Who Is The Mystery Priest?

Who Is The Mystery Priest?

Who Is The Mystery Priest?

Was the angel of Highway 19 the saint Padre Pio? Catholics suggest that the priest who’s been dead for 45 years appeared at crash scene to bless and save life of teen victim.

Well, can you identify the mystery priest?   Source…

Comments (36)

  • editor

    I had an email earlier from a friend who wrote the following:

    It’s Archbishop Lefebvre…….heavens above…..scroll down the mail article and look at the police pictures……amazing (article linked in the blog introduction)

    Now look at this picture of Archbishop Lefebvre…….

    Personally, I can’t see any resemblance (much as I’d like to!) What about you?

    August 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm
    • Petrus

      I’ve got no idea who the mystery priest is but I don’t see any resemblance to Archbishop Lefebvre or Padre Pio.

      August 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm
      • editor

        And Petrus, I doubt very much if it’s the priest with whom you discussed the cause of the Church crisis, subject of this thread?

        August 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm
      • Petrus


        Now you got me thinking….

        August 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm
      • editor

        Well, that’s an achievement in itself…!

        August 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm
    • crofterlady

      I didn’t initially see the likeness but I left the room to answer the phone and upon my return I glanced at the screen and yes, it resembles the Archbishop alright. Not the picture you posted but another one which I have seen somewhere.

      August 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm
  • spiritustempore

    We haven’t heard from Pasletanus for a while. I wonder…..?

    August 11, 2013 at 11:02 pm
    • editor

      Now, there’s a thought… He definitely fits the description “mystery priest” – big time!

      August 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    That’s an amazing story. I think this is significant:

    “Some have pointed out that Sunday just happened to be the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests.”

    I think the description of a lean priest is more like St John Vianney than Padre Pio.

    What is noticeable, though, is the way the Jesuit and the Diocese play down the possibility of the supernatural. They always want the explanation to be a natural one, like it’s a priest from a neighbouring town etc. and that might be the case but it’s odd that the clergy are always keen to discourage us from thinking it might be a supernatural miraculous occurrence.

    August 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    It looks like either Fr. Lawrence Novak or Fr. Kenneth Novak. Does a Chicagoan accent count as “foreign”? Hehe.

    August 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm
    • 3littleshepherds

      I showed the picture to someone without telling them the story. They said it looked like St. Jean Vianney. I don’t see it, but I can see a resemblance to Archbishop Lefebvre.

      August 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm
  • Arkenaten

    I bet some of those lads in Scotland must be wondering why an Angel never popped up and helped them out while they were being subject to abuse by those priests.
    No sense of fair play is there?

    August 12, 2013 at 11:03 am
    • editor


      If you interrupt a thread again with an off topic remark, I will moderate your posts. Grow up.

      August 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Yes, Ma’am!

        August 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm
      • Eileenanne

        Is it off topic to wonder why Angels / God / mystery priests come to help in some situations and not in others? I think it is a valid development of this discussion. If we are prepared to accept that direct intercession SOMETIMES occurs, we are surely going to wonder why it so rarely occurs, and never, it seems when children are being abused. Unless the intervention of angels is something the alleged victims are waiting ANOTHER forty years to talk about…

        August 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm
      • editor

        Well, what’s YOUR opinion, Eileenanne?

        And why, do you think, only some people are cured at Lourdes and not others?

        And why did Christ only cure some people and not every sick or disabled person He met on earth? Could it be that Our Lord was not into “fair play”?

        It just might be that it’s the same age-old answer to the mystery of suffering and why some are healed and others not, why some people have apparitions and not others, but I’d be interested in your thoughts in case you can come up with something new.

        August 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm
      • Eileenanne

        I didn’t use the words “fair play” so you are quoting them back at the wrong person.
        Of course we do not understand everything about the mysterious ways in which God works, but it is OK, in fact absolutely normal, to wonder about the very issues you mention and even more about the scenario Arkenaten raises about there being no recorded claims – as far as I know – of any supernatural intervetion to stop a child abuser in the act of abusing.

        August 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm
      • editor


        You are entirely right – there are no recorded examples of “supernatural intervention to stop a child abuser in the act of abusing” because that would require God interfering with our free will. That’s quite different from supernatural intervention to effect a healing of some sort.

