Mass on August 5

All are welcome to attend Holy Mass to celebrate Dominik’s birthday on August 5, 2019.

The celebrant will be Rev. Joseph Cwik, a newly ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Washington. The outdoor 10:30A.M. Mass will take place at the gravesite in Section 24 at Gate of Heaven cemetery.


“The seed of eternity existing in each one of us reacts against death because that seed is itself not reducible to mere matter….For God has called us and continues to call us to cling with all our being to an everlasting share in the imperishable divine life.”
— Gaudium et Spes, 18

Amado Espiritu Santo

topofcardDear Holy Spirit!

The beautiful Holy Spirit prayer written by Msgr. John Brady after Dominik’s funeral is now available in Spanish. Download Amada Espiritu Santo HERE

Read how Msgr. Brady was inspired to write the prayer after his experience at the funeral Mass.

Since then, the Petteys have received many requests for the prayer cards, including this surprising inquiry.

May the prayer card in Spanish bring new life to all those seeking the Spirit of Love, truth and discernment in their lives!

Download the Holy Spirit Prayer Card in English
Download the Holy Spirit Prayer Card in Spanish

Note: once you download the PDF file, you can make the prayer card size smaller for printing by using the magnifying glass icon with the minus sign in the upper left corner.

Prayer for true happiness

Our hope for Dominik. Dominik’s hope for himself. The hope of Easter!

In late 2018, the Petteys found this paper Dominik wrote for religion class at Gonzaga. This is the original assignment, including the image he picked out himself to accompany his prayer. Prayer For True Happiness

Big old boxes

Dominik happily took this video of his friends “boxing” at school and posted it on social media.

For those who never experienced his sense of humor in person, his laugh says it all.

“It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

A surprise request

The Petteys recently received this surprise request from a parish priest in Massachusetts:

“Hello, I am a friend of Father D. I received a number of prayer cards from him that were inspired by one of the priests who attended the funeral of Dominik. It has been very helpful to us as we restore our parish. Is it possible to get a large number of the cards?…Thank you, Father M.”

When the Petteys contacted Father D., the Massachusetts-based Jesuit priest who had given his brother priest the Holy Spirit prayer cards inspired at Dominik’s funeral, this is what he wrote:

The prayer card…where do I begin – the prayer, the Holy Spirit – changes lives – I feel my own life changing and I find I can’t be without it- I stick it in my bag when I go for an overnight – or carry to my room in a book –  etc. I have given the prayer card to retreatants –  and it does wonders for them on their retreats.  I have a Diocesan Priest who comes to see me… he is a holy man –  my age – and is in a challenging parish –  old, dilapidated – interiorly, and in the people as well –  but – he is turning the parish around…he has taught himself to say Mass in Vietnamese and in Spanish –  amazing. Well – I gave him one of the prayer cards – he came last week and said …‘that prayer –  it does wonders.. and if you pray it seriously you have to put on your seat belt because the Spirit will take you and move you forward’… he asked for more…. I have very few left myself. If ever you have more to spare – I’d be so grateful.  It is extraordinary what that one prayer does.  I don’t have to tell you that…”

Download a copy here…

“Dude, don’t worry about it…”

The first time I met Dominik Pettey was the Summer he turned 16.

He and my son Daniel were the exact same age- sharing the same birthday. What I remember most about Dom was his huge, warm smile. He was friendly, outgoing and exuded confidence. I met Dom another time also, the following Summer when the boys were celebrating their birthdays together at our local pool. Dom was fun-loving and charismatic, a real charmer to all who knew him. He had a quiet, reflective side as well and I don’t know if my son and their friends realized how spiritual Dom was. During the events leading up to and including his magnificent funeral, many stories emerged about Dom’s devotion to the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Sacred Heart of Jesus. Dom was introduced to the Divine Mercy Chaplet through his Polish heritage.

