Msgr. Dan Deutsch, Pastor
It is with great joy that I begin my time with you as your new pastor at St. Patrick Parish. With this first opportunity to talk to you as your pastor, let me express my gratitude to Msgr. Steve Knox for agreeing to succeed me in Rockford as the new Vicar for Clergy and as Pastor of St. Bridget. My hope as we begin together is that as a parish family we can continue the work that Msgr. Knox has begun. So many great things are happening here at St. Patrick. Let us build on that success. My goal is to help us fall more in love with Christ and His Church. In following Msgr. Knox’s lead, our Catholic mission and the stirrings of our own hearts through the Holy Spirit, we can continue to discern the direction the Lord calls us.
My plan is to continue to do what Msgr. Knox has been doing as I take time to get to know all of you and this beautiful parish that I am so fortunate to again call my home. What I have learned so far from Msgr. Knox is that everything is first rate: from staff and volunteers, to councils, committees and commissions. And the programs that are myriad and all encompassing! But mostly, it is the families of St. Patrick that make it such an engaging and vibrant place. Please be patient with me as I try to learn about the parish and all the great things the Lord is doing here. And thank you for your patience with me as I learn your names, which will take me some time.
I am grateful to be coming to you and to be coming home. My parents, Bernie and Pat, and my siblings, nieces and nephews, many are members of St. Patrick and attend Mass here. My dad, Bernie was baptized here nearly 84 years ago, as were my three brothers and two sisters and I. We all attended St. Patrick Grade School and received our sacraments here at St. Patrick. I graduated from St. Edward High School. Frs. Ryan, Roberts, Dempsey and Linster were my pastors as I grew up. I celebrated my first mass here 25 years ago in the downtown church. And now I get to come home and continue the celebration with all of you.
Peace, Msgr. Deutsch, email@example.com
Fr. John Kladar, Parochial Vicar
For the last two years, many of you have known me as Seminarian John, and this last year as Deacon John, but on June 1st I was ordained a priest by Bishop David Malloy at St. Peters Cathedral. While I am the same person, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the hands of Bishop Malloy I am happy to present myself to the parish as Father Kladar. It has been a joy to be a part of this parish the last two years. I look forward to furthering my involvement in the parish as your priest here at St. Patrick’s.
Here is a short reminder of my background. I am from Rockton, IL, a small town about twenty minutes north of Rockford. My home parish is St. Peter’s South Beloit. I was home-schooled for eight years and went to Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford. In 2011, I joined the seminary and spent three years in Nebraska at St. Gregory the Great Seminary. After this, I studied theology for three years in Rome at the Pontifical North American College, at which point I was called home and started my time here at St. Patrick’s. I have three younger sisters and my parents who still live in Rockton. My family is very close, and they are pleased with my assignment. They have loved how this parish has welcomed me and helped me in
my preparations for ordination.
The past several months, I have been curious about my assignment. On the recommendation of a priest friend, whenever I would wonder in curiosity concerning which parish would be my first, I would stop and pray for the people at that parish. Unbeknownst to me, I was praying for the people I have been blessed to live and pray with for the last two years. St. Charles feels like home to me, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to work and pray alongside all of you. I will continue to pray for you, and please pray for me!
I want to thank Msgr. Knox, Fr. Manno and Fr. Sarmiento for being such great examples to me during our time together at this parish and I look forward to working with and continuing to learn from Fr. Gonnella and Msgr. Deutsch, as well as serving all of you!
Father Jack Reichardt, Parochial Vicar
Praised be Jesus Christ!
I am overjoyed to be assigned to St. Patrick Parish for my first priestly assignment. I was ordained a priest just a few weeks ago for our diocese by Bishop Malloy. It has been an amazing few weeks and the Lord is so good.
I was raised in Rockford, IL, and attended Catholic school there from K-12 at my home parish, Holy Family, and then at Boylan High School. I am the oldest of three kids and my parents just recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. Some of my favorite hobbies are playing sports like soccer, basketball and running, as well as hiking and reading. Before entering seminary, I attended the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and was pursuing a degree in secondary education.
My call to the priesthood came rather unexpectedly. To put it simply, I was at Mass while in the fall semester of my freshman year of college. All of a sudden, in the midst of the homily, I knew I had to be a priest and pursue that call. It was an intensely profound moment, and one that words always fail to capture. I saw no vision and heard no words, yet in the depths of my soul and heart a fire of love for Christ, his Church and priesthood had ignited, and it refused to be extinguished. Four months after this beautiful experience I applied and was accepted to the seminary. Since then, this fire of love has only continued to fan into flame. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you. Be assured of my prayers.
Pax Christi, Fr. Jack Reichardt
Mike Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Stowell: email@example.com
Jim Mellin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr. Robert Gonnella, NIU Newman Center, Parochial Vicar
Fr. Gonnella was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rockford on Saturday, May 13 by Bishop Malloy at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford. Fr. Gonnella began his priestly ministry here at our parish on June 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020.
June 28, 2020
Dear St. Patrick Parishioners,
As you have probably heard by now, my time here as a priest at St. Patrick is coming to an end. I will soon be moving to the Newman Center at NIU in DeKalb to continue ministering to the people of God there. While I am excited to start this new challenge, I am also very sad to be leaving St. Patrick. This has been my home for the last three years, and I will miss it dearly.
First and foremost, I would just like to say thank you to all of you. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of St. Patrick in my first assignment as a priest. You have treated me with unending kindness and warmth, and I will be forever grateful for that. Even through all of my weaknesses and failures you have been there to support me and build me up in my vocation. I can only hope that every priest that is ordained would have such a wonderful first assignment.
I would like to ask one final kindness of you. Please continue to pray for me and for all priests. The world is not a friendly place to us as Christians, but we priests try our best to be a bridge between you and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We need all of the prayers we can get. I will keep all of you in my prayers as well. God bless you all, and I look forward to the next time I see you somewhere down the road!
“May the God of peace make you perfect in holiness. May He preserve your whole and entire spirit, soul, and body, irreproachable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Sincerely, Fr. Gonnella