Building Coffins Boosts Monks' Coffers

When Farming Failed, a Monastery Turned to Casket-Making

Listen: Listen to the monks chant during Compline service.

Brother Felix Leja  at the Melleray Abbey.

Brother Felix Leja at work on a casket. The New Melleray Abbey business is on target to grow 125 percent this year. Allison Aubrey, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Allison Aubrey, NPR

Not too many businesses are expanding by triple digits these days. But deep in rural Iowa, the Trappist Monks have a business that's growing like gangbusters.

The New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque launched a casket-making business five years ago after their farming operation went under. Now, in between their seven-daily prayer vigils, the monks can be found in the wood-shop sanding and sawing. NPR's Allison Aubrey reports.

Web Resources

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.