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The Appalachia Issue

Father Beiting's House

Father Ralph W. Beiting put the VICE staff up in his guesthouse while we were in Kentucky. He's been trying to rescue Appalachia from poverty for 50 years now. He should change his name to Monsignor Sisyphus.
VICE Staff
Κείμενο VICE Staff
1.11.06

Photos Jerry Hsu

Photos Jerry Hsu

Father Ralph W. Beiting put the Vice staff up in his guesthouse while we were in Kentucky. He’s been trying to rescue Appalachia from poverty for 50 years now. He should change his name to Monsignor Sisyphus.

The Stations of the Cross were in his backyard next to a campfire.

Father Beiting has a veritable compound of volunteer workers who care so much about the place they’re from and the people who live there that it’s pretty much heartbreakingly touching. They are like missionaries, only they don’t have to fly to Africa.

There aren’t many Catholics in Kentucky, so spotting a Sacred Heart statue at a lawn-ornament store was a real revelation.