The Last Help Before the End of Time, by Dr. Courtney Bartholomew, a handy little review of messages to an mystic named Berthe Petit, whose cause for beatification is under investigation and who had messages that Dr. Bartholomew, a well-know Marian writer, relates to our current times and other revelations!  CLICK HERE



It began on August 4 (2013) and it was too good to be true, so good, so seemingly well-documented, so strongly attested to, so (seemingly, blatantly) inexplicable, that even the secular media -- ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN, Associated Press, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, USA Today, Yahoo, the London Mail, the Huffington Post, the Drudge Report, local television stations, radio outlets, St. Louis Today, dozens of other newspapers, countless blogs, Catholic outlets -- were reporting it not only in a positive way but virtually without skepticism.

Usually, they offhandedly dismiss supernatural stories.

There were reasons, in this case, why they did not.

The "miracle" story generating out of a Missouri (near Mark Twain's old birthplace of Hannibal) -- of a young woman who was finally freed from entrapment in a wrecked car, after a priest "suddenly" appeared on the scene, immediately after her verbal prayers, and then seemingly vanished -- had all the earmarks of a classic "mysterious stranger" angel story, but on steroids.

Everyone involved, or at least everyone interviewed, was convinced they had been witness to a miracle: firemen (including the chief), ambulance personnel, and other sober, no-nonsense, keen-observer types.

After prayers and an anointing with holy oil, they told reporters they heard the priest say their tools -- stymied for about an hour (with the girl fading) -- would now work smoothly, as indeed they soon did, extricating Katie Lentz, 19, of Quincy.

Some of the rescuers were quoted by local television as openly wondering if it was an angel: there was no way someone could suddenly appear and disappear, when more than a quarter mile of the road had been closed off, they maintained. There was no way, they also inferred, that the priest could have avoided being captured in the dozens of photos taken of the wreck, yet this was the case: no photo showed him. 

Officials could not locate the priest. For days, they publicly sought him out. The local parishes said they knew of no cleric who fit the descriptions. Much of the nation was convinced -- and riveted. A day passed. Another. Surely, if it had been a human, the priest would have come forth. We waited. The media contacted the diocese. On August 9 -- five days now since the incident -- a spokesman for the bishop said that out of respect for any priest who may have been involved and didn't want to come forward, they would not further investigate (despite the millions led by now to speculation that it was a miracle).

More days passed. A weekend. Soon, it would be more than a week. In such a period, would not the cleric have come forward? As those days passed, virtually everyone began, understandably, to arrive at the conclusion that it was, indeed, inexplicable: If a priest had been involved, seeing the whirlwind -- the hurricane -- of news stories, especially locally, he would identify himself. In the end, it would be eight days until the identity of the priest would finally be revealed -- leaving those many millions who believed that the nation had finally experienced a miracle together crestfallen (for many are the accounts of mysterious angels that are highly similar and similarly, seemingly, inexplicable).

This was no longer so. What became "inexplicable" was how it took so long to identify him. The priest, Father Patrick Dowling of the Jefferson City diocese, who eventually became known through a blog comment on a Catholic newspaper website, said a mystery remained: He had not said the words two witnesses had heard, about how their tools would now work. Meanwhile, his very appearance, at the exact moment he had arrived, can be seen as an action of Heaven. But still: he was not an angel, not the type associated with so many similar accounts (which mainly are ignored by the press).

Such has been the mystical beat this season. You figure: there was the flood that swept torrents of mud onto the apparition site of Lourdes last spring. The place was caked in mud. Several died in the vicinity. There was the train in Spain that sped and crashed and killed pilgrims who had been at the famous (and many say miraculous) shrine of Santiago de Compostela. That was followed almost immediately by a bus that crashed in southern Italy on the way back from a spa and according to reports Padre Pio's original home (he of countless miracles). There was the bus that crashed a couple of weeks ago -- causing more deaths -- on the way to the shrine of Guadalupe in Mexico; again, tragedy. There was the pilgrim who fell on Apparition Hill at Medjugorje and was killed just this past weekend (this is written 8/13/13) -- unheard of, in three decades of pilgrimages (at least, we have not heard of it previously).

All recent events. All a bit curious.

