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 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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