On October 31, 2014, Dominik, Daniel, Patrick and Sean were at Dom’s house celebrating Halloween when some friends from Visitation High School called and invited them to a party in Great Falls, Virginia. Unable to find a ride home after the party broke up, Daniel called his brother Drew, who was home for the night to attend a friend’s Halloween party, for a ride. On the way to pick up the boys in Virginia, Drew realized the car was low on gas but the only gas station nearby was closed. After the boys got in the car for the trip home, Drew’s fears were realized one half mile from their exit on the beltway – the car ran out of gas and he pulled over on the shoulder. Drew felt tremendous embarrassment and apologized to the boys in the car. He remembers they were all very understanding but it was Dom’s words that resonated with Drew. Dominik’s last words on earth were to the effect: “Dude, don’t worry about it, it’s all good”. Dominik was trying to make someone else feel better as his last earthly act. But that was Dom, always kind, inclusive and trying to make everyone around him feel a little bit better. Shortly after, the disabled car was hit from behind by an approaching vehicle.

I remember the night of the accident when I got the call that Drew and Daniel were taken to the hospital. The interminable wait to find out the fate of the other boys was torture. When we finally found out that Dom had died, my husband and I were devastated. There was and still is tremendous guilt that it was our car that ran out of gas and yet our two sons survived the accident. I remember dreading the moment when I would face Dom’s parents whom we had never met. I called our pastor, Father Meyers, and asked him to accompany us to the Pettey’s home the Sunday following the accident.

The Pettey Family graciously welcomed us and several others into their home and could not have been kinder to us. Patrick had even called Rick the day before to check on Drew who was still hospitalized at that point. I was so riddled with survivor’s guilt that I was nauseated and trembling when I met the Petteys. I was practically on my knees begging for forgiveness when Magda pulled me aside into her living room and told me about Dominik. She said that Dominik had been in such a good place at the time of the accident that she felt his soul was ready to meet his Lord. Dom had experienced dark days around the time of his appendectomy and the months following. The Spring and Summer of 2014 had been a re-birth for Dominik with the help of family, teachers at Gonzaga and his faith. He was eagerly looking forward to his senior year, Gonzaga hockey and applying to college. Magda and Pat both felt that he was happy and on track for the next chapter of his life.

I will never understand why Dom was taken from those who loved him. It was God’s plan and I cannot imagine how I would have handled losing a child. I have no doubt that it was the strong faith of Pat and Magda that helped them accept God’s will even at such a heartbreaking cost. Dom’s death devastated his friends and the Gonzaga community. His funeral, in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest church in North America was standing room only. Anyone present can attest to the feeling that this was no ordinary requiem Mass. I will never forget the eulogy that was delivered by his best friend who described Dom as a regular kid who had such a profound impact on those all around him. There was a mystical quality to the funeral and one of the 24 priests who con-celebrated the Mass was inspired to write a prayer to the Holy Spirit after the funeral.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Dominik and his parents. Dom’s friends are in touch with Magda and Pat on a regular basis and this is good for everyone. Drew and Daniel and some of their friends look forward to dinner at the Pettey’s and talking about and remembering Dom. They like to go in his bedroom and be among his things.

I envision that Daniel is living the life Dom would have lived if he were still with us. I imagine it must be difficult to hear what Dom’s friends are doing in their own lives but the Petteys give no hint of sadness or regret. I don’t know if they realize how much their visits have helped the boys heal from this tragedy. I pray for them every day and I have no doubt their reward in heaven will be great, when they are reunited with their beloved son Dominik.

-Amy M.

Gathering in Boston

Each year in Boston, friends of Dominik have gathered together November 1 in his memory for a prayer service or Mass.

They always initiate this gathering on their own and then graciously send word of the event the next day to the Petteys. Alums of both Gonzaga and Georgetown Prep, many of Dom’s friends–old and new–are in town attending schools like Boston College, Northeastern and Harvard.


“This year we had a great turn out from Boston College grads, and even had two Northeastern Gonzaga grads come over for the prayer service. Always a great way to get back in touch with our Gonzaga roots and remember our friend and teammate.” –Chris M., November 2018