Katie Lentz meets 'mystery priest' who prayed with her at accident scene

8:45 AM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
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Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Jefferson City.


QUINCY, Ill. (KSDK)- The survivor of an atrocious Missouri crash was reunited with the mystery priest who appeared at the scene to pray with her in what she thought were her last moments to live.

Katie Lentz, a sophomore at Tulane University, was critically injured in a car accident in early August. Lentz was on her way to her summer internship and to attend church with her friends in Jefferson City, Mo. She was driving her Mercedes from her parent's home in Quincy Ill., when it collided with another vehicle near Center, Mo.

Lentz's vehicle was crushed into a ball of sheet metal that lay on the driver's side, according to Raymond Reed, fire chief of New London, Mo. For about 45 minutes, emergency workers and Reed's team tried to remove the sheet metal from around Lentz. Lentz appeared fine but her vital signs were failing, Reed said.

Reed was told by the evacuation team that Lentz's chances of coming out of the vehicle alive were grim.

At that point, Lentz had asked if someone would pray with her and a voice said, "I will."

That voice was that of the mystery priest who is now identified as Father Patrick Dowling. At the time of the crash, Dowling was thought to be an angel because of his sudden appearance then disappearance at the scene.

Dowling is a native of Kilkenny, Ireland. He has served at many parishes including diocese's mission parish, in Peru. Currently, he serves in prison ministry and to Spanish-speaking Catholics parish ministry. He traveled to Quincy to meet and talk with Lentz over the weekend for her 20th birthday.

Lentz says she's happy to meet Dowling and she is thankful he was there the day of the crash.


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