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'God Has a Big Plan'
The impact of a 17-year-old's death continues
In fall of 2016, we shared the story of Dominik Pettey, a 17-year-old from Potomac, Maryland, who was killed in a car accident in 2014. His death has helped spread the Divine Mercy message and devotion beyond anyone's imagination. His parents would like to share some of the impact their son has had since his passing. These are just a few testimonies from the thousands — yes, thousands — of people who attended his funeral:
Dominik was the catalyst for my faith. I had never had a boyfriend that would say grace when it was just the two of us eating pizza, but Dominik would. For a long time, I was sad when he was gone because I thought losing him was the biggest act of injustice, but there is too much truth in mercy, and Dominik spoke truth. He didn't necessarily preach about God constantly, but the more I knew him, the more I was discovering faith for the first time, not just going through the motions. Knowing Dominik would be the key to overcoming whatever I had struggled with. If I had never known Dominik I would have never had the opportunity to understand mercy, to become a catechist, or go to World Youth Day in Poland.
— Tierney G.
My son went to school with Dominik. When he told me about the car accident, I felt as if my chest had been cracked open. I couldn't stop crying about Dom. At the funeral, my husband and I were seated in one of the back rows. I was just a few feet from his mother as she watched the pall removed from her son's casket. Weeks later, as I contemplated the funeral and the sheer number of people that attended, I asked God, "Why did this happen?" And God's voice came to me, "Because I needed to reach a lot of people at one time." We attend an Anglican church, and Dom's prayercard is on my bedside table. Because of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy on the prayercard, I asked my husband for a rosary for Christmas last year. I had a strong desire — a need — to pray the Rosary every day. It has strengthened my faith beyond imagination. I guess when I felt my chest "crack open," it was for a reason: Christ needed room to pour Himself into my heart.
— Colette G.
I was in the car accident with Dom, and although the accident brought a lot of hardships, I try to think of all the benefits that came from it. My faith has gotten stronger, and I believe that the accident happened for a reason and I just have to trust God and the Holy Spirit. I still remember looking at Mrs. Pettey and hearing her tell me, "God has a big plan for you — that's why you were saved. Now go out there and change the world."
— Daniel M.
After Dom's death, my friends and I questioned a lot of things, including God's justice and plan. Two years later, I am finally able to understand the incredible miracles that flowed from the heartache that the community felt. Last year, I was studying in Rome for a semester, and during my travels I was able to go through many Doors of Mercy. I traveled to Krakow and visited the Shrine of Divine Mercy. I truly think that the most incredible gift that Dom left all of us was the tradition of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Dom's life taught us the important lesson of always trying to bring others up along with us to God's mercy and also the essential meaning of life, which is to love one another as Jesus loved us.
— Clare K.
Read our original story on Dominik.