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


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 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

July 30, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

When I was growing up I used to love seeing "Christmas in July" sale commercials on the television.  The reason why of course was because as a kid it reminded me that we were only 6 months away from the holiday in which I would receive lots and lots of gifts!

As I grew up and matured, I began to learn the true meaning or the true importance of Christmas.  This holiday of course is an opportunity for us to focus on how God came into our world as man so that he could enter deeply into a relationship with us.  He didn't want to love us from afar, he wanted to enter into as close of a union as possible!  I always find Christmas time to be a time of            peace because I am reminded of how much God loves me and that God truly is present in our world.  In light of this deeper understanding of the true meaning of Christmas, I would like to propose that Christmas in July takes on a whole new meaning! Here as we finish up this month, I would like to invite you to contemplate The Mystery of the gift that we are given it Christmas, the gift of the Incarnation in the gift of God humbling himself to come into our midst as a child.  Do you recall that God is present in your midst and watching over you at every moment at some point during each day? If not, I recommend finding a time each day where you can spend a few minutes contemplating the fact that Christ came into our world on Christmas but that he is still just as present today! We don't have to wait 6 more months to delight in this gift! So unwrap the gift of your faith today and make sure to thank God for all that he has given you!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

August 6, 2017

Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This past week I was at Bishop Lane Retreat Center in Rockford with all of the seminarians of the diocese on their annual seminarian retreat. It was such a joy to witness their faith and their Joy as they follow God's call. So too, each of the talks that were given by The Retreat director were extremely inspiring and helped deepen my own relationship with the Lord. All this being said, the greatest delight was being able to spend time with the retreat director, who was actually my spiritual director for three years while I was in college seminary in Nebraska.  It was my one-on-one conversations with him that were the most powerful moments of the retreat, where I feel God moved the most in my heart. My reason for sharing this with all of you is because I think that we frequently may notice others and be inspired by their faith, we may also hear others teach something about God that impacts us in a certain way, but I think that sometimes we may hesitate to open up our hearts and share how God is working in our own lives in a deep way. How often do you share your faith life with your friends or others around you? Do you have people in your life whom you would consider to be spiritual friends? My encouragement this week is to reach out and connect with someone on a spiritual level. Share your heart and where God has been active in your life. My Hope and expectation is that you will find this encounter and practice to be life-giving and that your friend will feel the same way!

As I'm mentioning spiritual friendship, I think this is a perfect time for me to say that it is not too early to begin thinking about attending our Parish Light of The World Retreat this upcoming February 9-12.  This event is an incredible opportunity to deepen your friendship with the Lord in a life-changing way while at the same time establishing friendships within our Parish Community. I invite you to pray about attending this retreat because it impacted my life and I know it can do the same for you!

God bless you,

Fr. Romke

Page 10 of 12

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Religious Education & RCIA

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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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