Trappist Caskets: Child Casket Fund Assists Families with the Financial Burden of Losing a Child

Share Article

When Christina Green, the youngest casualty of the Tucson shootings, was buried in January, her body was laid to rest in a casket donated by Trappist monks of the New Melleray Abbey. 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...

All caskets are blessed by the monks.

"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.

Handcrafting simple, affordable wooden caskets is a way of life for a community of Trappist monks in Peosta, Iowa. Following the Rule of St. Benedict, they support themselves by the work of their hands, but sometimes they have the opportunity to turn this simple work of their hands into something much more.

When Christina Green, the youngest casualty of the Tucson shootings, was buried in January, her body was laid to rest in a casket donated by Trappist monks of the New Melleray Abbey. 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. The Child Casket Fund serves an important role for families who need a child’s casket, but were not prepared for the unexpected financial burden.

Christina's casket arrived in Tucson early in the morning. It was crafted from red oak and the lid was inscribed with her name, date of birth and death, and a cross. The family also received 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.

Crafting children caskets is an especially important act for the monks. They tenderly craft caskets specifically in children sizes: infant, toddler, child, or youth. Each casket receives the same attention to detail that the premium adult caskets do.

Each child casket includes a natural muslin-upholstered interior, with the pillow and mattress being of the same quality as those in the premium adult caskets. A personalized keepsake cross is available at no additional cost.

The monks at New Melleray offer no easy explanation for the mystery of a child’s death. But by providing children caskets, made as if they were cradles, the monks’ prayer is that the children will be commended to God’s love and care forever.

The Child Casket Fund    

At the Trappists’ discretion, they frequently donate or discount child caskets to families. The Child Casket Fund is a way for benefactors to contribute financially to this cause. When they discount or donate a casket, the Child Casket Fund provides a financial reserve to help cover the cost.

Anyone wishing to assist a family who is purchasing a child casket and who may be in financial need, may do so by making a tax-deductible donation to the Child Casket Fund at http://www.trappistcaskets.com.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Sam Mulgrew
Visit website