The Rev. Patrick Dowling is flesh and blood, but to an Illinois woman whom the priest mysteriously ministered to as she lay trapped in the mangled wreckage of a car crash last month, he will always be an angel.
Today, on her twentieth birthday, Katie Lentz will meet the "miracle" priest, who left police baffled after appearing behind a police line at the Missouri crash scene to pray with her, then disappeared into the night. Lentz has endured a long recovery after the accident, in which her car was hit head-on by an alleged drunk driver, but she counts herself lucky that Dowling, who stepped forward after numerous reports about the "mystery priest," was there in her time of need.
"It's a miracle my daughter is alive," her mother, Carla Churchill Lentz, told FoxNews.com in an emotional interview Friday. "She wasn't expected to live.
"She is going to walk again," she said.
Katie, a Tulane University student from Quincy, Ill., was struck by a suspected drunk motorist at around 9 a.m. on Aug. 4 while driving on Route 19 near the town of Center, Mo., causing the 1989 green Mercedes the lovingly called the "Green Bean" to flip -- trapping her inside its mangled wreckage.