Des Moines, Iowa
9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, killed in the mass shooting in Arizona was buried in a hand-crafted casket donated by a group of Roman Catholic monks in Iowa.
Trappist Caskets, which is owned and operated by monks of the New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque, furnished the custom casket for victim and her family.
It’s a comfort to the family “to know that it was made by monks and blessed by the monks,” said Belinda Motzkin Brauer, a representative for the funeral home handling the services.
The casket is made of red oak grown in the monastery’s forest, said Sam Mulgrew, the general manager of Trappist Caskets. It was engraved with Christina’s name, date of birth and date of death before it was shipped to Arizona.
The New Melleray Abbey, which was founded in 1849, started Trappist Caskets in 1999 when the monks began selling caskets and urns to families at wholesale costs.
“Our caskets are made by hand. They’re very slowly made. They’re made by monks,” Mulgrew said. “They don’t make caskets the way we make them anymore.”
The monks also made special keepsake crosses for Christina’s family. In the spring, they will plant a red oak tree in Christina’s honor.
Trappist Caskets donates many children’s caskets. Mulgrew said the monks have established a fund for that purpose that people can donate to.
“They are opposed to profiting from it so they prefer to donate the caskets,” Mulgrew said.
For more information on the hand-crafted caskets, visit their Website.