PEOSTA, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) As the tours come in each day, some of the people who work at Trappist Caskets believe their mission is much deeper than a typical business.
Trappist Caskets, in Peosta, is a key business of the New Melleray Abbey. Monks and lay people craft caskets and urns off lumber within the acreage.
“Sometimes it’s like they find us and I think it’s the work of the Holy Spirit,” said Marjorie Lehmann, who works in the office at Trappist Caskets, owned by the monks of the New Melleray Abbey. “We have bus tours that come in, up to 56 people that we can accommodate and a lot of people want to know about our ministry.”
Monastery Road, in Dubuque County, splits these two words with the monastery to the east and the casket manufacturing facility on the left.
Inside the work of making caskets and urns is about 20 lay people and ten monks.
“We have 3,500 acres and 1,400 (of that) is forest and they harvest the trees,” said Lehmann. “What happens is when people hear about Trappist Caskets and how this supports the monks because they’re self-sustaining and how that wood is harvested right from the forest, it’s not just the product, it’s the ministry.”
Operations manager Steve Stelken said the lumber is quite diverse off the acreage, between pine, walnut, oak, cherry and “a little bit of maple”.