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very grateful for ear protection. The process is pretty much: Cut,

join, rip, glue, cut, sand, carve, sand, paint, sand, glue, peg,

sand, finish, sand, finish. So it’s mostly sanding. Like life, most

of the work is subtle and repetitious — like praying th

e Divine Mercy Chaplet

and the


In all, it takes 20 hours to make

a single casket.

Why, specifically, “Jesus, I trust in You”?

It cuts to the chase. For a guy like me, just the simplicity of that

prayer: It’s a short tether to God. I love that prayer.

Is it safe to say that casket making is as much a ministry for

you as it is anything else?

Yes. The business has provided me with many opportunities

to witness to people who are away from God and maybe wor-

shipping material goods rather than our Father in heaven. I

can intersect with them at this very profound moment: death.


St. John Paul II,

many of us don’t always live so obvi-

ously for God. But upon our deaths, here’s a chance to say

who we are, and


we are is directly related to


we are.

And, hopefully, for the person who dies and also for family and

friends who might not go to church at all, God can use this

time as an opportunity to pour out his love for them when their

hearts are cracked.

I hope that people will see in my caskets an opportunity to

share their faith and their trust in God’s mercy in a very per-

sonal way. I’ve tried to find a way to put everything I believe into

these caskets. I believe beauty can save the world. I believe the

truth will set us free, even when we fear it will crush us. And I

believe that goodness is ultimately our best defense against the

onslaught of absurdity so tirelessly trying to scramble our spiri-

tual GPS as we make our way through this earthly pilgrimage,

home to our Heavenly Father.

On a different level, most caskets are expensive. Mine are not.

I hope to ease the financial obstacles preventing people from

choosing traditional Christian burial.

You say funerals are “important checkpoints.” Explain.

We are confronted with the ultimate questions: “Do we

know where we’re going? Do we know the way? Are we on

the right path?”

Anything else you wish to say?

Be not afraid!

I’ve had hundreds of encounters now with people

who were dying or who had recently lost someone they loved. God

will be there. Acknowledge your failings, trust in his mercy, and,

in gratitude, try to show mercy to everyone around you.

For more information, call 1-877-280-6268 or visit

— Felix Carroll



Dan Bailey,

a 90-year-old parishioner

in the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin,

wrote to us expressing gratitude for the

work o

f David Came,

the former editor


Marian Helper

who retired in June.

Dan said that when he learned of Dave’s

impending retirement last spring, he

was inspired to pray the

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

for 40-plus days in a

row. He said he believes the fruits of his

prayer were that his parish, following a

merger, changed its name to St. Faus-

tina Parish, effective July 1. Dave, we

know you’re reading this (hopefully on

a sunny beach in Florida). Your legacy


* * *

Together, let’s turn our prayers to a

Marian Helper named

Robin S

., who

wrote to us in May. She said, “This is

something I have been in agony over for

many years now. I had two abortions

when I was younger, and I’m having a

hard time forgiving myself. Jesus says

he forgives us for our sins when we

repent, then why can’t I forgive me?

So if anyone would like to pray for me,

I would be thankful.” We will, Robin.

In addition, we extend the following

advice from our friend Dr. Robert Stack- pole, STD,

to those struggling to forgive

themselves: “Don’t focus on your own

feelings. Just think about Jesus’ feelings

about you.” He points to St. Faustina’s


entries 1487 and 1489 in which

Jesus shares his feelings about each of

us. “What joy fills My Heart when you

return to Me. Because you are weak,

I take you in My arms and carry you

to the home of My Father. ... In a soul

that lives on my love alone, I reign as in

heaven. I watch over it day and night.

In it I find my happiness.”

Have you got news you wish to share with

your fellow Marian Helpers? Email us at

[email protected]





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