The mysterious man nicknamed “angel priest,” who gave anointing to a woman in her wrecked car last weekend, has come forward as Father Patrick Dowling of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Catholic News Agency reported.
“I thank God and the amazingly competent rescue workers,” Mr. Dowling said Monday. “I thank them for making me welcome in such a highly charged situation and allowing me to minister as a priest.”
The Aug. 4 wreck near Center, Mo., involving Tulane University sophomore Katie Lentz made news nationwide after reports of a man dressed like a priest who supposedly cured her and disappeared without a trace.
Miss Lentz was trapped in a clump of twisted metal that used to be her Mercedes as her vital signs continued to fall. Rescuers spent almost an hour trying to remove her from the wreckage when she asked someone to pray for her.
“I will,” the priest said.
Responders were able to safely remove her from the vehicle and watched as she rapidly improved. She was transported to the hospital. Rescue workers turned to thank the priest, but he was gone.
One emergency responder, Raymond Reed, the fire chief of New London, Mo., noted the oddity of the priest’s presence in the remote area.
“I have 69 photographs that were taken from minutes after that accident happened — bystanders, the extrication, our final cleanup — and he’s not in them,” Mr. Reed told USA Today. “All we want to do is thank him. … We all go back to thank this priest, and he’s gone.”