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Darillyn spreads the message of God's mercy through words and deeds. Mercy is her code of the road.

On the Road, in Her Spiritually Souped-up Ciera

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Darillyn never "tires" of promoting prayer.

By Mrs. Darillyn Patterson, OP

Some people like to put a bumper sticker or a ribbon magnet on their car. That is rather commonplace these days. Nobody thinks much of it.

When people catch sight of my car, though, it's a different story. It has earned the title of "preachmobile," and rightly so. I might add that I am not the one who originally gave it that name. It was a Dominican priest by the name of Fr. Jacob who came up with it. He meant it as a joke, no doubt. I thought it was a very appropriate name, so I kept it.

On May 7, 2006, I made final profession in the Order of Preachers. That's the religious order founded by St. Dominic. We Dominicans are called to preach. There are various ways we can do that, of course. I have chosen a "preachmobile" as an effective, yet effortless, way to preach.

As I drive around each day in my spiritually souped-up Cutlass Ciera, many people see my car. Whether they are tailgating (I love it when they get up close to read the words on the back of the car), passing my car or being passed by me, they can't help but notice the messages. When traffic is stopped at the intersection, it gives them the chance for a better look and the chance to read it all.

I drive and park the preachmobile strategically. I will often pass people slowly to give them the opportunity to read the words. When I park the car, I select a spot where many can see it, even if I have to park some distance from my destination. I want them to be able to see my wheel covers. On each of them I spray painted the word PRAY with white paint, using a stencil for uniformity. Actually, they were on the previous car I owned. I gave them a fresh coat of paint and transferred them to this car.

It all began when I put messages of God's love in the back window, along with a standing crucifix in the center of it. It's so important for people to know that God loves them. Soon I expanded it to include messages of His Divine Mercy. That's really important, too. The plate on the front of my car is the Divine Mercy image, complete with the "Jesus, I trust in you!" inscription.

With my previous car, I only put the letters on the windows. With this car, I decided to experiment a bit by putting them on the body of the car. I wasn't sure if they would adhere sufficiently to that surface. It worked out well, though. All the letters are intact.

Naturally, people wonder what sort of reactions I receive from others when they see the preachmobile. Surprisingly, I get very few negative responses. Sometimes a person will drive very closely behind me and then back off some distance from my car after a short time. When that happens, I wonder if they've decided to drive more safely by putting a greater distance between us or, if they just don't want to read the messages!

I prayed for guidance as to which messages I should put on the preachmobile. Along with the white vinyl letters, there are also a few images. I placed static window clings that look similar to stained glass windows on all the side windows. There's one of The Last Supper in the lower left hand corner of the windshield, where I can easily see it as I drive. As I'm driving along, it's easy to imagine that my car is a little chapel on wheels. Framed images of the Holy Face of Jesus and Our Lady of Sorrows are displayed on my dashboard, above the glove compartment.

The latest addition (I'm still not done with this preachmobile) is the Jesus Prayer on top of my trunk: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner." When people read that, they are inadvertently saying the prayer themselves!

On the front end of the car near the hood, I have put this message: "Pray for the dying to trust in God's mercy." I was led to do that after reading a short excerpt from St. Faustina's Diary. It wasn't until a few days later that I noticed the word "trust" in that sentence just happened to be aligned directly above the word "trust" on my Divine Mercy image license plate. That's not the only place where you will see the Divine Mercy image. It's on every side of the car and on the dashboard, too.

So far, I haven't seen any other preachmobiles on the road. After people learn about mine, perhaps that will change. I hope so, anyway. Some people might think I've gone overboard with this. All I can say in reply is that I'll do whatever it takes to win souls for God.

I mentioned at the beginning that we can preach in various ways. Another way I'm doing that is through music. I have written songs and recorded three of them on a CD. One of them is entitled "Unfathomable Divine Mercy." It is sung to the melody of "O Holy Night."

Here are the lyrics:

Unfathomable Divine Mercy

Now is the time to learn of God's great mercy
and of His infinite love for you.
If you believe He never could forgive you,
you need to know that this just isn't true.
He knows your heart and how much you've been hurting.
Turn to Him now. He's waited for so long.
Fall on your knees, and ask God for His mercy.
He'll grant it to you. Start right away. Do not delay.
The time has come for you to start your life anew.

Open your heart, and let God's love surround you.
The tears you weep will become tears of joy.
Learn to forgive yourself as well as others;
ask God to grant you the grace that you need.
The greatest sinner needs the greatest mercy.
Be merciful to those who have hurt you.
You must forgive if you want the Lord's forgiveness.
The joy of God's peace will carry you through all you do.
Go forth in love for God, and know His love for you.