You discern.

Why the priest in Missouri was quiet for so long is not yet clear. Eight days... Was it simple humility? Detachment? If he basically wasn't aware of all the media attention, this isolation from media is nearly laudable. If he simply chose to avoid the limelight, as the pitch of speculation reached a boiling point, it is a bit less understandable, considering the potential damage to those who, not seeing a priest come forward, grew increasingly convinced it was paranormal, only to be let down (perhaps something the diocese may want to further reflect upon, reviewing all of the ramifications).

It did seem too "good" to be true -- too out there, too much in the open, almost a set-up. ABC! CNN! We always need to be cautious. Never before have major media so quickly accepted a "supernatural" story.

Nonetheless, it showed how prayer could work through a priest.

As it turned out, Father Dowling had waited for a chopper to leave, quietly praying a Rosary -- which no doubt helped those rescuers free Katie.

The priest, who serves in prison ministry and Hispanic community, is mystified as to how those two witnesses heard him tell them that after his prayer, and the anointing with oil, their tools would now work (which, as mentioned, they did).

He said he didn't say that to them.

That remains a curiosity, though certainly less than a full-blown angel account [here's one for you].

One can say this: it is God Who sent Father Dowling; it is angels who effected a smooth rescue; Father Dowling himself said this; they save far more lives than we know; and, as in this case, for the main part, they do it subtly, just under our radar.

There are many, many "mysterious stranger" accounts out there -- ones even more amazing, but ones untouched by the secular media and secularized religious press.

Perhaps it's meant to remain that way.

[resources: The Trumpet of Gabriel, Guardian Angels, and The God of Miracles]

[see also: Priest: I think there were angels there too]

[Print article]

[Feedback: "As a personal acquaintance of Fr. Dowling, I can tell you he is a most humble servant of God, who does not relish publicity and does not access much television. He prefers hours of quiet meditative prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, hearing confessions, going wherever need be to minister to prisoners, to the Hispanic population, and to serve his fellow priests' parishes so that each may have a respite while on retreat or vacation. He does enjoy orthodox Catholic websites such as the Catholic Register. As far as his motives for not coming forward in a more public manner ... I can tell you he would be most overwhelmed and embarrassed at the attention because he lives for Christ, not for himself. He would certainly be reticent to give any weight to secular media agencies, although he was the one who revealed himself, his truthful identity to the Register, which did not pick up on it. It seems he did this specifically so that the truth would be revealed, and would NOT cause scandal. Should the weight fall against him, or on the Register, or on the Sheriff's Dept who gave him permission? No, not on the priest, who is simply trying to be faithful in his service to God and Bishop. It IS a sensational story, but as you have pointed out, it is about a lot of people praying, and God's timing, allowing Fr. Pat to be an instrument of His Mercy at that very moment. All in a day's work for Fr. Pat, enough said. Why did he not show up in photos? A humble man, or God's work? God knows these are one and the same ... I saw no pictures of the helicopter pilot either, whom Fr. Pat said was standing right next to him, out of the way of other emergency workers. When the danger was past, he simply went on his way. This is just the simple Mid-American brass tacks way: 'no PR, just doing my job, ma'am ...' Grateful for your articles on how God uses everyday miracles to bring Glory to His Name and to the True Mission of the Catholic Faith: healing, interceding, absolving, offering, giving thanks and praise. The Grace evident in this miracle is all around us, in similar situations around the world ... mothers caring for their children in distress, the healing hearts of priests and doctors and teachers, a 'God incidence' (coincidence of events), a 'near miss' in a factory accident, on a busy city street, or on a piece of farm machinery. We have heard many such stories of God's Miraculous Grace and Mercy. Hopefully we each give witness to our neighbors and give thanks for those miracles every day of our lives. The REAL miracle here is that this one touched the hearts of so many in secular media out on the coasts who usually just scandalize ... how rarely they pick up on feel-good (Feel God) stories and only report on Hollywood smut! God is opening their hearts to the Church! Now THAT IS a miracle! What if every newscast had a Fr. Dowling? Thank God for Pope Francis! Praise be to Father, Son, and Spirit!"

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
Lisa Reinkemeyer
a Catholic, in Tipton, Missouri]


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