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

April 29, 2018

Dear Parish Family,

We are on the doorstep of May – which has traditionally been celebrated in the Church as the Month of Mary.  What a gift our Blessed Mother is to us!  Unfortunately sometimes other Christians struggle to understand Mary’s role in the life of Catholics (NO we do NOT worship her!)  In order to help people understand why Mary is so important to us and why we honor her I usually like to bring up 2 quick things, both of which pertain to the fact that our road to holiness lays in following Jesus’ example in all things.  The first is that God chose to come to us in this world through Mary – and if we follow His example, it means that we should strive to go to Him through Mary.  Also, Jesus, being perfect, would have obeyed ALL of the 10 commandments that God the Father gave to Moses.  This means that Jesus would have honored His mother and His father.  Again, if we are supposed to follow His example, then is necessarily follows to we are called to honor Mary as well.  I’d like to invite you to make some sort of effort this month to get to know Mary in a deeper way.

In order to aid us in growing in our love and devotion to Mary we are going to be having a special presentation given by Msgr. Deutsch (Fr. Dan) on May 1st at 7:00 about the “Miracle of Fatima.”  Then on Sunday, May 13th, which is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima and also happens to be Mother’s Day this year, at 7:00 we will have a special Holy Hour dedicated to all of the mothers in our parish.  This hour of Eucharistic Adoration will feature music, reflections, and some time spent in silent prayer.  It will be a time of prayer that would be a perfect thing to bring you mom to as a way to spend time thanking God for the gift that she is in your life (and if your mom is with the Lord – this will be a perfect way to spend the evening with her through the fact that when we are with the Lord in Adoration, He is at the very same time with the saints in heaven – meaning that we are with our Loved ones in heaven when we pray before the Eucharist!)  Finally, I want to recommend praying the Rosary (either a full one or at least 1 decade of it) daily.  This is a beautiful way to entrust ourselves more to the loving protection and intercession of our Blessed Mother, while at the same time contemplating the mysteries of the life of Christ.

God Bless you and have a great week!

-          Fr Romke

April 22, 2018

Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

This past week, in one of the Gospels that was proclaimed at daily Mass, Jesus pleaded with us “do not work for food that perishes but for food that lasts to eternal life!”  Of course He was speaking of the incredible nourishment that we receive in the Eucharist, but this can also apply to paying attention to how it is that we nourish our souls.

My guess is that many of you, are like me, if you sense a craving for some kind of food you immediately set out on a quest to get it.  If someone mentions sushi – I’m there!  I absolutely won’t pass up an opportunity for good food.  And yet, at the same time, if a spiritual opportunity is offered, it might pique my interest, but I’ll admit that I don’t follow through on opportunities that arise to receive spiritual nourishment with the same fervor as I do to eat sushi (or whatever kind of food you like!)  Through prayer and conversations with others I have sensed that our parish is ready for more and because of this you are going to be hearing about more and more opportunities to be fed.  My encouragement (dare I even say what I’m begging you for!) is if something intrigues you in any way – follow through on the desire to be filled and satisfied.  If you don’t eat real food . . . you’ll die.  So too if we don’t receive spiritual nourishment . . . the fire in our hearts will die.  So I beg you to dive in and take advantage of the things that will be coming to St. Pats in the future.

Here are a few upcoming opportunities:

Tuesday, April 24th - 7:00 pm:  Holy Hour of prayer for men of the parish.  This time will be an opportunity to pray and spend time with the Lord and to ask Him to give you the strength and the courage to be the man that He is calling you to be.  During this time, we will also be asking God to guide and direct us in our planning for a more regular men’s group in the very near future!

Tuesday, May 1st - 7:00 pm:  “The Miracle of Fatima”.  In preparation for the upcoming feast of our Lady of Fatima, we will have a very special guest speaker, Msgr. Dan Deutsch (the priest formerly known as Fr. Dan!) giving his award winning presentation.  It is an incredible talk that will surely help you to fall deeper in love with our Blessed Mother AND he is also my boss so the more people in attendance the better it looks for me – so please come!!!

Wednesday, May 9th- 7:00 pm:  “Made for More: Visions of the Promised Land”. Christopher West will be giving a special presentation at St. Bridget Church in Loves Park.  This event involves music, video clips, and dynamic speaking and is nothing less than a reflection on the beautiful meaning of life, love, and human destiny.  Tickets are $20 (which is totally worth it) and if you’re interested, I’ve arranged for them to be available right at our parish office!

That’s all for now – more to come soon . . .

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

April 8, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Easter! Perhaps you're confused why I'm saying this when Easter was celebrated last Sunday, but the truth of the matter is that Easter is such a huge and momentous occasion and celebration that the church asks us to celebrate Easter for 8 straight days! So, no matter what cross may be present in your life, keep your focus on the resurrection!