Never despair and think God won't forgive you.
That wounds His heart more than all of your sins.
Place all your trust in His Divine Mercy,
proclaiming - Jesus, I trust in You!
There's no end to God's loving, tender mercy.
Whene'er you sin, go running back to Him.
Pray and repent. He's ready to forgive you.
Believe in His love.
He died for you; His love is true.
Forevermore rejoice, knowing that God always loves you.

Darillyn Patterson, OP, of Southwick, Mass., is one of several members of the Marians' 13th of the Month Club who lead the Rosary before the annual Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Would you like to be a Marian Helper? Learn all about the spiritual benefits of membership.

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Darillyn - Feb 10, 2012

It is now 2012, more than 4 years since these comments were posted. I've put many miles on the preachmobile. The odometer reads over 180,000 miles. Well, it got to the point that I was paying for repairs quite often. It was one thing after another. It's now parked in my driveway and has been replaced by a 2006 Ford Taurus SE with under 21,000 miles on it. I was able to transfer some of the magnets and window clings from the preachmobile to this car. I'm happy to say that the crucifix that was in the back window of the '94 Olds is now in the back window of the Ford. I was hoping it would fit, and it does. Praise God! It won't be possible to put the white letters on until later in the Spring because the temperature needs to be at least 70 degrees in order for them to permanently adhere. I don't want letters flying off while I'm driving! So, watch the roadways for my new preachmobile. It's a bluish-gray color with a new license plate on the front to replace the very faded one I had on the preachmobile. This one says, "Pray the rosary." If anyone looks inside my car when it's parked somewhere, they will see a small framed image of the Holy Face and above it this message in bold white letters on a black background: "I LOVE BEING CATHOLIC."

Neilda - Jan 15, 2008

Hi Darillyn,

I see you car almost weekly and it always makes me smile. God has truely blessed you in many ways. When my boys were younger, they used to call your other car the "Jesus Mobile"! Whenever they are around and see your new car, they call this car the "Jesus Mobile" as well. We certainly do know when you are in the area, and I smile and think of "Jesus Mobile" each time I see it. May you continue to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to those in most need of God's mercy!

Darillyn - Dec 1, 2007

This is a postscript to my comment on Nov. 15. I forgot to mention there are various pro-life messages on each side of my car, including a toll free number for those who need help with an unplanned pregnancy. On each of the front doors I've put "Life begins at conception." I want to tell it like it is -- VERITAS. We all know that pro-abortionists can get angry when they see these sort of things. I don't let that stop me, though. My guardian angel protects me from their wrath.
The Holy Name of Jesus is on all four sides of my car, too. I want people to remember Our Lord and Savior.

Darillyn - Nov 15, 2007

Susan, thank you for letting us know about your preachmobile, too. I hope more people will take advantage of the opportunity they have of spreading the Good News. That's pretty nifty how you saw the JPII bumper sticker right when you were asking him to pray for you.
Since the photo only shows the front of the car, let me tell you what it says on the back window -- GOD LOVES YOU WITH AN INFINITE LOVE. That is displayed across the top of the window. The priest I mentioned, Fr. Jacob, frequently reminded us of that. In the lower left corner of the window it says GOD IS LOVE". In the lower right corner are these words: LOVE IS THE KEY.
Not only does it say PRAY on my wheelcovers, but it also says PRAY! on both front door windows. People need to be reminded of that. They get all caught up with worldly pursuits.
On both sides near the end of the car I've written this beatitude: BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL, FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY. If nothing else, my messages give people food for thought. At least for the few moments they see the car, God is brought to their mind.

Susan - Nov 15, 2007

I also have a preach mobile. I have the divine mercy sticker which says "Divine Mercy Protect and Pray for Us" and
"Relax God is in Control" with a penguin getting eaten by a goldfish being told by another penguin to relax. Sometimes I see kids laughing when they see that one. I got over worrying about being goofy for the same reasons. God's time is now and people need to be reached in anyway we can reach them. I know my own personal conversion is the most important way that I am filled with the peace of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit does the converting. It's fun that the Holy Spirit can reach people through all sorts of means. The other day I was driving in my preach mobile and I was praying a litany prayer for saint's to pray for me. I prayed John Paul II pray for me and in that very second I saw a JPII bumper sticker on the car I was approaching. I felt so blessed. Thank you for your story.