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Ten odd things you can buy from monks

Ten odd things you can buy from monks


Everyone knows you can buy cheese, fruitcake, and really good beer from monks, but those aren’t the only businesses that these holy men dabble in. Here are some stranger things you can acquire from them.

The list includes:

Coffins from New Melleray Abbey in Iowa and the Benedictine Abbey of St Joseph in Southern Louisiana

Dog training and dog treats from New Skete monastery in upstate New York

Hand cream and lip balm from the Benedictine Monks of St Augustine’s Abbey in the UK

Skiing lessons in the alps from the Cistercian Skigymnasium Stams

Bath salts and cologne from the Monks of The Community Of Saint Benedict

Hot sauce made from peppers grown in the gardens of Subiaco Abbey

Monastery Greetings sells items made by abbeys, convents, monasteries, and hermitages. The website sells roughly 1600 products and works with some 75 monasteries around the world. Founder Will Keller works to help monasteries get their products online and more accessible. Thanks to this website, you can now get a kitten advent calendar

And Buddhist monks in Japan run a bar

“When people have had a few drinks, it’s often easier to communicate with them on spiritual matters here than it is talking at a temple,” Yoshinobu Fujioka, Buddhist priest and owner of Vow’z Bar, told CNN Travel.


posted by Jon White


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Steve White

Every priest should know about the beautiful coffins prayerfully made by the Trappist monks at New Melleray Abbey in Iowa. A coffin (or urn for ashes) can be delivered to any location in the USA the next day and is blessed by the monk who made it before it is shipped. Prices are very reasonable and probably lower than most comparable products from funeral directors.

Susan Fiore

And the all-new ‘Soapus Dei’ from the Order of Julian of Norwich! (Available on their website.)

Paul Woodrum

Could we invite the Japanese Buddhist monks to General Convention?

Br Scott

Well I feel an obligation, as a monastic, to say something… we do sell incense, but no fruitcakes or cheesecakes or liquor or really anything edible… It is a fun article, but I hope folks reading at this site will be aware that the primary purpose of monastic communities is prayer. And that ministries such as spiritual direction occupy much of our time. The best way to encounter a community is not through the stuff it sells, but through a visit…

Steve White

Having just returned from a wonderful weekend at Holy Cross Monastery where Br. Scott is the Prior, I want to endorse what he says. Hospitality, prayer, spiritual direction are the main features of monastic life from the point of view of the visitor and the book store is the sideshow. I have been close to several monasteries over the past 50 years — Weston Priory, St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, New Skete, SSJE, and Holy Cross and I thank God for the many spiritual gifts they all have given me in so many ways.

Now, having said that, let me put in a plug for the new Trappist-style beer made by St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA currently only available in Massachusetts. Not the main reason to know about Spencer Abbey, but not to be missed if you enjoy good craft beer.

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