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.
Father’s Day
Jun 17, 2018

Let me begin by saying Happy Father’s Day to all men who have played a role in any way in leading others to live good and upright lives and especially to those who have led others to know and love God. I say this in a very general way in light of an experience that blew me away less than a month after being ordained a priest.
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Say “Yes” and don’t be afraid to Commit!
Jun 10, 2018

One issue that I see present in the lives of many teenagers today (although we’re all susceptible!) is the difficulty to say yes and to commit to something. For example, one of them might receive and invitation to go to a party on a Friday night about a week away, and even though they are 100% open and available on that evening, they say “Maybe” rather than saying yes.
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Corpus Christi
Jun 3, 2018

The Feast of Corpus Christi is one of the most beautiful celebrations of the Church year. This of course is the case because it is a day in which we Honor and Worship Christ and the fact that He humbly dwells among us in the simplicity of the Eucharistic Host.
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God calls by name
May 27, 2018

Our name is something so important that when God calls, he does it by our name. We are so special that we are not called in a generic or group way, but we are called individually, personally.
Our name is given by our parents because they have given us life.
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Vocation to life
May 20, 2018

Some years ago, my brother and his wife were talking about having their Dog ‘sterilized’. Their children overheard their conversation and were discussing between them. So the five years old asked to the older: “Hey Joss what it means ‘sterilized?’ what they are planning to do with our Dog?” The older, who was 8 at that time, replied: “Oh don’t worry sister, I am pretty sure that they are taking our dog to have her hair and nails done”.
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May 13, 2018

Job is described in the bible, as a man who stands out for his righteousness and his respect for God. In that book of Job, it is also mentioned how he is well known because of his wealth. He had “seven sons and three daughters, many servants, owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred donkeys.” (Job 1:2-3)
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Saint Joseph
May 6, 2018

Saint Joseph is one of the key characters of the history of salvation. Although he is mention very few times in the gospel, his life and vocation are well known to all Christians. The gospel according to Matthew says the he is the husband of Mary (Mt. 1:16), and a just man’ (Mt. 1:19).
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"Don't stop being yourself"
Apr 29, 2018

When I think back to the time just before I entered the seminary, I remember that lots of people were giving me advice. Much of it was good and helpful, but there is only one piece of advice that I received at that time that I still remember today. One of our seminarians gave me this simple encouragement: "Don't stop being yourself".
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Cry out to the Shepherd
Apr 22, 2018

During my time in the seminary, my class had the opportunity to take a trip to Ireland to learn about the Church there and to experience the way that Catholics live their faith in that country. One of the places we visited on the trip was an ancient monastery that was tucked away in a very rural location. While we were touring the ancient site, we could hear the sound of a sheep that had gotten itself caught in the woods and separated itself from the rest of the flock.
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Jesus Knows the Next Step
Apr 15, 2018

It amazes me that just about every time Jesus appeared to His followers after His Resurrection they did not recognize Him. Even after spending so much time learning from Him and following Him, they still could not tell who He was when He came to them. I believe that at least part of the explanation for this is that they were becoming too focused on themselves after the death of Jesus.
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Divine Mercy
Apr 8, 2018

This weekend we have the privilege of celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. What a joy it is to remember the the Mercy and the Love that Jesus has in His Sacred Heart for each and every one of us! As St. John Vianney once said, “The Priesthood is the Love of the Heart of Jesus.”
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Called to LIVE!
Apr 1, 2018

REJOICE FOR THE LORD HAS RISEN! Today is the Church’s greatest celebration because we rejoice in the fact that Christ has conquered sin and death and that He lives! The best part about all of this is that He shares every last fruit of His victory with us.
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He Must Increase, I Must Decrease
Mar 25, 2018

Throughout this Lenten season we recognize that Jesus Christ had a specific goal in mind. Which was to save his people. In choosing to save others he had to give up everything including his life. In light of this we recognize that every person is called to become more like Christ.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Prayer
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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?”
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Resolutions
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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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Freedom
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.
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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.
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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!
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