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 1, 2018

Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Rejoice for the Lord has Risen!  Today is a day of pure joy because as Christ rises from the grave we are taught that nothing can keep Him down – not even death.  The reason why we can take heart in this is because GOD LOVES US SO MUCH that He comes into our very bodies and souls through the sacraments and in doing so He shares His very eternal and resurrected life with us!  So, it is 100% completely true that since nothing can keep Jesus down, that nothing can keep us down either, so long as we remain united to Him by living our lives in accord with His loving plans.

I want to take this opportunity to say again how grateful I am to God for being here at St. Patrick Church with all of you!  The LIFE of this parish is inspiring.  Just last week when Fr. Gary Caster was wrapping up his mission, he referred to our parish as “Catholic Disney Land” and said that when he retires he’d love to move into our neighborhood and help out here at the parish!  I was so happy that he was able to see the vibrant life that exudes from all of you because you possess the life of Christ!  (On a side-note: His mission was incredible and I’m so grateful that he came.  If you missed any or all of the talks you can still hear them by clicking on the homily icon in the “myParishApp.”)

Finally, I’d like to personally thank everyone who helped make the St. Joseph’s day Dinner and Celebration a beautiful opportunity to rejoice for the example and presence of St. Joseph in our lives as well as an occasion to get together to share a DELICIOUS meal as a parish family!  So thank you from the bottom of my heart to Jen Sagel for the idea and for organizing everything, and thank you to Joey Sagel, Krista Ballard, Ted and Nancy Dunphy, Kara Grot, Josie Whaley, Anthony and Beth Welty, Jeremy Lehman, Missy Rhodes, Jen Hernandez, Diane Melton, Jeanne Powers, Jane Jungerman, and Colby Ardis for your incredible and invaluable help! THANK YOU!!!

Happy Easter and know of my love in Christ for all of you!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

March 25, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are just one week away from Easter!  We of course have been preparing our hearts for this great celebration throughout this time of Lent.  At the same time, there have been a group of incredible men and women who have been preparing since September to become Catholic and receive the sacraments for the first time.  In light of these incredible gifts from God, the sacraments, I wanted to share with all of you something that the 8th grade daughter of a friend of mine wrote for class recently:

“Many of my friends have asked me why we need sacraments because they don't believe that they actually do anything good for us.  I always say the same thing: The sacraments are like food.  You never really feel the food getting digested unless you're sick, but you are aware that it is happening.  It is the same for the sacraments, without the sacraments we would not be able to grow or carry on our Catholic lives.  Without food you are just lazy and you don't have any energy to do anything.  Like food, without our sacraments we are spiritually lazy and don't have the energy to help others.  There are also different types of food that do different things.  For example, eggs give you protein which gives you energy, whereas meat gives you unsaturated salts that help your body in a different way. The different sacraments also do different things. Baptism is like baby food it introduces us to the faith.  Reconciliation and anointing of the sick are like medications that help us when we are sick or sending so that we may be healed.  Confirmation is like red meat, it gives us the energy to help others and be good spiritual adults.  Matrimony and holy orders are like vegetarians and meat-eaters, they are both good in their own ways but they have different ideals.  And the Eucharist is at water, it is the most important thing to consume and we could not possibly live without it.  All these put together makes us good Catholics, and help us all in different ways.”

I’ll sum it all us by saying that we need the sacraments even more than we need food because the sacraments keep us alive for eternal life, not just life here on earth.  It is my hope that as our new Catholic brothers and sisters receive these sacraments for the first time, that you might reflect on the depth and importance of your own receiving of these sacraments.

Finally, I would like to invite all of you to join your parish family for the celebration of the Sacred Triduum for the following services:

Thursday, March 29th – 7:00 Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Friday, March 30th – 1:00 Good Friday Passion Service

Saturday, March 31st – 7:00 Easter Vigil

Have a great last week of Lent!

God Bless,

Fr. Romke

March 11, 2018

Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

Congratulations, we’ve officially made it past the half-way point of Lent!  My biggest message for you today is that we don’t get a halftime break!  I’ve always heard it said that when we reach the halfway point of Lent it simply means that we’re warmed up and ready to really dive in!  Don’t let this scare you though – I’m not saying that we have to go crazy and do all kinds of extra penances.  Rather we simply need to do what we set out to do at the beginning but with more fervor, focus, and most importantly with a greater desire to deepen our relationship with God.  Just the other day I was reading a passage from my favorite Saint of all time, St. Catherine of Siena.  She always writes so beautifully in speaking of Our Lord’s Passion.  I want to share with you what she wrote, and I also want to encourage you to pray over this passage for a few minutes every day this week.  And when you do, don’t just read it – meditate on it!  Let your imagination picture each detail that she so vividly describes.  I hope that you will find this exercise as moving as it has been for me.

            “Our King (Christ) behaves like a true knight who perseveres in battle until the enemies are defeated . . . With unarmed hand, nailed fast to the Cross, he defeated the prince of the world, with the wood of the Holy Cross as his mount. This knight of ours came armed with the breastplate of Mary's flesh, flesh that bore the blows to make up for our wickedness. The helmet on his head is the painful crown of thorns, driven right into his brain. The sword at his side is the wound of his side, revealing to us the secret of his heart. It is a sword with a point of light that ought to pierce our inmost heart with the force of love. The staff in his hand is there in mockery. And the gloves on his hands and spurs on his feet are the scarlet wounds in the hands and feet of the gentle loving Word.”

St. Catherine of Siena ~ Pray for us!

God Bless You!

Fr. Romke

March 18, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

                I have to say that some of the most powerful and impactful events in my life that I can look back to as life-changing moments have been some of the retreats that I’ve had the opportunity to attend.  I know for a fact that those who recently attended our Light of the World Retreat would be able to say the same thing! (If you weren’t able to attend this year, make sure to mark your calendars for March 1-4, 2019!)  That being said I know that there are so many people out there who would love to make a spiritual retreat but simply don’t have the time to do so.  Well, if this is where you find yourself, then I’m extremely excited for the opportunity that is being offered to you this week!  You see, this week’s parish mission is essentially like a mini-retreat!  Fr. Gary Caster, a priest from the Peoria Diocese who currently serves as the Chaplain to Williams College in Massachusetts will be here For sessions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights at 7:00.  By now you’ve heard me talk about him and he’s preaching all of the Masses on Sunday, so I hope that you’ve made the decision to mark down these three evenings on your calendar!  If not, I hope that this column will be the final push that you need to make it happen.  I cannot stress enough how we are influenced and fed everyday by the world around us and that in order to keep our hearts on fire with the love of God, we need to make every effort that we can be ensure that we are being fed spiritually.  If you’re hungry – then it’s time to eat!  And it just so happens that you can come eat an incredible dinner in the Holloway Center starting at 5:00 on the 19th – the Feast of St. Joseph – and then head upstairs for the mission at 7:00.  We are a full-service parish!  So please give God the chance to feed you and commit to coming to the mission this 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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