Former Priest Has A New Ministry
Mark Cohen, a former Catholic priest, still works in a church, lives at the minister's house and ministers to the dying.
He wants to help make funerals affordable for his customers. To do that, he builds, caskets. He runs a one-man shop and sells them for $650.00.
He got the idea when for his father's funeral it cost $1,000 to rent a casket for the funeral, and then his father was cremated.
He's learned the trade thanks to watching videos. He only had a grade school shop class as previous experience.
He told KARE 11 he was Ordained in 1990 as a priest in the Duluth diocese, Coen never lost his love for saying Mass. Holy Week was his favorite time of the year.
He didn't like the isolation and stress between services. And the large amounts of paperwork. He would rather spend 20-30 hours per week for each casket he builds. He can also make a beautiful wood urn.
He told KARE that the church that served Hibbing's Grace Lutheran for nearly a century just happened to be up for sale when Coen was looking for a home for his post-priest business. He paid $42,000 for 8,500 square feet of space, including the five-bedroom parsonage in which Coen now lives.
He prays in the empty church above his shop. That has wonderful stained glass windows.