What's Happening...
March 15th - 18th 2018
Nun Run
June 24 – 27, 2018
St. Therese Camp and Retreat
Bishop Lane Retreat Center (For Girls)
July 8 – 11, 2018
Jeremiah Days
Bishop Lane Retreat Center (For Boys)
July 15 – 18, 2018
First Call Retreat
Bishop Lane Retreat Center (For Boys)

Vocation Corner

Each week, Fr. Keith Romke, the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Rockford, writes a reflection on discerning one's vocational call.

What should someone pray about as they discern? What are signs to look out for? What is religious life like? These are some of the topics Fr. Romke covers and can be found on other pages on this site.

If you enjoy these weekly reflections you can stay in contact by following Rockford Vocations on Facebook, Twitter and even by contacting Fr. Romke directly at KRomke@RockfordDiocese.org.
Recognizing Our Gifts
Mar 18, 2018

"In order to discern why you are created you must first be able to recognize the true gifts that God has given you. In recognizing our gifts we come to see that every gift God has placed in us is for only two things; the glorification and God and the salvation of souls.
Click Here for More
Using the Tools We've Been Given
Mar 11, 2018

A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to learn how to whittle. I came to the conclusion that my first project would be to create a wooden mug. I began by watching YouTube videos and reading articles. I then bought the wood and tools and I sat down to begin my adventure in whittling. I was eager and zealously started off on a great foot.
Click Here for More
A Roadmap to Prayer
Mar 4, 2018

Each one of us desires to know why we were created and what the point of our life is. In order to answer this question we must go to the Creator, who is God. Going to him with the question of who we are and why we exist must be a constant question because we all have a vocation to live out, but very specifically each day God has a daily vocation that he desires to reveal to us.
Click Here for More
Time in the Desert
Feb 25, 2018

Being in Lent, we hear a lot about Jesus in the desert or the wilderness. We are also “invited,” in a certain sense, to join Him there. The question can rise in our hearts, “Why should I?” There are a host of reasons as to ‘why’ but let’s just look at a one. The desert is silent. It is the place where we can hear best the thoughts that run through our mind.
Click Here for More
Priesthood or....?
Feb 18, 2018

So often when conversing with young men about their Vocation in life, they will say something to the effect of, “Yea, I am thinking about being a priest or a youth minister, or an engineer, or something else.” The problem with this sentence is that it suggests that priesthood is just another job…but it’s not.
Click Here for More
From Ashes to Love
Feb 11, 2018

The pitter-patter of a heart, the dust of ashes- What a perfect combination of love, no? It is an odd combination- Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, yet for those days to coincide seems to be strangely fitting. Both are days symbolized by death, a necessary occurrence to receive the gift of Heaven, but both are days that lead to a new life.
Click Here for More
Are you on Schedule?
Feb 4, 2018

I’m sure that everyone reading this will agree that life can get very busy very fast, and that if we’re not careful, we can get completely swept away by everything that we have to do. In the midst of this busyness it is so easy to treat God and prayer like one more thing on our schedule.
Click Here for More
New Year’s Resolution
Jan 7, 2018

Another year has gone by and yet another one has started. We have once again reached this point where even those who aren’t seeking to grow closer to God seem to want to grow, to improve themselves, and to become better people.
Click Here for More
December 31, 2017
Dec 31, 2017

Fear makes us see things that don’t exist. I remember when I was little every time I was into a dark room I began to see things that were not there. I was afraid of darkness, my mind worked so fast that I start seen ghost everywhere.
Click Here for More
December 24, 2017
Dec 24, 2017

God is love. It looks like a very simple sentence: a subject, a verb, and an adjective. However, it is the deepest reality we may imagine. What is love? How can I know that I love? Why I should love?
Click Here for More
December 17, 2017
Dec 17, 2017

