Mystery priest in Missouri rescue steps forward

Fr. Patrick Dowling of the Diocese of Jefferson City ministered to Katie Lentz at the crash scene

Katie Lentz cried out to Jesus in agony and fear last Sunday, and He sent Fr. Patrick Dowling of the Diocese of Jefferson City

The priest who anointed, blessed, and prayed with Katie Lentz has stepped forward. Father Patrick Dowling of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City (Mo.) was traveling last Sunday morning, August 12, when he halted at the scene of the horrendous crash which left 19-year old Katie Lentz critically injured and pinned in her wrecked automobile after she was struck head-on by a drunken driver. Witnesses reported that a mystery priest came forward during the rescue to pray with Katie and then disappeared. Fr. Dowling said that although the highway was blocked off, “I did not leave with the other cars,” He remarked that he parked as close as he could, “and walked the remaining 150 yards. I asked the Sheriff if a priest might be needed … on checking, he permitted me to approach.” Many of the rescuers as well as members of Katie’s family have described Fr. Dowling as an “angel” who calmed everyone at the accident scene and whose prayer coincided with the arrival of badly needed equipment that quickly freed Katie from the wreckage.

Once Katie was removed from her vehicle, Fr. Dowling explained, “I then shook hands with the Sheriff, and thanked him, as I left. I have to admire the calmness of everybody involved. The Highway Patrol sergeant was amazingly calm and completely in control. Everybody worked with the harmony of a Swiss watch.”

Fr. Dowling explained to the Catholic News Agency that he gave Katie an Anointing of the Sick as well as absolution. He described these are the normal duties of a priest in such a situation.

A native of Ireland, Fr. Patrick Dowling was ordained a priest for the Jefferson City diocese in 1982. He has served at several parishes in the diocese, as well as its two mission parishes in Peru. He currently serves in prison ministry and serves the Spanish-speaking population of the Diocese of Jefferson City.

Source: Catholic News Agency

Mystery priest in Missouri rescue comes forward :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).


7 thoughts on “Mystery priest in Missouri rescue steps forward

  1. A minister from Parkview church, Iowa City, Iowa was actually the first man of faith to arrive to the scene of the accident, prior to any emergency personnel arriving. His name is Doug Fern. He talked to the victim and prayed with her as well. He was the first to attend to her and held her hand while praying and talking with her until help arrived. He stayed until the helicopter left. Thank you Doug! Praise God!

    • Chris, thanks for this. I have read nothing online about that minister, and it’s interesting the Sheriff’s deputy who was first on the scene made no mention of him. In any case, it sounds like Katie Lentz had her prayers answered twice over! God Bless both of them, and Katie too.

  2. There is another one like the priest: William Arthur Rugh. Rugh had wished to gave up his leg for his skin to be donated to the burn victim and shortly after, he came to a quick demise. God took Rugh.

  3. There is another hero: Howard Edward Pierce. He gave his life saving a young girl and he was the distant cousin of the cartoonist, Tedd Pierce. God bless.


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