Extraordinary: The Bill Atkinson Story

Episode 1 of 1

EXTRAORDINARY: THE BILL ATKINSON STORY recounts the inspiring life of Father Bill Atkinson (1946-2006), who was paralyzed as a teenager and went on to become the first quadriplegic priest in the U.S. A sledding accident at the age of 19 changed his life forever, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. In a time before the American With Disabilities Act, Bill persevered, using a motorized wheelchair to move around, and relying on friends and family for assistance. After nearly a decade in the seminary, Bill was finally granted a special dispensation from Pope Paul VI and ordained in 1974. For almost 30 years, Father Bill worked at a Friary and a Catholic High school in Pennsylvania, where he taught theology, served as a chaplain, and helped out as a mentor for the football team. A rock of his community and a living example of the power of faith and determination, the Augustinian order submitted papers to Rome for his posthumous canonization. Using interviews, archival footage and stills, EXTRAORDINARY: THE BILL ATKINSON STORY portrays a man who transformed a seemingly insurmountable challenge into a driving force to make a difference in the lives of those he touched.

Previously Aired

1:30 p.m.
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