I really enjoy reading letters from friends and family. When I know what’s going on with them I feel that I am part of their life. I think when our communication improves, our friendship increases. By reading my friend’s words on a piece of paper or on the computer screen I experience great joy.
Click Here for More
Vocation is an encounter
Dec 10, 2017

In chapter four of the poetic tale “The Little Prince” (1943) of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, we find that we as adults many times forget about the important things in life. Focusing more in numbers and results, we forget about people, and the quality of our relationships.
Click Here for More
If we hear his voice and let ourselves be transformed by him
Dec 3, 2017

Judges 6, 11-24
"The LORD is with you, O champion!" This was the greeting of the messenger of God to Gideon.
Click Here for More
The Light of Christ
Nov 26, 2017

When I was discerning my vocation in college I would always ask God to show me who I was meant to be. We know Psalm 139:13 says that we were knit in our mother's womb and this knitting was done by the hands of God for a very specific purpose.
Click Here for More
Serious Prayer
Nov 19, 2017

In our journey with discernment one of the biggest obstacles is our own personal sin. This is because sin hinders us from hearing the voice of God. So what is it that usually is a factor in the fight with sin?
Well just last week a friend of mine emailed me and said to open a Google document that he wanted to share with me.
Click Here for More
Nov 12, 2017

One of the biggest struggles for people is how to pray. We all want to speak to God and hear His voice but it is not always easy, especially when life is hard. In fact, people often tell me that when they go to pray and are finished they don't feel better or good so they think they are doing something wrong but the truth of the matter is that prayer is not always supposed to feel good and it might not feel good a lot of the time.
Click Here for More
Speaking God's Language
Nov 5, 2017

"Whenever it comes to discernment we all want to know how to hear the voice of God and we all wish that God would just send us a letter from heaven telling us exactly what He wants from us. Well, the truth is that God indeed does want to communicate exactly what He desires for us but the question is how do we hear His voice?
Click Here for More
How Do You Play The Game?
Oct 29, 2017

I have loved sports my whole life. Growing up, I played all the sports that I could, and I learned many lessons along the way. However, the biggest lesson that I learned in all of those years is that the most important thing about sports is how your play the game.
Click Here for More
What Does God Ask Of Us?
Oct 22, 2017

This weekend’s Gospel passage has a great deal to tell us about our relationship to God. Jesus speaks His famous line: “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” It is clear what belongs to Caesar in our lives. We follow laws, pay taxes, and do our best to be law abiding citizens.
Click Here for More
Will You Accept the Invitation?
Oct 15, 2017

As a priest, people often ask me to tell them my vocation story. There is just something about recognizing the work of the Lord in a person’s life that is fun for people to listen to. Depending on the situation, I have different versions of the story that I can tell which all have varying amounts of detail.
Click Here for More
Infinite Desire
Oct 8, 2017

We all have certain desires in life. Whether we desire possessions, experiences, or relationships, we all have things in mind that we think will bring us to fulfillment and happiness. The trouble is that human beings are made for the infinite. Every human has an infinite desire for truth and beauty and goodness.
Click Here for More
How Will You Respond?
Oct 1, 2017

In our Gospel reading this weekend, we see two different ways that son can respond to the will of his father. While both clearly understand the will of the father, one pretends to respond to it and the other actually does respond to it.
Click Here for More
Why Wait?
Sep 24, 2017

What are you waiting for? When it comes to life decisions, the world says things like “Stop…wait…don’t be rash.” When discerning seminary, countless people would tell me “Don’t you think you should go to college first, get a job, live a normal life, and THEN make your decision?”
Click Here for More
Movie Trailers and Desires
Sep 17, 2017

"Our desires are like movie trailers." When I watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, what is happening? First off, I am being told of something that is to come…in December.
Click Here for More
Personality vs. Persona
Sep 10, 2017

A few years ago I was listening to a talk in which the presenter said, “God speaks to us in our persona while we respond to Him in our personality.” He started using examples from the Bible like Moses whom God called to deliver the people of Israel from Egypt.
Click Here for More
Claiming our Kingship
Sep 3, 2017

