God's Business Plan
Julie Ann Warth-Brown
used with permission
Holy cards meant a great deal to me as a child, and I love the beauty and faith they show. Several years ago, through a series of wonderful God-incidences, I decided to begin collecting and scanning antique holy cards as a way to preserve and distribute them. It has been an interesting journey.
Together with another family, we formed a group we called the Chant Art Family to carry out this work. The Chant Art name came from on of the husbands. We were discussing the Benedictine community of Saint Andrew's Abbey and the popularity of singing Scripture known as Chant, when Alex said "Why not call our company "Chant Art?" Our holy cards create visual prayer or chant art. Thus the family and the holy cards became the Chant Art Family.
It was my collection of penny holy cards purchased after Mass that brought the Scripture alive to me. Like many others, I am a visual and kinesthetic learner. We are usually taught orally, but not all of us learn as easily in that form. I need to "see and touch" when I learn. During the sermon or homily, I would stare at my holy cards within my prayerbook. I could then see the face and Scripture passages with my Jesus. I knew he loved and suffered for me. It was easy to love him in return. He was held in the palm of my hand, just like the Priest said he held me in the depth of his heart. What a wonderful lesson, and a wonderful memory.
It is my hope that people will use these images in many ways to enrich their lives and the lives of their loved ones. I have ensured, to the best of my ability, that all antique images of holy cards I've collected are 75 years or older. This means that they are legally in the "public domain." They belong to everyone.
The images are raw graphics, they sometimes need to be cleaned up or manipulated before using them. My desire and main objective has been to find and archive them as fast and as best as I could, before they would be gone forever. Paper is fragile and has a short life (if was never meant to be long term).
There have been many challenges along the way, and many things to learn. The initial challenge to this project was collecting the images. It has taken my family four years and over 50,000 dollars. I have traveled around the globe My husband is a pilot with United Airlines so we are blessed and helped by family discounts when we fly to Europe, where I have found a great deal of the cards).
The next challenge was financial. Here, God has blessed me by allowing me to earn additional income teaching 7 extra college classes a year. We have sold some of my family antiques as well. In addition, many people have shared or given me holy cards in which to use with my work.
My largest challenge has been trying to get the message out about my product. I would still rather give them away than sell them. Ironically, I am a marketing instructor and have helped others do well in their businesses, but as this is a "mini" vocation to me, I feel a little differently. God wanted me to learn marketing so I could re-market His message through his very loved Holy Cards. At this time, I am still much better at teaching and empowering others to create and improve on their entrepreneurial endeavors. I am still learning how to be an entrepreneur. If we are too ever break even, it is in God's hands.
My main concern and work is to collect and archive the antique holy cards. Paper was expensive and precious over eighty years ago. Many people have neglected or discarded religious paper. Before it is lost forever, the images need to not only be shared, but also spared. Paper will not last. The older it is the more it has a chance to disintegrate. Time is running out for most antique paper. I hope I can do my part is saving at least, the artwork images. Modern technology is I am certain, a part God's plan to help not only with remembering the past, but in creating future possibilities that at this time we cannot imagine.
I am at a loss as to how to market my website to make it better known. I ask the Holy Spirit, Our Lady and the angels to send me to people on the internet and then it is in Heaven's hands
Financially, it is difficult, but it is God's work and He likes to see me challenged this way. It makes me practice turning it over to Him and learning the surprise and delight of His will and plans compared to my own. The major blessing I receive when I do this work is learning to answer His call and trust in Him to carry me to wherever this work is to lead me. I am just here to archive and share the work of those who have lived and loved Him before us,and left us visual Scripture and Traditional signs through their creating of religious art in the form of holy cards.
If you enjoyed this article, read her story of how she came to discover this vocational work of preserving and distributing antique holycard images in Calling Cards From Heaven
If you'd like to contact Julie for more information, or to purchase an antique holycard CD, visit HolyCards.Com