On Sunday, I met a priest who was with Fr. Atkinson on the day his toboggan crashed into that tree. The snow hadn’t been much, as I wrote in my article. The guys — all very young men — had the day off and just wanted to do something — anything — outside. Fr. Jim was sitting right behind Father, who was in front. His head took the full brunt of the crash. There were five others on that toboggan that day: Not one of them suffered a scratch.
Father was very close to death for the next month. So sad. But would he have been the same priest without this terrible accident?