Father Bill Atkinson's Cause was presented before the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at their General Assembly in Baltimore, on November 17, 2015, by Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, OFM, Cap.
Archbishop Chaput addressed the assembly:
Brothers, there is a biography of Father Bill Atkinson in your materials, I’m sure you’ve looked at already.
[Father Bill] was an Augustinian novice in Philadelphia when he was in a toboggan accident and became a quadriplegic and his story is that he requested profession in the Augustinians, ordination as a priest, received permission from the Holy See for those things. He went on to lead a very productive life as a quadriplegic priest, basically teaching in one of our Catholic High Schools in Philadelphia. I think that his cause would be a beautiful one because it would be a source of encouragement for people with this kind of accident in their lives, this kind of disability, but also it reminds us of the great generosity of his family, his religious community – they were all called to holiness by their special care for this man. So I think he would fit very beautifully into the niche of the communion of saints as a very special patron and I would appreciate your support as we bring this cause to the Holy See.
A voice vote was taken resulting in unanimous assent.