J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Return of the King is vastly different from the movie created by Peter Jackson in 2003. The thing that struck me most when reading it was the character of Aragorn. The movie portrays him as this reluctant yet noble man who, after being pushed enough, takes up his rightful kingship.
Click Here for More
Rejecting Idleness
Aug 27, 2017

One of the most dangerous things that we can face in the spiritual life is idleness. Of course being too busy to spend any time with God is problematic too, but being idle can cause us to end up filling our God-given time with all kinds of meaningless things that lead us nowhere.
Click Here for More
A Prayer for Discernment
Aug 20, 2017

I believe that often times we can have a desire to pray, but feel like we don’t know quite how to do it right. The important thing is simply following the desire to pray in the first place. However, here is a prayer to give some guidance in praying to follow God’s will in your life. Pray it as is or make it your own.
Click Here for More
Bring What You Have
Aug 13, 2017

Earlier in the week, one of the daily gospel readings presented us with the story of the feeding of the 5000. I'm sure we all know the story of how Jesus took five loaves and two fish and used it to feed this huge number of people. Jesus was of course the one that made this happen, but he chose to accept the generosity, the gift, and the openness of a young man who brought those five loaves and two fish forward.
Click Here for More
Conversing With God
Aug 6, 2017

Everything that I'm about to say most likely will seem super obvious, yet I think it is easy to forget from time to time! The seminarians of the diocese have just completed their annual seminarian Retreat. The priest who was giving the conferences spoke in the opening talk about the need to have a conversation with God while we are praying.
Click Here for More
Jul 30, 2017

It just hit me that a full 7 months have gone by since New Year’s Day. This means 2 things: That I've already had 7 months to work on my resolutions and that I’m only 5 months away from having to come up with new ones! I'm going to confess right here and right now that I can’t even remember what I set out to accomplish on January 1st, and that right now, when I think of things that I have to work on, it’s super tempting to push it off another 5 months.
Click Here for More
The Little Things Matter
Jul 23, 2017

The other day I was out waking while praying my rosary. As I proceeded along my route I came upon some trash sitting a few feet off of the sidewalk. I'll admit that I walked right past, but about half of a Hail Mary later, my conscience was screaming at me. Now, in case if you didn’t know, Allow me to say that the Holy Spirit works through our conscience in a big way!
Click Here for More
The Resurrection
Jul 16, 2017

Recently I have had multiple instances in which I’ve been given the privileged and humbling role of helping minister to a family following the death of a loved one who was quite young and in which the illness or circumstances that brought about the death were very sudden.
Click Here for More
The Point of Vacation
Jul 9, 2017

Leading up to summer break at the end of my first year in seminary, one of the priests told us something important: “There is no VACATION from a VOCATION.” In other words he was highlighting the fact the even during time off, it’s still important to strive to live the life that God is calling us too.
Click Here for More
Jul 2, 2017

Every 4th of July we celebrate our nation’s freedom and we remember all who have fought so that we might have and continue to treasure this freedom. I’d like for all of us to consider for a moment that the most important “Independence Day” came on Easter Sunday, when Christ won the victory over death and made it possible for us to be free from sin.
Click Here for More
How to Build a Ship and Follow God's Call
Jun 25, 2017

Recently I read the following quote and it really spoke to me: “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” I think that the lesson that this presents can be SO helpful when we’re trying to figure out what God may be asking of us in our lives or even from day to day.
Click Here for More
The Eucharist and the Call to Love
Jun 18, 2017

One of the greatest gifts of the Second Vatican Council was the emphasis on the “Universal Call to Holiness” that stressed the reality that ALL of us are called to be saints, that holiness is not reserved to just a select few! This is crucial to remember when speaking about vocations, because no matter what you are called to, God desires for you to be holy, and your specific calling is the path by which God intends for you to reach sainthood!
Click Here for More
The Trinity as an Analogy
Jun 11, 2017

