Quadraplegic Delco priest is on the path to sainthood
As the Rev. William Atkinson lay dying at St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery late in the summer of 2006, there was little doubt among the 25 friends and family members who surrounded him. The Augustinian priest, who loved a beer and a good game of pinochle, had lived a saintly 60 years.
A teacher at Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill for three decades, Atkinson was a quadriplegic, the first in the world to be ordained by the Roman Catholic Church. Those who knew him say he approached his physical challenges with a heroic grace and sense of humor that inspired many.
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