During the time when Dominik was absent from Gonzaga, his doctor suggested that he get outside into the sunshine as much as possible and also find a job to help structure his days.
His parents approached a local pizza restaurant and explained Dominik’s situation. Patrick, the managing partner, had nephews who went to Dominik’s school, and he needed a new worker. He hired Dom on the spot.
Although he was still struggling, Dominik responded well to his work schedule at Ledo’s. Patrick was generous and understanding, providing encouragement as well as high expectations of being on time and performing a job well done.
Dom was proud of his employee pizza discount, and took full advantage of it! He worked at Ledo’s until the beginning of his Senior year, and looked up to Patrick as a mentor.
The day after Dom passed away, Patrick quietly arrived at the Pettey’s home with a stack of pizzas to feed the family and their friends. At a later date, he shared with them a postcard which was in his mailbox when he arrived home from Dominik’s funeral.
One of the hockey players was #11.
Patrick still keeps the postcard in his briefcase.
“Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption in a way, sometimes even despair and anger against God because we cannot make it happen; we cannot get better. But it can also make a person more mature, helping him to discern his life…. We can respond in two ways to this situation, this tragedy that we are dealing with – either by turning toward God in trust, or by turning away from him in distrust….But Dom didn’t turn away. Dom focused on God in his suffering. In his short but full life he confronted his own personal sufferings. I know. I was his parish priest.” –Fr. Mark Knestout, Funeral Mass Homily