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HARRISBURG – The monks of St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, Louisiana leave this world in the same simple way as they live in it.
And when public interest in their basic, handmade wooden caskets grew, the monks proved to have a shrewd business sense too. They opened a woodworking shop in 2005 to produce caskets that they sell for about $2,000 each, far below the average price for a casket in the state.
But where the monks saw an opportunity, a state cartel of funeral home owners and funeral directors saw unwanted competition.