        In the Gospels, we read of Christ healing sick and disabled people.. But there are no examples of Him intervening to stop evil. Even when Our Lord reprimanded Peter for cutting off the soldier’s ear in the Garden of Gethsemane, and although he healed the soldier, He didn’t act to stop Peter attacking the soldier.

        The idea that God should treat us as puppets and prevent us from exercising our free will is an idea completely at odds with the nature of God and His relationship with His human creatures. That God does not interfere with our free will is elementary theology.

        Ultimately, child abusers – like every other sinner – will be called to account for his/her depraved behaviour. It is this knowledge which distinguishes the Catholic attitude of calm, righteous anger from the hopelessness of the atheists’ view that unless all abusers are called to account and punished in the here and now, all is lost. They – who profess not to believe in God at all – would presumably welcome a God who is little more than a puppeteer.

        Catholics should know better. One of God’s great gifts to us is our free will. With that gift of free will comes huge responsibility – and, ultimately, accountability.

        Here’s a famous Anglican on the subject:

        For you will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.
        (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain)

        August 13, 2013 at 11:23 pm
      • Eileenanne

        I think Catholics probably do understand about God not interfering with our free will. Is that the answer you would give to non-believers who raise the same point that Arkenaten did? it is the kind of question we might have thrown at us and I would like to be sure I have the best reply ready.

        August 14, 2013 at 9:17 am
      • editor

        It’s the only answer there is, Eileenanne.

        I didn’t spell it out above, although it’s implicit in the quote I gave from C.S, Lewis, that God’s action to prevent evil is found in His giving us all a share in His divine life – His grace. Nobody, as I’ve said before, who is a fully believing (and that means practicing) Catholic -that is, nobody who is availing themselves of the grace God makes available to us – will abuse children.

        What other answer can there possibly be, unless the atheists are right and God should be literally pulling the strings and forcing us to do good and not evil?

        Then we’d have to rewrite all the books, remove the word “virtue” for starters. No virtue would be required, we’d all be robots.

        Is that really the kind of God with Whom we’d all be comfortable ?

        August 14, 2013 at 10:01 am
  • spiritustempore

    The older Mercedes was made of tough metal that was dulling rescue workers cutting tools, and they were having trouble freeing Lentz from the wreckage. Even if they managed to cut her out, there was concern that the sudden change in blood pressure would kill her instantly. There was little hope that she would escape the accident alive.

    So, she asked if someone would pray with her.

    It was then that a mysterious grey-haired priest appeared. He’s been described as older gentlemen, clad in a black suit, with a black collar and white collar insert. In his hand he carried a small bottle of anointing oils.

    “He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” Chief Reed said. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well. I can’t be certain how it was said but, myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm – that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle.”

    The man prayed, anointed Lentz, and stepped back. At that moment, fresh equiptment arrived, Lentz was freed, and she was evacuated to safety. She’s in rough shape, but she’ll survive. The rescue workers turned to thank their Good Samaritan, only to find that he’d vanished.

    The road was blocked off for a mile in either direction and although there are over 70 photos of the accident scene, the priest appears in none of them. None of the locals who witnessed the event recognized him and, despite an ongoing investigation, he hasn’t been seen since.

    Some people think he was an angel, some suggest he was a man guided by God, and others just think he was a man who appeared at the right place and time. Whoever – or whatever – he was, the first responders would like to thank him.

    “I think it’s a miracle,” Reed said. “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. We would like to find this gentleman and be able to thank him. As a first responder, you don’t know what you’re going to run into. We have a lot of tools, and we have intensive training. In this particular case, it is my feeling that it was nothing more than sheer faith and nothing short of a miracle.”

    Whether a holy priest or an angel, the girl’s survival is miraculous.

    Catholicism….still reaching the parts that other philosophies cannot, after two thousand years.

    Deo gratias.

    August 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm
  • Theresa Rose


    I agree. In asking if someone would pray with her, those prayers had a speedy reply, whether or not it was a holy priest or an angel. Miracles do happen. Faith can move mountains.

    August 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm
  • Amiable Troll

    Bishop Williamson? ; )

    August 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm
    • sixupman

      Bi-location indeed!

      August 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm
    • editor

      Amiable Troll & Sixupman,

      As if!

      August 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        I’ve posted the prayer for the Intercession of Archbishop Lefebvre on General Discussions. Just in case.

        August 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I thought this was interesting because it says there are about 70 photos of the scene and the priest is not in any of them.