The Sunday after Easter Sunday is also Divine Mercy Sunday, an incredible feast and celebration that was inaugurated by Saint John Paul II. He instituted this day because it is what Jesus asked for when he appeared to Saint Maria Faustina in Poland in the early 1900s. Jesus said that his Mercy is such an incredible gift and it is something that he wants to pour out upon each of us without measure! Sometimes we may be tempted either to think that we have done some pretty bad stuff or that the little things that we do add up and we just can't seem to stop them. No matter what we have done, Jesus says "The greater ones sins are, the greater right they have to my Mercy!" This of course is great news, the best news you will here today (regardless of who wins The Masters!)

So let us rejoice to know that Jesus is Alive, that He is risen from the dead, and that through His Incredible Gift of Mercy even though we may be weighed down with the death of sin, that He can take it all away in an instant. So trust in His Mercy, trust in the power of the sacrament of confession, and enjoy your life in Christ!

God Bless you,
Fr. Romke

April 15, 2018

Dear Parish Family,

                Recently, someone brought to my attention a book titled “Going, Going, Gone,” which is all about how a large number of people throughout the country are leaving church and no longer practicing their faith.  Unfortunately, the statistics concerning this phenomenon are all too true.  Without even reading the book, I can tell you precisely why this is the case.  It is because all of us deeply and desperately want to BELONG.  We want to be welcomed and to feel like we are a part of something.  We want to fit in, to be accepted, and to belong.  So much of our culture is absorbed in media, whether on television or social media on the phone or computer.  People are becoming more and more isolated, we all desperately want to be a part of something and yet sometimes we don’t know where to turn.  The church is a place where people seek to find community, and while it is there, sometimes people don’t immediately sense that this is a place where their longing for belonging can be fulfilled.  All of these thoughts, prompted by the mention of this book, came to me on the heels of another conversation with someone else about the idea and concept of “parish life.”  The concept of parish life today is unfortunately a lot different than it was in the 50’s and 60’s.  Back then so much of what people did socially and recreationally was rooted in the happenings of their parish.  Nowadays of course there are so many different options out there for these things from other places (which is great!) but at the same time I feel like in the church in general across the country there isn’t as much offered and so the concept of parish life is different.  I however, want to do all that we can here at St. Patrick’s, to day-by-day revitalize and renew this sense of “parish life” that was so common decades ago.  I want for St. Patrick’s to feel like home, to feel like a place that you can come to belong.  I want for St. Patrick’s to be a place where community is vibrant and readily available, and where there are opportunities to live out your faith beyond Mass on Sunday (which is the greatest way for us to belong and be united as one as we receive the Eucharist together!)  Because of this, in the coming months you are going to begin to see new groups, ministries, and opportunities pop up!  I can’t wait to continue to grow and deepen our family bond and sense of belonging as a parish!

I know that I’m mentioning this WAY in advance, but I’m doing so, so that you have time to invite others or to decide to participate yourself.  Just 2 weeks ago at the Easter Vigil we had 5 Baptisms, 7 Confirmations, and 9 First Communions!  All of these sacraments were received by individuals who went through our catechetical programs this past year.  Our RCIA program for 2018 will be beginning in September and I hope that we can fill the room with individuals with open hearts who want to learn more about God and His Church!  If you’re not Catholic but have been thinking about joining or have been on the fence regarding a decision for a while, then I want to invite you to learn more about the Faith this upcoming year.  So too, if you are Catholic and have always been, but just want to learn more about this beautiful Faith and family that we belong to, then I’d love to see you at class too.  These weekly lessons are geared toward helping you understand and fall in love with the faith in a deeper way, so I hope you consider attending or even inviting a non-Catholic friend along to learn more and to check it out.

Finally, another way that countless people for the last hundred years have experienced the joy of belonging to this great community has been by attending St. Mary’s Grade School.  I cannot accurately put into words how great it is to be able to visit the school on a daily basis to teach the kids about our Lord and at the same time to delight in the fun stuff they all come up with.  It truly is a pure joy to be a “Father” for 180+ kids.  If you’re wondering if St. Mary School right across the street would be a great fit for your child (I can already tell you the answer is YES!) then I want to invite you to come over to our open house next week, Sunday April 22nd from 11:30-12:30.  Teachers, students, our Principal Jean Spohn, and myself will all be there to answer any questions and to show you around.  St. Mary’s school holds a special place in my heart, and I hope you can come on the 22nd so that you can see and understand why . . . and so that you can see why it can hold a special place in your, and your child’s heart as well.

God Bless you and know that I love being your priest and that I’m glad to belong to this community.

-          Fr. Romke

All day preschool

Religious Education & RCIA

Religious Education is about to begin!!
Check out our 2018-2019 Religious Education schedule!
Download and fill out the Religious Education paperwork here.

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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