Missouri Car Crash Site’s Mystery Priest Seemingly Identified

UPDATE: Video: Father Dowling Speaks to ABC News About Ministering to Crash Victim Katie Lentz

Remember the old TV show The Father Dowling Mysteries. Well, it seems that a different Father Dowling – Father Patrick Dowling from the Diocese of Jefferson County, MO – was at the heart of a recent mystery that captivated the nation: the one about the priest who assisted car crash victim Katie Lentz in Missouri. Many people thought he was an angel or a saint. I guess, he could technically qualify as both, just not in the way people thought. Here’s the story. (H/T to Kate O’Hare)

Via The Blaze:

The mystery priest who recently showed up at a crash site, anointed a victim and then vanished has been identified. After Aaron Smith, 26, struck Katie Lentz, 19, in a head-on car crash on Aug. 4, the story about a faith leader who showed up at the scene and then subsequently vanished went viral.

But now the individual, who brought calm upon the situation and who rescue workers have been hoping to thank, has been found. A press release provided to TheBlaze from the Diocese of Jefferson County claims that the Rev. Patrick Dowling, one of the priests who works under the diocese, is the individual who has captivated the world over the past week.

While some assumed the priest was an angel or a Catholic saint, it seems these individuals’ theories were incorrect; it was a caring bystander and faith leader who took the time to help a young woman in need. The statement, provided to us from spokesperson Deacon Dan Joyce, head of communications for the diocese, reads:

“The Diocese of Jefferson City has identified the priest who assisted at the site of the Sunday morning, August 4, 2013 auto accident near Center, Mo. He is Rev. Patrick Dowling, a priest of the Jefferson City Diocese. Fr. Dowling was travelling Hwy 19 between Mass assignments that morning in northern and central Missouri.

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.”

Read the whole story.

About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.