Trappists Donated Casket to Family of Christina Green

When Christina Green, the youngest casualty of the Tucson shootings, was burried last week, her body was laid to rest in a casket donated by Trappist monks of the New Mellaray Abbey in Iowa. David Gibson summarized the story over at Politics Daily:

Many religious communities of monks and nuns have a long tradition of supporting themselves by farming or making handcrafted items -- Ora et Labora ("Prayer and Work") was the motto of Saint Benedict, the father of Western monasticism -- and for more than a decade the Trappist monks of New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, Iowa, have cultivated a reputation for making simple, affordable wood caskets that they sell directly to families.

Sam Mulgrew, the general manager of Trappist Caskets, told CNN that a representative of the Green family contacted the monks at New Melleray Abbey about making a special casket for Christina. They were happy to oblige.

When a child dies it hits the monks particularly hard, Mulgrew said. They don't like to sell children's caskets and instead have a "child casket fund" that often covers the costs.

Christina's casket arrived in Tucson [last] Wednesday morning. It is crafted from red oak and the lid was inscribed with her name, date of birth and death, and a cross. The family also will receive five small keepsake crosses hewn from the same wood as the casket.

"We didn't want to send an adult coffin that would be too big. We wanted something just for her," Mulgrew, who is not a monk but manages the business side of the abbey's casket company, told CNN.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Jim McCrea
7 years 4 months ago
YOU can help support this effort by the Trappists of New Mellary by contributing to their Child's Casket Fund.  From their website:

The purpose of the Child Casket Fund is to reduce or eliminate the financial burden to families who are in need of a child’s casket.
"At our discretion, we frequently donate or discount child caskets to families. The Child Casket Fund is a way for benefactors to contribute financially to this cause. When we discount or donate a casket, the Child Casket Fund provides a financial reserve to help cover the cost.
If you would like to assist a family who is purchasing a child casket and who may be in financial need, you may do so by making a tax-deductible donation. Please address your check to Trappist Caskets or New Melleray Abbey and mail to:
Trappist Caskets
16632 Monastery Road
Peosta, IA 52068"
David Backes
7 years 4 months ago
I second what Jim says, and add that you can provide further support to the monastery while also giving your spiritual life a wonderful boost by going there on retreat.  You can sign up for an individual non-directed one, or one of their regular group retreats.  Either way, you will feel very welcome.
david power
7 years 4 months ago
Thank you Jim,

I have my orders and away I go.
we vnornm
7 years 4 months ago
Please let me join the acclamation to Jim's post. I visited New Melleray several times while in college. It cries out with thanks during the lush summer farming months and keeps vigil during the cold clear winters. I'd love to visit it in Spring or Fall. The monks met me at the bus in Peosta. bill
Jim McCrea
7 years 4 months ago
I was born and raised about 25 miles from New Mellary and have fond memories of attending 2 father and sons retreats there in the 1950s.

In those days the place was rather dark and foreboding to those who were only allowed to observe masses from behind fences and from afar.

I went back in the 1990s and was amazed at how all of the clutter had been removed from the chapel and the original Mississippi bluffs stone and wooden supporting structures were now in full sight.  And the layfolk were allowed to be there in chapel along with the monks and novices.

They came a long way, baby.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis walks past cardinals as he leaves a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 28, 2017. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 21, 2018
James Martin, S.J. discusses this groundbreaking exhibition with Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute and C. Griffith Mann, Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
America StaffMay 21, 2018
Archbishop Matteo Zuppi (Photo/Community of Sant'Egidio website)
Archbishop Matteo Zuppi of Bologna calls Father James Martin’s book ‘Building a Bridge’ ‘useful for encouraging dialogue, as well as reciprocal knowledge and understanding.’
Matteo ZuppiMay 21, 2018
 Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass marking the feast of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 20. The pope at his "Regina Coeli" announced that he will create 14 new cardinals June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Eleven of the new cardinals are under the age of 80 and so have the right to vote in the next conclave.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 20, 2018