CENTER, MO (KTVI)- The priest who recently showed up at a Missouri crash site, prayed with a victim, and then seemed to vanish has been identified. On Monday, a release provided to TheBlaze.com from the Diocese of Jefferson City, MO confirmed that the Rev. Patrick Dowling is the man who was at the crash site.
On August 4, Katie Lentz, 19, was involved in a head-on car crash. Her car was crushed and emergency crews were doing everything they could to get the injured teen out of the car and to a hospital, but equipment problems were slowing down their work. During the rescue, Katie told rescue workers she wanted to pray. That’s when workers say the priest appeared out of no where.
The now identified Fr. Dowling prayed with the girl and anointed her with holy oil. Then as rescue workers continued their work, he prayed the rosary off to one side. According to workers, it was not long after that that a backup crew arrived with working equipment.
Fr. Dowling revealed his identity and the story about how he arrived on the scene in the comments section of story about the crash on the National Catholic Register website. Here is what he wrote:
“I had Mass in Ewing MO as the regular priest was sick. As I was returning, I arrived at the scene. The authorities were redirecting traffic. I waited till it was possible to drive up closer. I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident. I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the helicopter was about to take off, and before I got to my car it was on its way to Quincy. I was amazed at the calmness of the two Highway patrol men. The sergeant was completely in control, amazingly calm. Everybody worked as harmoniously as a Swiss watch despite the critical nature of the scene. I gave my name to one of the authorities, perhaps to the sergeant of Highway Patrol, explaining that I was returning having celebrated Mass at Ewing. It was the sergeant who, at the Sheriff’s request, gave me Katie’s name as I was leaving, so I could visit her in hospital—I assumed she would be taken to Columbia. I think there may have been angels there too and, in this context, I congratulate the fire team from New London and Hannibal, the Sheriff/deputies of Ralls County, the Highway Patrol personnel, the helicopter team, the nurses and all who worked so professionally. God has blessed your work. I hope the credit goes where it is due.”