Priest who founded Kentucky's Christian Appalachian Project dies
Published: August 10, 2012
ASHLAND, Ky. (CNS) -- Msgr. Ralph Beiting, who founded the Christian Appalachian Project in 1964 to serve the poor in central Appalachia, died Aug. 9 at age 88 at an Ashland hospital after a brief illness. Msgr. Beiting had been a priest of the Diocese of Lexington for 63 years. "Our diocese and the communities of Appalachia have lost a truly exemplary priest," said Lexington Bishop Ronald W. Gainer in a statement Aug. 10. "His delight in the work he did, his love for the people he served and his passion for helping anyone in need never waned throughout his 63 years of ministry." Visitation for the local community was scheduled for Aug. 11 at St. Jude Church in Louisa. Reception of the body, vespers and visitation was to be held Aug. 12 at Holy Family Church in Ashland. Bishop Gainer was to be the celebrant of memorial Masses Aug. 13 at Holy Family and Aug. 14 at St. Joseph Church in Cold Spring. "For more than 50 years, Rev. Beiting was a light in the darkness for untold thousands of Appalachian folks in need. He shared God's love with everyone he met; every day he lived his life to serve, encourage, and lift up others. The extent of his impact cannot be measured," said Guy Adams, the current president of the Christian Appalachian Project, in a statement Aug. 9. Whenever he wasn't in Appalachia at a Christian Appalachian Project site, Msgr. Beiting was frequently on the road raising funds to support it.
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