The Diocese of Wilmington has produced and released a video on the life of Father Paul Wattson, co-founder of the Society of the Atonement in Graymoor, N.Y.
The priest, who initiated the Church Unity Octave for Christian unity, might become the first canonized saint from what is now the Diocese of Wilmington.
The video, “Father Paul of Graymoor, Apostle of Unity and Charity: A Great Call to Be Radical,” is a project of the diocesan Office of Communications and was recorded at St. Francis Chapel at Graymoor in Garrison, N.Y. It features the Father Brian Terry, SA, minister general of the Friars of the Atonement, the religious community for men founded by Father Wattson in 1898.
Father Wattson, son of an Episcopal priest, Rev. Joseph Wattson, and his wife, Mary, was born in Millington, Md., in 1863.
In 1898 after his ordination to the Episcopalian priesthood, Father Wattson and an Episcopal nun, Sister Lurana White, co-founded the Society of the Atonement at Graymoor.
In 1908, the Eastern Shore native started the Church Unity Octave that is now celebrated as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from Jan. 18-25.
In 1909, the Society of the Atonement became the first religious community to be received into the Catholic Church since the Reformation. Father Paul was ordained a Catholic priest in 1910.
In addition. Father Wattson began St. Christopher’s Inn to care for and assist homeless and addicted men. He founded the Union-That-Nothing-Be-Lost to dispense funds to other charitable causes, co-founded the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, and helped launch the Catholic Medical Mission Board.
“Although he was born five years before the establishment of the Diocese of Wilmington and did most of his ministry in New York, Father Paul is one of our native sons,” said Bishop Malooly.
“As the first person born on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to have his cause for canonization opened, Father Paul of Graymoor holds a very important place in the history of our diocese. When one considers all that Father Paul accomplished in his life, work that continues to this very day, it is a source of great pride to native Marylanders like me.”
“Father Paul’s life and ministry has had tremendous international and interdenominational impact,” said Robert G. Krebs, diocesan chancellor and director of the Office of Communications.
The goal of the video is “to offer people … a concise telling of the Father Paul story,” Krebs said.
A link to the video is on the diocese’s homepage, www.cdow.org, and on its YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/dioceseofwilm.