You are known for “Words of Encouragement” and I can think of no more inspiring words than those of Father Bill Atkinson who was the first quadriplegic in the 2000-year history of the Catholic Church to be ordained a priest.
If you need encouragement, think of a young man whom everybody thought would become a star athlete, deciding to become a priest and as a novitiate suffers a broken neck in a toboggan accident and is paralyzed from the neck down, just able to breathe and unable to scratch his own nose if an itch arrives. Awaking from a coma, he is faced with a life in a wheelchair TOTALLY dependent on others…
…his brother, whom everyone considered the pious child destined for the priesthood, also excels at sports, becomes an All American football player at Villanova University (where both brothers attended) and is then drafted by the Buffalo Bills who send a representative to his home to check out intentions as it is known that Al has considered the priesthood…Long story short…Bill Atkinson, from his wheelchair, watches his brother win a Super Bowl ring with the New York Jets.
Bill works for decades as a teacher and counselor at Monsignor Bonner H.S. (in suburbs of Philadelphia) despite pain, setbacks, and a host of medical problems that affect quadriplegics over time.
Towards the end of his life, the very private Bill shared his thoughts with Steve McWilliams (who had volunteered to help Father Bill) two days a weeks and enjoys what he describes as “Tuesdays With Morrie, except on Mondays and Wednesdays!”
They hadn’t intended a book, but a book happens and 5 years after this saintly priest’s passing “GREEN BANANAS, The Wisdom of Father Bill Atkinson” has been published.
Check thou it out!