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Published on Aug 12, 2010
Under Louisiana law, it is a crime for anyone but a licensed funeral director to sell "funeral merchandise," which includes caskets. To sell caskets legally, the monks of Saint Joseph Abbey would have to abandon their calling for one full year to apprentice at a licensed funeral home, learn unnecessary skills and take a funeral industry test. They would also have to convert their monastery into a "funeral establishment" by, among other things, installing equipment for embalming human remains.