The mysterious "angel priest" who prayed alongside rescuers as they attempted to free Katie Lentz has finally been identified. Father Patrick Dowling came forward to say that he did, in fact, pray for everyone but was only "part" of the answer to the prayers of the people.
Father Dowling was traveling to a mass when he came upon the accident. He got out of his vehicle and joined the first responders as they frantically tried to rescue accident victim Katie Lentz, 19.
"I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the (rescue helicopter) pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the hospital was about to take off," Dowling wrote on the National Catholic Register's website.
His appearance brought comfort to rescuers and Lentz and set off speculation that he was an angel, given that no one was able to find him after Lentz was airlifted from the scene.
"I think it's a miracle," New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed, one of the rescuers, told KHQA News. "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."
Lentz is expected to make a full recovery after a vehicle swerved into her lane and hit her head-on. Rescuers had a very difficult time freeing her from the wreckage because her car was made of older metal, which caused the tools to rust and wear out. After Father Dowling prayed for everyone, he reportedly said that help would arrive and they would be able to free the girl.
A different rescue team did arrive with new tools and successfully freed Lentz and was able to get her to the hospital. She reportedly wants to thank Father Dowling, whom she credits with helping her through the accident.