<p>New Melleray Abbey is located near Dubuque, Iowa. The monks there are members of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (commonly called the Trappists). The abbey is located about 15 miles southwest of Dubuque and is located in the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The current Abbot is the Right Reverend Brendan Freeman.
Currently the Abbey is home to about 37 monks. Many of the monks work in farming, as much of their food comes from the fields surrounding the Abbey.
The Abbey is well known for crafting high-quality wooden caskets and urns. They use the caskets for deceased monks, as well as selling them commercially. One of their more famous customers is Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, California, who has reserved a casket for his own eventual use. Former Dubuque Archbishop James Byrne has been buried in a casket made by the Abbey. Dubuque native and actress Kate Mulgrew recently made a radio commercial for New Melleray's casket business.
The monks have a daily routine that involves spending a large part of their day in prayer, work, and contemplation. In keeping with ancient monastic traditions, they begin their day with Matins at 3:15 AM, and end their days at 8:00 PM</p>