: First we ought to pray and to deeply reflect on our lives, and to ask God what areas of our live He wants for us to grow in.  Often we might be tempted to resolve to do things that don’t really reach to the core of who we are, while at the same time we have some deeper areas that need resolving but we’re hesitant to go there!  If we really want to grow, then we need to be willing to let God point out our deepest areas of growth, and to not be afraid let Him in.  Secondly, we need to pray each day for the strength to stand strong and to keep going in our resolutions.  Again, on our own it can be easy to give up, but if we have someone helping us along, it can do wonders to helping us stick with it.  Jesus, in giving us His grace, is the best coach and trainer that we could ever hope for.  So enter in fully with the Lord, and enjoy the progress that you’re sure to slowly see one day and one step at a time.
God Bless,
Fr. Romke

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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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   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.
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