I think that a lot of priests around the world feel a little like I do on Trinity Sunday: I’m excited to talk about the greatest thing ever, yet at the same time I know that I can never do the topic justice because my limited human mind cannot even begin to fathom the immensity of God’s greatness nor the depth of the relationship that exists between the Father and the Son as well as the Love between them which is the Holy Spirit.
Click Here for More
What if I’m Stuck?
Jun 4, 2017

Sometimes in life we’re not sure where we are supposed to go, and at other times we don’t even know where we currently are! In these moments it can be difficult to make any choices, because we become afraid of making wrong decisions.
Click Here for More
St. Therese
May 28, 2017

One of St. Therese of Lisieux's big gifts to the Church is what is known as her "Little Way." This way of living for the Lord is quite simple (although not always easy in practice!) What it consists of is simply doing little things with great love, and doing these things for love of our Lord.
Click Here for More
The Priesthood
May 21, 2017

This past weekend two new priests were ordained for our diocese and yesterday Bishop ordained a new transitional Deacon who become a priest a year from now. These are incredible moments for the life of the church in for our local Catholic Community in the Diocese of Rockford.
Click Here for More
Do you hear His voice?
May 14, 2017

When I was growing up, there were countless times that I’d ask my parents a question, to which they would respond: We’ve already talked about this! A similar situation occurred when the Jews asked Jesus: If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." And Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe. And then He takes it one step further and says: But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.”
Click Here for More
Listening to the General!
May 7, 2017

My guess would be that most people out there, regardless of religious affiliation or varying degrees of faith, would all agree that whole world today is engaged in a war between Good and Evil. We see it all around us, both in real life and in the television shows and movies that we watch (one example being light vs dark and Jedi vs Sith in Star Wars).
Click Here for More
State of Vocations Address
Apr 30, 2017

I am currently writing this during a brief break during the Spring Regional Vocation Director's Convention from St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. There are 12 vocation directors from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin in the room and we are all sharing ideas for vocation promotion. I share this with you because it is always a great couple of days for several reasons.
Click Here for More
Divine Mercy - Paid in Full
Apr 23, 2017

Today's feast of Divine Mercy is such a welcome and needed gift that is given to our World. Mercy is nothing less that forgiveness and love that is given to one who is undeserving and who would never be able to earn what is being granted. When Jesus died on the cross He canceled the debt that had been racked up by sin for the entirety of human history!
Click Here for More
Apr 16, 2017

Doing God's will and following God's plan is what vocations are all about! Today's celebration of Easter is the ultimate victory for vocations! I say this because one of the most important things to always keep in mind in life is that following God's plan quite often will involve picking up some form of the cross and it's not always easy! In fact sometimes it can be very very hard.
Click Here for More
What Are You Willing to Lay Down?
Apr 9, 2017

Well, we've almost made it! Only one week left to go. If you are anything like me, one thing that you may have learned during Lent is that it can be extremely difficult to deny ourselvs of the things and the pleasures that we enjoy that we have chosen to give up as a penance for Lent. It is way easier to want to do things our way!
Click Here for More
A Prayer for Discernment
Apr 2, 2017

I believe that often times we can have a desire to pray, but feel like we don’t know quite how to do it right. The important thing is simply following the desire to pray in the first place. However, here is a prayer to give some guidance in praying to follow God’s will in your life. Pray it as is or make it your own.
Click Here for More
The Desires of Our Hearts
Mar 26, 2017

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” ~ C. S. Lewis
Click Here for More
The Importance of Self-Knowledge
Mar 19, 2017

Lately I've been reading an excellent book ("Christian Self-Mastery" by Basil Maturin) that begins with the concept that every ounce of spiritual growth that we receive in our lives stems from one of two sources of knowledge.
Click Here for More