Where People Come Together

The St. Joseph Woodshop at Our Lady of the Road is a collaborative space where those with woodworking and traditional hand-tool skills can come together with people eager to learn and work in an ancient craft to serve the common good.  

A Dear Friend

The idea for the St. Joseph Woodshop began in 2018, when a dear friend of the Catholic Worker community, Al, passed away. The Catholic Worker community came together to coordinate his funeral arrangements and burial service as well as, in a matter of days, to hand-craft his simple, dignified wooden casket. The deep impact of this experience led community members to build up the vision, tools, and skills that are now housed in the St. Joseph Woodshop. 

Coffins & Caskets for Those in Need

Guided by the Catholic Social Teaching value, Dignity of Work, and the Spiritual Work of Mercy, Burying the Dead, the St. Joseph Woodshop holds regular open shop times where volunteers can participate in crafting caskets, coffins, and urns, as well as other projects benefiting the local community. The caskets, coffins, and urns will be used for guests connected with Our Lady of the Road and the Catholic Worker who cannot afford the cost of such items as well as benefactors whose purchase of a coffin supports the work of Our Lady of the Road.  

Creative Freedom

In return for their contributions, volunteers are also able to use the woodshop space and tools to also work on their own furniture or other woodworking projects. 


The caskets, coffins, and urns produced are made with local woods and natural finishes, constructed with a mix of hand-tools and power tools, and wrought in prayer and attention to the dignity of the person. 

Casket Reservations

For more information on reserving a casket or to be added to the listserve for open woodshop times, please email staff@olrsb.org.