Q & A with Sr. Mary Going, fighting for disability pay for former coal miners

Mount Tabor Benedictine Sr. Mary Going works on a case at the Appalachian Research & Defense Fund of Kentucky in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, where she is an attorney. (GSR photo/Dan Stockman)

Mary Going thought the Mount Tabor Benedictine monastery in eastern Kentucky would be a nice, quiet place to study for the bar exam so she could practice law. Now, the monastery on a mountain outside Prestonsburg is home, and Going is a Benedictine sister.

As she studied amid the ridges and valleys of Appalachia, Going realized how well she fit into community life. She was also attracted by the vow of poverty and a monastic life — material things just did not seem to matter much anymore. She professed her first vows in 2010.

Now, she is an attorney at the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky in Prestonsburg, where she handles all sorts of civil law, including landlord-tenant disputes and disability cases. And these days, she handles a lot of disability cases.

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