The “Missouri Miracle”: Mystery Priest Comes Forward
Being called the “Missouri Miracle” – a 19-year-old girl survives being hit by a drunk driver and many say it’s thanks to a mystery priest. A community is now searching for a man who appeared to be dressed like a Catholic priest. He prayed with the young girl at the scene of the crash as her vital signs were failing.
Was he a messenger of God or simply a holy man doing his duty?
We now know who the mystery priest is. He has been identified as Father Patrick Dowling, of the Diocese of Jefferson City.
“I thank God and the amazingly competent rescue workers,” Fr. Dowling stated today in a comment on CNA’s original article on the Aug. 4 incident.
“I thank them for making me welcome in such a highly charged situation and allowing me to minister as a priest.”
Katie Lentz was trapped in her older-model Mercedes, which had been struck by another vehicle which 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.
Though the highway was blocked off, “I did not leave with the other cars,” Fr. Dowling commented. 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.”
“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 … 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.”
Once Lentz was removed from her vehicle, he 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.”
CNA spoke with Fr. Dowling Aug. 12, and he explained that he gave Lentz 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.”