Mystery priest identified

The Rev. Patrock Dowling has come forward as the priest who came to the aid of an accident victim.

The Rev. Patrock Dowling has come forward as the priest who came to the aid of an accident victim.

Rev. Patrick Dowling of the Diocese of Jefferson City has identified himself as the priest who prayed with Katie Lentz and emergency workers following an auto accident that left Lentz pinned inside her crushed Mercedes Aug. 4 on Missouri 19.

Lentz was returning to Jefferson City from her hometown of Quincy Ill. The 19-year-old is an intern at the Community Health Center of Central Missouri and the Missouri Primary Care Association.

Dowling identified himself as the mystery priest Friday evening by posting a comment on the story “Mysterious Priest Showed Up to pray With Missouri Crash Victim” on the National Catholic Register’s website.

The comment went unnoticed until Monday.

The Diocese of Jefferson City identified Dowling in a press release Monday afternoon.

The press release included Dowling’s account of the morning.

Dowling was returning to Jefferson City from Ewing, where he led Mass for a fellow priest who was sick.

As he arrived at the accident scene on Missouri 19, he parked nearly 150 yards away.

“I asked the sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident,” Dowling wrote in the comment. “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.”

He said he left the scene once the helicopter was preparing to take off with Lentz inside.

“I was amazed at the calmness of the two Highway Patrolmen,” Dowling wrote. “The sergeant was completely in control, amazingly calm.

“Everybody worked as harmoniously as a Swiss watch despite the critical nature of the scene.”

The priest said he gave his name to one of the authorities at the scene. A sergeant gave the priest Lentz’ name so that he could visit her in the hospital.

“I assumed she would be taken to Columbia,” Dowling wrote.

Lentz was taken to Blessing Hospital in her hometown of Quincy, Ill.

The Diocese’s press release stated, “Fr. Dowling said that he is pleased that he was able to help by performing his ministry and noted that he was just one of many who responded to assist the victim at the accident.”

“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,” Dowling wrote in his comment.

“God blessed your work,” he said. “I hope the credit goes where it is due.”

Dowling is a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City in 1982. He has served parishes in Moberly, Monroe City, Indian Creek, Milan, Unionville and Eldon, as well as in the diocese’s mission parishes in Marcona and Nasca, Peru.

Dowling is currently serving in prison ministry, as well as in parish ministry to Spanish-speaking Catholics.

Coverage posted earlier:

The priest who helped during a recent car accident which caused a stir on social media has been identified.

According to a press release from the Diocese of Jefferson City they identified the priest as Rev. Patrick Dowling,

The accident occurred August 4 near Center, MO

Fr. Dowling said that he is pleased that he was able to help by performing his ministry and noted that that he was just one of many who responded to assist the victim at the accident. He and the Diocese wish to acknowledge and thank the first responders, medical team and law enforcement personnel for their efforts that morning in aid of the young woman injured in the accident.

Fr. Dowling, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., in 1982. He has served at parishes in Moberly, Monroe City, Indian Creek, Milan, Unionville and Eldon, Mo., and in the diocese’s mission parishes in Marcona and Nasca, Peru.

He is currently serving in prison ministry and in parish ministry to Spanish-speaking Catholics.

Below is Fr. Dowling’s account provided to the National Catholic REGISTER blog site:

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/mysterious-priest-showed-up-to-pray-with-missouri-crash-victim#ixzz2bmbAga57

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.

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