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Building Coffins Boosts Monks' Coffers

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Building Coffins Boosts Monks' Coffers

Building Coffins Boosts Monks' Coffers

When Farming Failed, a Monastery Turned to Casket-Making

Building Coffins Boosts Monks' Coffers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1478238/1478705" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Building Coffins Boosts Monks' Coffers

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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

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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.

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