Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

09 August 2013

A Human and Divine Interest Story

By now you may have heard about the "Angel Priest" who attended to Katie Lentz, a young woman who wrecked her car in Missouri. Like countless other stories, this one has made the virtual rounds with all speed; except this is a good story!

Despite the apparent absence of a man dressed as a priest from every photograph of the accident scene, every player in that scene has attested to his presence and activity. He came seemingly out of nowhere when the woman asked for someone to pray aloud with her. He prayed with the woman. He sprinkled her and some of the rescue workers with holy oil (she probably wasn't easily accessible for the standard anointing procedure--on the forehead and hands; the first responders would have appreciated any divine outreach). He assured everyone that the workers could reposition the car on all fours without further threat to the woman's health and safety.

Only by the time the workers thought to thank this priest for his reassuring service, he had disappeared.

Was he an actual angel disguised as a priest? Was he an actual priest who served as a kind of angel in this circumstance? Perhaps these and other questions will remain unanswered as Ms. Lentz continues to recover.

Some have noted that this incident occurred on the memorial of St. John Marie Vianney, patron saint of priests. Making connections of this sort is a Catholic thing. Nearly every day of the year we honor a saint who has played his or her unique part in salvation history. From heaven these saints continue to intercede for God's kids. Parish priests, the foot soldiers of the Lord's army, go about the Lord's daily business in the rectory, the school, the hospital and nursing home, the neighborhood and the prison. Apparently this priest--who bore no resemblance to the only parish priest in the area--had a job to do on the highway.

People soon will move on from this remarkable report, but perhaps they will consider God's hidden workings among His troubled flock. "God has visited His people" (Lk 7:16).

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