The story of the mysterious priest responding to a car accident on Missouri 19 came full circle Friday afternoon.
The so-called mysterious priest traveled to Quincy to meet and talk with crash survivor, Katie Lentz, for the first time since that head-on collision seven weeks ago.
Father Patrick Dowling with the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City and Katie Lentz sat down together in a less-stressful environment Friday afternoon than was the case on August 4th.
"I feel so honored to be with such a man of faith," Lentz said. "He was there to do his job the day of the accident, and I'm so thankful he was there."
"I'm happy to see her doing so well and looking better than she was looking the morning of the accident," Father Dowling said. "Obviously, the Lord has been continuing that special work of healing giving you strength and supporting you in the journey."
Father Dowling currently works in the prison ministry. He confessed that he was the mysterious priest to the prisoners he works with before he stepped forward publicly.
"The first Saturday I was asked directly in the prison, 'was it me?' So, I told them, 'yes, it is, but I haven't yet spoken to the family, and you've got to keep it quiet,'" he said. "When I went back next Saturday, not a word had leaked. Not a word had come from those men."
Father Dowling said the prisoners kept track of Katie and even prayed for her healing.
"They ask me, 'how's Katie?' Their prayers are heard, don't you doubt it," Father Dowling said.
Friday's meeting between Katie and Father Dowling came on Katie's 20th birthday -- a birthday that might not have come without everyone involved in rescuing her from this head-on collision.
"It's so nice to be able to talk to you and meet you and understand who you are," Lentz said. "It's not such a mystery any more. I'm so thankful you were there and just gave us all a sense of calmness. Without you, the story could've have gone where it went!"
Katie told me she'd like to thank the entire Tri-States and beyond for their prayers, support and encouragement during and after her accident.
Friends and family have created a Web site called "
," to tell Katie's story and raise money for her medical expenses.
Quincy Medical Group also is hosting a "5k Run/Walk" on Oct. 19 to raise money for a charity of Katie's choice.
Katie chose the Center, New London and Perry fire departments -- the volunteer organizations that were instrumental in saving her life.
You can watch the full interview with Katie Lentz and Father Patrick Dowling by