Servant of God, Father Bill Atkinson, O.S.A
The church has begun the process of investigation for the Sainthood of Father Atkinson. William Edward Atkinson, O.S.A., entered the Order of St. Augustine as a novice on September 9, 1964. In 1965, while still in formation, he was injured in a near-fatal tobogganing accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Nevertheless, he endured in his desire to continue as an Augustinian.
With a special dispensation from Pope Paul VI, Bill was ordained to the priesthood on February 2, 1974, almost nine years after the accident that left him a quadriplegic. Father Atkinson compared life to a card game, saying, “You either play with the cards that you have been dealt or you fold, and I am not ready to fold.” He described his disability as allowing him to witness Jesus in the care he received from others, which assured him “of the Father’s love, turning a stumbling block into a stepping stone.”
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