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 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

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

October 22, 2017

Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

The greatest thing about being a part of a family is that when one member wins, we all win!  The reason why I’m mentioning this is because our boys and girls from St. Mary’s Grade School who run Cross Country as a part of the Sauk Valley Saints (an awesome team comprised of students from the Catholic schools in the area) had a phenomenal season.  In fact 4 of our boys from St. Mary’s (Landen Summers, Connor Simpson, Kaden Welty, and Lucas Simpson), running as a team, qualified for state and placed 12th!  I could not be prouder of their efforts and the hard work that they put in to achieve this goal! Our volleyball teams did great too!
I mention all of this again, because as a Church we are a part of an incredible Catholic Family of Faith!  We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and St. Paul tells us that we are to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”  It is my hope that we all can rejoice with each other for all of our successes at a parish family and to support and pull together when any of us are struggling (i.e. through our amazing St. Vincent De Paul Society, Loaves and Fishes, and so many other great groups!)
As I mentioned above, we currently ought to rejoice at the great efforts of our “State Athletes!”  So too, I am proud of our school for so much more than athletics.  We are blessed with a phenomenal principal, a team of teachers and staff who are kind, compassionate, and who love building up and growing both minds and hearts.  I am amazed every time I visit the school – which is almost every day – at everything that is going on, including the way both teachers and parents alike are constantly coming up with ways to teach our kids to help out and to give back to our community.  I have to say that in the couple of months that school has been in session, I have been impressed and that I am glad to be able to be a part of such a great family!
So thank you everyone for your support of the school, and most of all I ask that we continue to pray for all of the kids there as well as all of our amazing kids who attend other schools.  Pray for all of our kids at St. Patrick’s so that they can grow in their love of the Lord!
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

CSW Breakfast 2018 front page of website med

         LOTW LogoSave the date to attend the LOTW Retreat

February 9 - 12, 2018

Please join us on this extraordinary retreat offered right here at St. Patrick's. 

This is your one opportunity to attend this retreat in 2018.

More info can be found at

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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   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.
Need help? Just ask an usher.