Father Patrick Dowling, of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo. has come forward as the "angel" priest. Dowling has acknowledged that he was the priest who anointed and prayed with Katie Lentz, 19, at the scene of the accident near the small town of Center.
The story has fascinated the country for the last few days as people speculated on who -- or what -- this mysterious priest might be.
"I think it's a miracle," New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed, one of the rescuers at the scene of the accident, told KHQA last Thursday. "I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don't know. Either way, I'm good with it."
Last Friday, when reading an article about the crash and mystery priest in the National Catholic Register, Dowling admitted in the comment section that he had been the priest who administered care to Lentz. The priest explained that he had driven as close to the accident as he could before approaching, with permission of the Sherif, and then "absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt."
(To see Dowling's full comment visit the National Catholic Register)
Speaking with the Catholic News Agency, Dowling offered his humble assessment of the situation:
You must remember, there were many people praying there, many, many people … and they were all praying obviously for healing and for her safety.”
“I was probably part of the answer to their prayers, I came by and anointed and absolved, (but) I didn't say another word..
When asked last Thursday by The Huffington Post to explain the 'angel' priest, Father James Martin predicted that a priest of flesh and blood would come forward, "Most likely the priest will be identified, and people will be able to thank him."
Well, Dowling has come forward, and we all do thank him.