Trappists make and donate a casket for the little girl killed in Tucson

Via BadgerCatholic on Twitter I learned from the blog Sub Tuum, of the Cistercian monks at the Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank, that the Trappist’s of New Melleray in Iowa made and donated a casket for little Christina Green, killed in Tucson.

Monks make, donate casket for youngest victim in Arizona shooting

CNN is carrying this story on the monks of New Mellary donating a casket for the youngest shooting victim in Arizona. As I said in my last post, these are good men.

By Eric Marrapodi and Kara Devlin

A group of Trappist monks in Iowa have donated a handmade casket to bury 9-year-old Christina Green, the youngest victim in the Saturday attack that killed six and wounded 13 others in Arizona.

Sam Mulgrew, the general manager of Trappist Caskets in Peosta, Iowa, told CNN a family representative of the Greens reached out to the monks at New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque after her death. The custom-made casket arrived in Tucson, Arizona, Wednesday morning.

“We didn’t want to send an adult coffin that would be too big, we wanted something just for her,” said Mulgrew, who is not a monk but who manages the 11-year-old casket business that is part of the abbey.

The casket, crafted from red oak, was made especially for 9-year-old Christina, Mulgrew said. She died after a gunman opened fire at a constituents event held by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded in the shooting.

Christina’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Tucson.

The lid of the casket 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, Mulgrew said.

Before the casket was sent from the monastery in Iowa to Arizona, the monks gave the casket a special blessing inside their chapel on Tuesday.

The monks are Roman Catholic and are part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. They make and sell custom caskets with “reverence for nature,” according to the Trappist Caskets website.

“Along with prayer and study, our casket ministry is an extension of our sacred work. We labor quietly with our hands in support of our life of simplicity,” says a statement on the website.

Mulgrew said when a child dies it hits the monks particularly hard. He said they don’t like to sell children’s caskets; instead, a “child casket fund” they started often covers the costs.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, Just Too Cool and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. MJ says:

    Wow…how incredibly touching!

  2. Frank H says:

    I’m tearing up reading this…

  3. Supertradmum says:

    This child could have been anyone of our children. God bless her and her family. May they grow closer together in peace. I have visited that Abbey. It is in a beautiful place. The nuns have a convent there as well. God bless the Trappists at New Melleray. I had a little sister die, and her little, white casket was so small in the big church. God bless all involved.

  4. paxetbonum says:

    This is the first even mildly positive or “civil” piece of news or information I have heard or read about this heinous mass murder since it occurred last Saturday… “… when a child dies it hits the monks particularly hard. He said they don’t like to sell children’s caskets; instead, a “child casket fund” they started often covers the costs.”

    How simple, humane, and profoundly Christian is this donation of a handmade, personalized and blessed casket by these monks to a grieving family… in stark contrast to the inexplicably vulgar, disrespectful and incoherent spectacle conducted yesterday under the guise of a “memorial service”.

    May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. May God abundantly bless and reward the Trappists of New Melleray for their generosity and compassion!

  5. TJerome says:

    what an absolutely beautiful act of Christian charity. May God Bless these monks in all of their endeavors.

  6. ckdexterhaven says:

    Beautiful. They’re doing the work that Jesus used to do, with love, as Jesus did.

  7. Sister H. says:

    “Mulgrew said when a child dies it hits the monks particularly hard. He said they don’t like to sell children’s caskets; instead, a ‘child casket fund’ they started often covers the costs.”

    I’m crying right now. What a beautiful and holy gesture from the monks to families at a time of unimaginable trauma, loss, & grief. God bless them.

  8. irishgirl says:

    My eyes welled up with tears when I first read this on another site. How very thoughtful, kind, and compassionate these monks are, to do such a tender act! And as ckdexterhaven said, they ARE doing the exact kind of work that Our Lord did, working with wood!
    pax et bonum-amen to what you said!

  9. EXCHIEF says:

    Bless them. Several of the victims were Catholic. I will be exploring how to contribute to the Monks’ childrens casket fund.

  10. bookworm says:

    Yet another example of goodness coming out of a profoundly evil act.

    I heard about the Trappists’ casket business long ago and I would really like to be buried in one of their caskets when my time comes. Adult caskets can be ordered and paid for in advance. I didn’t know until now, however, that they donate child caskets as a special act of charity.

  11. Mom2301 says:

    I’m so proud of my fellow Iowans! I am also pleased to see something good and thoughtful coming out of all of this mess of tradgedy and ugliness. See, something good can come from the Dubuque Archdiocese. God bless the victim’s family and the monks for their heartfelt work.

  12. ByzCath08 says:

    I have been working on this investigation all week and today is the first I’ve been able to sit down and decompress. It was wonderful to see this posting and know that good still rules over evil.

  13. M.D.R. says:

    God bless the Trappists for their generosity, thoughtfulness, and charity.

    I found a good article at Creative Minority Report today, written by Archbishop Chaput. It’s a tribute to another victim of the tragedy in Tucson – Judge John Roll. The Archbishop knew Judge Roll though correspondence with him in 2008. A very nice article.

Comments are closed.