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AVA, Mo. (AP) - Trappist monks in southwest Missouri say their holiday fruitcake business will continue to support their monastery despite a dwindling numbers of monks.

The monks at Assumption Abbey near Ava produce about 25,000 fruitcakes a year that are sold across the country and allow the monks to live out their solitary lives of work and prayer. The abbey produces 125 cakes a day, five days a week from February through mid-December.

Brother Francis Flaherty told The Springfield News-Leader only five Trappist monks live at the compound located about 60 miles southeast of Springfield.

But four Trappist monks will join the abbey from a monastery in Vietnam next year. And the monks get help with baking the fruitcakes from a small group of Franciscan friars and hermits at the monastery.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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