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.