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


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

November 19, 2017

Dear Parish Family,

I don't know if your experience is the same as mine, but it seems as if this is the time of the year that everything goes into hyperdrive! Whenever Thanksgiving approaches and the Advent season and Christmas are not far over the horizon, things get extremely busy.  When life gets overwhelming, frequently, the first thing to go is prayer! However, it's especially in these situations that we need to be setting aside time to pray so that we can remember that God is in control and that we will succeed if we place everything into his hands!

This whole idea reminds me of a story that I once heard concerning St. Mother Teresa and a priest.  Mother Teresa asked him how his prayer life was going, and he explained to her that he had frequently found it to be extremely difficult to find time to pray in the midst of all of his other ministerial duties.  Seeking sympathy, he explained to her that he woke up at 5 every morning so that he could exercise and get his thoughts together for his homily for morning Mass. After that he had meetings throughout the morning and would take a small break around noon for lunch. As soon as he would finish eating he would head over to the hospital or visit anyone who is homebound who needed a visit.  After that when he would get back to the parish he'd respond to any emails or phone calls that had come in and before long it would be time for dinner followed by evening appointments. Typically after these appointments were finished he would still have other correspondence to catch up with him by the time everything was finished it was 10 or 11 at night and he was exhausted and ready for bed.  The last words out of his mouth were "So as you can see, I simply don't have time for prayer!"  Mother Teresa looked at him and asked "You say you get up at 5?" and when he said "Yes" she very matter-of-factly said "Then get up at 4, pray, and trust that God will provide!"  This holy and inspiring saint of our Church was making it abundantly clear that there is no excuse not to pray and that even if prayer cuts into our sleep time, that we need to trust that God will provide us with the energy we need to get through the day! So keep this in mind and make sure to schedule a time with God each day even as things get busier and busier!

God Bless You,

Fr. Romke

October 29, 2017

Dear Parish Family,
               As I mentioned at the end of my homily last weekend, I am extremely grateful to all of the volunteers that help out and assist St. Patrick Church and St. Mary School in so many ways – probably in some ways that I don’t even know about because you do such a great job, everything runs so smoothly, and there is great humility present to the point that I might not even see the great work being done.  So I want to again say thank you for all of you who already help and to also say thank you for those of you who checked new boxes on the time and talent sheet this year!  Thank you for your dedication, love, and support of our great parish.  You’ll probably get sick of hearing me say this, but I am SO PROUD of all of you and I thank God daily for allowing me to be here with you!
               That being said, I’d like in a special way to express my profound gratitude to 2 men from our parish who ceaselessly pour out their time, talent, and hearts into what they do here.  So Thank you Deacon Sam Berard and Deacon Terry Wagner for all that you do!  For those of you who don’t know, both of our deacons set up for and assist at Masses throughout the week and the weekend, they both help teach classes for RCIA, and help in so many other ways.  Deacon Sam has a beautiful ministry to those who are sick at the hospital as well as those who are homebound or in various nursing homes.  He spends countless hours and drives many, many miles visiting so many people to bring them our Lord present in the Eucharist as well as present in his heart.  Deacon Terry teaches religious education, in particular preparing some of our wonderful kids who are preparing for baptism, confession, and first Holy Communion. Recently, Deacon Terry was awarded the “Bishop O’Neill Award” being recognized for outstanding service as a faithful Catholic & Catechist, teaching religious education for 24 years!  He always runs various Bible studies or other programs, such as “Catholics Returning Home” which he will be starting up again soon (so if you know of any non-practicing Catholics that you’d like to invite, please keep this in mind!)  There are many other things that they do as well, but I don’t have space to include everything.  So again, thank you deacons for all that you do!
               I also want to put out there the notion that both of these men entered the Diaconate as a response to a calling that they felt the Lord placed upon their hearts.  So this was not only something that they wanted to do but something that they felt God drew them to.  This idea that they had a “Vocation” to the diaconate is something that we’ll be talking about next week for “National Vocation Awareness Week,” but for now I’d like to encourage any men from our parish who may be intrigued by the idea of possibly becoming a deacon, to pray about it and to ask God if He may be calling you to this incredible vocation and form of service.
               Thank you again everyone for all that you do!
God Bless,
Fr. Romke

November 12, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

                I hope and pray that you all had a great “National Vocation Awareness Week!”  My hope is that this past weekend, as I preached on the importance that the topic of vocations plays in each of our lives, that the Holy Spirit ignited something within you.  We all need to be starting off every day by asking in prayer “God, what is your will for me today?” rather than simply asking ourselves what we have to get done, or what we would like to do.  I can’t tell you how frequently I hear people say that they are bored or that they feel like something is missing (often even when things seem to be going well for them).  Chances are that if you ever feel restless or like something is just off, that the reason could be because you’re not giving enough time to considering what God is calling you to.  The answer to our emptiness could be that we’re filling our hearts with the wrong things and so we aren’t being nourished and fed the way we need to be.

                On a different note, hopefully you all are also excited to learn more about the “myParish” App that I’ll be explaining in much greater depth next week.  This tool that the Diocese is providing for all of the parishes offers a unique and easily accessible way for you to know what is coming up, to read the bulletin right on your phones, and a way for me to get information and announcements to you throughout the week!  It’s going to be great!

                One more thing that I want to put on everyone’s radar-screen is an idea that come up recently for us to have a “Welcome Home” weekend here at St. Patrick’s.  I’m sure each of us can come up with at least one person who we know who at one point in their lives used to come to Church, but for any number of reasons has been away for a while (or maybe we have a loved one who has never come to Church with us but whom we’d love to have come with the family!)  Perhaps it’s a spouse, or a child, or just a good friend.  I’m sure that you’ve tried asking them to come, but often times if their mind is set, it can be hard to convince them of the importance of spending time with God.  So, to remedy that, I’ve come up with a way to invite them where you don’t have to do the asking!  The reason why you don’t have to is because I’m going to do it!  On the weekends of the 18th-19th and 25th-26th, I’m going to have free “tickets” available in the back of Church that you can pick up and hand to whomever you would like to have come to Mass on the weekend of December 2nd-3rd.  My hope is that this will give you an opportunity to let them know that they are wanted here and that they belong – an opportunity that you can blame on me!  I’ll explain more next week.

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

All day preschool

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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