    August 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm
  • spiritustempore

    He’s an Irish priest, Fr Dowling. Fascinating story over at the CNA:-


    “The mysterious Missouri priest who gave anointing to a woman in her wrecked car near Center, Mo. 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.”


    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.”

    “I was probably part of the answer to their prayers, I came by and Anointed and absolved, (but) I didn’t say another word … I did not say anything like the machinery would begin to work or they would succeed in getting her out of the car.”

    “That did not come from my lips, though two people heard it.”

    Fr. Dowling was driving by Center while on his way from having said Mass in Ewing. A native of Ireland, Fr. Dowling was ordained a priest for the Jefferson City diocese in 1982. He has served at several parishes in the diocese, as well as its two mission parishes in Peru.

    Fr. Dowling currently serves in prison ministry and serves the Spanish-speaking population of the Diocese of Jefferson City.

    August 13, 2013 at 12:20 am
    • editor

      Mystery solved! Thanks for that spiritustempore.

      Interesting that Fr Dowling did not say the things attributed to him about the machinery – unless those people genuinely thought they heard that it means they made it up and how stupid is that? What level of confusion is there in the mind of a person who thinks they are helping the Church by making up stories to imply supernatural intervention?

      Goodness, the fact that he prayed the rosary silently, is miracle enough these days! Who needs to make anything up?!

      August 13, 2013 at 9:15 am
  • 3littleshepherds

    Nice story. That was a pretty bad composite picture. Fr. Dowling has a wide face, big round eyes and a full head of hair! He does have a low set straight mouth.

    August 13, 2013 at 12:59 am
  • Crouchback

    recently an Irish man was charged with murdering his mother and disposing of her body in Edinburgh. He was traced after scientists produced a likeness of his mother using her skull as a “template”…..ghastly…..but everyone was amazed at how close the resemblance was to the poor dead woman, check out the likeness here…….


    I would say that the picture of Archbishop Lefebvre is just about as close a resemblance to him as the Irish womans image was to her

    Having said that, the Society of St Pius X is not Opus Dei, an excellent organisation in my opinion, but the SSPX will not “lobby” for the canonisation of the great Archbishop in the same manner as did Opus Dei with St Escriva.

    Mark my words, the Angel Priest of highway 19 will turn out to be Marcel Lefebvre…..the greatest priest of the 20th century.

    PS, check out the slight creases above the nose, between the eyes of the fotofit of the Angel Priest….and the very same faint creases on the picture of Archbishop Lefebvre…..same hair line…….similar slightly thin lipped smile…..

    do they do blind dogs at Specsavers……???……on second thoughts……they wont give blind dogs to those who might bark and bite passing pedestrians……the poor blind dog would never live it down

    Thats enough yapping from me……night shift…..of to Bedfordshire……..

    August 13, 2013 at 6:49 am
  • editor


    Mark my words, the Angel Priest of highway 19 will turn out to be Marcel Lefebvre…..the greatest priest of the 20th century

    Words duly marked. As are these from the CNA report quoted by spiritustempore above:

    The mysterious Missouri priest who gave anointing to a woman in her wrecked car near Center, Mo. has been identified as Father Patrick Dowling, of the Diocese of Jefferson City.

    Sort the following into a well known phrase or saying, Crouchback…

    face / all / egg / over / your… !

    August 13, 2013 at 9:19 am
  • Crouchback

    Erm……….just as well I like egg……I get enough of it…!!!

    August 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm
  • Crouchback

    haud on son……haud on……

    the latest report from the Daily Mail has a picture of Fr Dowling…….he looks nothing at all like the fotofit picture, he says it was him fair enough……..but the fotofit is still a much closer resemblance to Archbishop Lefebvre than Fr Dowling

    something fishy going on in the fotofit lab…….perhaps they should consult Specsavers


    August 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    • editor


      Pay no attention – I’m just enjoying tormenting you. You don’t have egg on your face at all and even if you did, the numpties at the fotofit office down at the nearest cop shop STILL wouldn’t be able to produce a good likeness! How they catch any crooks, between the blurred videos they show on the news and the fotofit (non) likenesses they produce, is a real mystery.

      Of course, if any policemen are reading this – only kidding!

      August 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm
  • Josephine

    I thought this article from Catholic Culture was very interesting because it makes the point that the mystery priest was still part of a “miracle” – just not the kind of miracle we all thought at first.

    August 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm

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