Father Patrick Dowling: The Angel Priest

Father Patrick Dowling: The Angel Priest

Aug 13

Fr_Pat_Dowling

Father Patrick Dowling

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MYSTERY ‘ANGEL’ PRIEST APPEARS AT MISSOURI CAR CRASH, PERFORMS ‘MIRACLE,’ THEN DISAPPEARS
By Cavan Sieczkowski
Huffington Post
August 8, 2013

Original Link

Rescue workers and community members from a small Missouri town have a mystery on their hands. An “angel” priest reportedly appeared out of nowhere at the scene of a bad car accident Sunday, performed what is being called a “miracle” and then disappeared.

It all unfolded around 9 a.m. on Missouri 19 near the town of Center. Katie Lentz, 19, had gotten into an accident and was pinned between the steering wheel and the seat, reports area news outlet KHQA. A rescue crew arrived at the scene and worked to get Lentz out of the mangled car for 45 minutes, but they were unable to free her.

As time passed, Lentz’s condition worsened. Eventually she asked if someone would pray out loud. That is when a gray-haired priest, dressed in all black with a clerical collar and carrying anointing oil, appeared and prayed over the girl.

Shortly after, the rescue workers were able to free Lentz and send her to the hospital. When they turned to thank the priest, he was gone. He isn’t in any of the dozens of photos taken from the accident, and no one has been able to identify him.

“I think it’s a miracle,” New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed, one of the rescuers at the scene of the accident, told KHQA. “I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don’t know. Either way, I’m good with it.”

The teen’s mother, Carla Churchill Lentz, feels the same.

She told USA Today that emergency workers said there is no way her daughter should have lived through the crash. She believes the man may have been “an angel dressed in priest’s attire because the Bible tells us there are angels among us.”

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of My Life with the Saints, has a different theory.

“Most likely the priest will be identified, and people will be able to thank him,” he told The Huffington Post in an emailed message Thursday. “If he’s not found, that may mean he wants to remain anonymous. Could it have been an angel? There are similar ‘angelic’ stories in the lives of the saints, when a figure inexplicably appears and cannot be located afterwards. There are angels, of course, but we tend to ascribe to angels anonymous acts that we find incredibly loving — when in fact human beings do incredibly loving things in hidden ways every day.”

On her Facebook page, Carla Churchill Lentz revealed her daughter has undergone surgery for sustained injuries, including a broken femur, broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a ruptured spleen and a bruised lung. She thanked everyone for their support and asked them to “pray out loud.”

A spokesperson from Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill., told HuffPost that Lentz is currently listed in serious condition.

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‘ANGEL’ PRIEST CAR CRASH: PRIEST APPEARS, PRAYS DURING RESCUE, THEN VANISHES
By Zachary Stieber
Epoch Times
August 8, 2013

Original Link

Rescue workers believe an “angel” priest helped soothe a woman pinned after a car accident.

In Center, Missouri, a car struck Katie Lentz’s car head-on.

Rescue crews spent the first 45 minutes after the accident trying to free Lentz, who was pinned between the steering wheel and the seat. Medical workers told rescue crews that Lentz’s health was beginning to deteriorate. So New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed decided to move the car, which was on its side, back on all four wheels.

15 minutes later, Lentz asked rescue workers to pray out loud for her, according to KHQA. That’s when an “angel” priest seemingly approached out of nowhere.

“He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” Reed said. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well. I can’t be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle.”

Another fire department showed up right after that with more equipment and manpower and Lentz was freed, and put into a helicopter to be taken to a hospital.

That’s when the rescue workers looked for the priest, to thank him. But he was gone. And the highway had been blocked for a quarter-mile each way during the 1.5 hour rescue.

“Where did this guy come from?” Lentz’s friend Travis Wiseman asked. “We’re looking for the priest and so far, no one has seen him. Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie.”

The man had silver hair, looked to be in his 50s or 60s, and was wearing black pants and a black collar with visible white insert, according to USA Today. No one recognized the man.

“We’re all local people from four different towns,” Reed said. “We’ve only got one Catholic church out of three towns and it wasn’t their priest.”

“I have 69 photographs that were taken from minutes after that accident happened — bystanders, the extrication, our final cleanup — and he’s not in them,” Reed said. “All we want to do is thank him.”

Lentz sustained major injuries during the crash, which was on August 4, and has already undergone multiple surgeries to mend several broken bones.

The driver of the other car, Aaron Smith, has been charged with driving while intoxicated, as well as second degree assault.

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MYSTERY PRIEST IN MISSOURI RESCUE REVEALED
By Carl Bunderson
National Catholic Register
August 12, 2013

Original Link

The mysterious priest who gave anointing to a Missouri woman trapped in her wrecked car has been identified as Father Patrick Dowling of the Diocese of Jefferson City.

“I thank God and the amazingly competent rescue workers,” Father Dowling stated in a comment on Catholic News Agency’s original article on the Aug. 4 incident. (The priest also recounted his story in a comment posted at NCRegister.com for the National Catholic Register.)

“I thank them for making me welcome in such a highly charged situation and allowing me to minister as a priest,” he said.

Katie Lentz was trapped in her older-model Mercedes after being struck by another vehicle that passed into her lane. That car’s driver has been charged with DWI.

Rescue workers spent an hour trying to get Lentz out of her car, but the solid materials of its construction were dulling the fire department’s emergency equipment.

Father Dowling was driving by Center, Mo., while on his way back from offering Mass in Ewing. A native of Ireland, Father Dowling was ordained a priest for the Jefferson City Diocese in 1982. He currently serves in prison ministry, and also ministers to the Spanish-speaking population of the Diocese of Jefferson City.

Though the highway was blocked off, Father Dowling revealed he “did not leave with the other cars.” After parking as close as he could to the scene of the accident, he said he walked the remaining 150 yards.

“I asked the sheriff if a priest might be needed,” he said.

“When the young lady asked that I pray her leg stop hurting, I did so. She asked me to pray aloud, and I did briefly,” he said.

Father Dowling added, “The rescue workers needed space and would not have appreciated distraction. I stepped to one side and said my Rosary silently until the lady was taken from the car.”

He observed that the rescue workers “worked with the harmony of a Swiss watch.”

“The Highway Patrol sergeant was amazingly calm and completely in control,” he said.

Once Lentz was removed from her vehicle, Father Dowling stated, “I then shook hands with the sheriff and thanked him as I left. I have to admire the calmness of everybody involved.”

Mysterious Questions Remain

CNA spoke with Father Dowling Aug. 12, and he said that he gave Lentz the anointing of the sick as well as absolution.

He affirmed that it was in the normal duties of a priest, “except that there was something extraordinary it sounds like, in the sequence of events that coincided in time with the anointing.”

“You must remember: There were many people praying there, many, many people … and they were all praying, obviously, for healing and for her safety,” he said.

“I was probably part of the answer to their prayers: I came by, and anointed, and absolved,” he said.

But Father Dowling said he could not explain other mysterious events that coincided with his ministering at the accident scene.

“I didn’t say another word,” he said. “I did not say anything like the machinery would begin to work or they would succeed in getting her out of the car.”

The priest said, “That did not come from my lips, though two people heard it.”

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