Father Patrick Dowling was identified by the Diocese of Jefferson County as the priest who prayed with the victim of an auto accident earlier this month. (Photo: The Diocese of Jefferson County)
(USA TODAY) -- The mystery priest who appeared at the scene of a critical accident last week in eastern Missouri involving a teen girl has been identified as the Rev. Patrick Dowling, KDSK and other news agencies are reporting.
diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., identified the clergyman after he
stepped forward in the comments section of a story about the incident in
the National Catholic Register.
WATCH: Father Dowling talks about praying at the accident scene
responders had been working on extricating Katie Lentz, 19, from her
damaged vehicle for at least 45 minutes when they saw her condition was
drastically deteriorating. When Lentz asked if those around her would
pray with her out loud, the priest stepped forward and said he would.
emergency responders successfully removed the teen from the wreckage
and sent her off to the hospital via helicopter, they went to thank the
priest and found he'd disappeared.
Dowling wrote in the National Catholic Register that he was returning from mass when he came upon the accident scene.
absolved and anointed Katie and, at her request, prayed that her leg
would not be hurt," the priest wrote. "I left when the helicopter was
about to take off."
The story stirred the imaginations of many across the country, including some who speculated he might have been a monk who died in 1927.
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