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As a young child, while visiting St. Faustina's tomb with his family, Dominik ran up to the tomb and kissed it.

Tragic Death Makes an Apostle of Mercy

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By Melanie Williams (Sep 26, 2016)
Two years ago, 17-year-old high school senior and star hockey player Dominik Pettey was killed instantly when a car crashed into his disabled vehicle on the side of a highway. His parents, Patrick and Magdalena of Potomac, Maryland, placing all of their trust in Jesus, said, "We want everyone to know that, however tragic, his sudden death was the will of God. We earnestly believe that God would not have taken him from this earth at the pinnacle of his life unless He had a mission for him."

They are certain what that mission is: Spread the message of Divine Mercy.

Who is this young man who has become such an apostle of Divine Mercy and made such an impact on thousands of lives, not only while living, but also since his death?

Dominik earned good grades and treasured hanging out with his "band of buddies." He lived life to the fullest. December of his junior year his appendix burst in the middle of the night requiring an emergency appendectomy. While waiting for surgery, he asked for a priest to come and hear his Confession.

Complications from the surgery required a weeklong stay in the hospital, immense physical suffering, and the loss of 17 pounds. He had to temporarily leave the hockey team, and later in the school year, he suffered a bout with depression, requiring him to finish his semester at home. Throughout his depression, his parents would pray to St. Faustina and say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with him.

As a young child, his family took a trip to Poland, going to visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy and St. Faustina's tomb just outside Krakow. He hugged and played with the sisters and ran up to the tomb of St. Faustina, laid out on it, and kissed it.

When he was in grade school, his pastor made him an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on a piece of wood. Dominik always kept this on him. The coating was worn off it where he kissed it before going to school, hockey games, or to sleep. When he was in his time of deep suffering, it was the Merciful Jesus who held him and his family through it all, his parents say.

By the fall of his senior year, he was in school getting the best report card he had ever gotten. Hockey season was beginning in a week, and he was surrounded by loving friends and family.

"He was the happiest he had ever been in his life," his mother says.

Then the accident happened.

The family knew his funeral Mass would draw huge attendance — teenagers, teachers, coaches, family, and friends. They knew the crowd would be beyond the capacity of their local parish church.

So permission was granted to move his funeral to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the largest Catholic church in North America. The Basilica, which seats 3,500, was standing-room only for Dominik's requiem Mass, which was concelebrated by more than 20 priests.

In the eulogy, his parents said, "On our son's behalf, spread the message of Divine Mercy and practice acts of mercy and kindness towards one another. Share with the world that we have an all merciful God and that no sin is too great that He cannot forgive it."

One priest in attendance, Msgr. John B. Brady, said that in his 60 years of being a Catholic priest, having attended many liturgies in the Basilica and churches throughout the world, Dominik's Mass of Christian Burial was the most awe-inspiring liturgy of his life.

He said, "It was like being in Heaven. The Holy Spirit was fully in charge of that funeral liturgy."

Brother Leonard Konopka, MIC, a staff member of the Marian's House of Studies in Washington, D.C., attended. "I never witnessed anything comparable in all the years we've had services there," he said.

The Mass was preceded by the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and the image of Divine Mercy was placed in front of the altar and on the memorial cards so as to spread the message of Divine Mercy to all in attendance.

The main celebrant and homilist, Dominik's pastor, Fr. Mark Knestout, preached on the redemptive value of suffering and the message of Divine Mercy.

It is the prayer of Dominik's parents that many come to know the mercy of God through Dominik's story. They concluded their eulogy with this:

"It doesn't stop here. Let the love you feel for celebrating Dominik's life continue to inspire you to seek, love, and trust in God to fill that place in your heart like Dominik did. Let us all fight for Heaven!"

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Mary Ann King - Sep 10, 2021

It is with sadness to announce to this group that our 92year old saintly Monsignor John Beady of St. John the Evangelist Church, Clinton,Maryland, passed away yesterday, September 9, 2021 from coronavirus. Funeral arrangements are being planned by our pastor, Fr. Mario Majano with the Archdiocese of Washington. He was well loved and respected by so many. He was a holy man who radiated God's love and kindness to everyone. He has written this prayer that he prayed before he stated the mass and which I prayed before I start my day.

Dear Holy Spirit,

I place myself under your total power,
guidance, and control,
I surrender to you my intellect, my talent, my will, and my entire self.

Hover over me as You did at the Baptism of Jesus.
May I be filled with the Holy Spirit and with love.

May the Spirit of the Lord be stirred within me so that I might be God's chosen instrument to touch the hearts of every soul and to leaf them to the Lord, their God.

Empower me to discern, enable me to do and to complete the work to which I have been called during my earthly life.

Spirit of the Living God, fall abudantly upon me.
Mold me, lead me, and guide me.
Transform me to become more like Christ.

Eternal Rest grant unto Monsignor John Brady, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace in Your loving presence to adore and praise you with the holy angels and saints in heaven.

Demetea - Apr 27, 2017

I have been praying the Mercy Prayer written by Msr. John Brady inspired by Dominik's Mass as well as the Mercy Chaplet almost daily. It has brought me peace and has helped me be more merciful towards others. I am spreading the word of it's powerful message to others. Thanks

AMDG - On Wings of Eagles - Oct 22, 2016

RIP Dom. You touched many in your short time on earth and watch over your brothers from above.

Patricia - Oct 2, 2016

I am so happy to know this family after Dominik's passing and I feel in my heart that one day he is going to be a saint. I call on him to pray for me all the time and things happen. He is doing great things in heaven right now.
PS I was at the shrine in Stockbridge the day after this was published.

Tierney - Sep 29, 2016

Dominik I knew you and you changed everything I hope I am always a testament to this divine mercy, nothing is like the light that i have seen shone through you and your family. Jesus I trust in you!

Elizabeth - Sep 28, 2016

A powerful story and witness by his family to the Divine Mercy message so needed in today's world!

Fabrizio - Sep 28, 2016

Thank you Dominik, Jesus bless you and your family!

CHARLES OTIENO - Sep 28, 2016

May he R I P. He has certainly joined St Faustina in the work of Apostolate of Divine Mercy in Heaven, praying for us unceasingly.

Estela - Sep 28, 2016

He is living an eternal life in Heaven. His Holy 's death has The Presence of the Holy Spirit .

Rita Plazo - Sep 27, 2016

When the Divine Mercy is a part of anything in life especially his people it is a part of heaven on earth especially in this case where heaven and earth were palpably connected by his mercy.

Annie - Sep 27, 2016

Dear Joan,
I am so sorry for your loss of your son Paul. Sincerely, Annie

Joan - Sep 27, 2016

I had a similar experience when my son, Paul, was tragically murdered when he was 22 years old. I always felt that Our Lord, had a special mission for Paul. He was a wonderful, strong young man who loved Jesus since he was a child.

Maria C - Sep 27, 2016

May his soul rest in peace in the company of all the angels and Saints in heaven. We definitely need the Divine Mercy in our lives.Jesus, I TRUST IN YOU.

Irene - Sep 27, 2016

God needed another angel to help those in need

Elaine - Sep 27, 2016

My thoughts & prayers are with the family. And yes, pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy. The world needs mercy !!