Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I got an email from a priest friend asking me that question.

He was referring to the Fr. Dowling 'mystery priest' story.  The 'angel' priest who turned out to be a living priest, not a 'miraculous' one.

My friend added a "What?" to let me know he wasn't really yelling at me.  His point was well taken, to be sure.

Why did so many of us want a miracle priest?  An apparition priest?  A bi-locating priest?  You know why - we like excitement.  We like the extraordinary, the miraculous.  Sometimes we even need it.

Yet when you think about it - what is more wonder-full than having a priest show up when we are most in need, in danger of death?  How providential is that?  Especially in a rural setting on a Sunday morning when priests are busy in their parishes - and even visiting priests, albeit in transit, may need to be at another parish by a particular time in their schedule? 

How good God is that he provides us with priests to minister to us in our need.  Though the woman was not a Catholic, a priest was there to pray with her.  Ordinarily, God chooses to minister to us through his priests.  The rescue workers recognized the presence of God through the ministry of that man - that priest - who showed up at the right time, out of nowhere - in the middle of nowhere.  The rescue workers knelt in prayer - praying with the crash victim at her request.  That is awesome.  That is the presence of God.

How mysterious is the grace of God.  How miraculous is the priesthood.  How wonderful when people unite together in prayer.  "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" - Ps. 133 

Pray for priests.  Pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood.  Recognize the gift of God in your priest.


  1. Anonymous12:54 PM

    I agree.

  2. I just love how he uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary

  3. I confess, I wasn't taken with the possible apparition idea - we have an over abundance of unapproved - let alone approved - for the faithful to go gaga over. An angel? Sure, that's God's business not mine and not something I find beyond the realm of reasonable belief. That it turns out to be a human, an ordinary, faithful Christian living out his gospel call as a Catholic priest, now that, that is something to be grateful for and I'm so happy "the world" sees it as newsworthy too. Please, Jesus, more good Catholic news stories like this an less maybe-it-is-Your-mom but maybe-it-isn't-Your-mom apparstitions would be good.

  4. Anonymous7:25 AM

    I agree with you, Owen. Seemed like it was turning into a spectacle rather quickly, and the 'pious' guesses as to who it might be just seem like a distraction to me.


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