There is an outstanding article in the Winter-Spring Issue of The Latin Mass Magazine, “Altar Cards: Humble Work Horses of the Altar,” describing the invaluable work of Mary Popp, founder and Executive Director of the Society for the Preservation of Roman Catholic Heritage (SPORCH) up in Dayton. An important part of Mary’s work has been to preserve, re-master and distribute TLM altar cards. She even has an exhibition of them! From the article:

Once an altar card set is at hand, Mary then “works her magic”…..There are always brown spots, stains,, and holes to be repaired. First she preserves the original intact, then re-masters and revitalizes as copy to be reproduced and used in the Latin Mass today. Producing new cards with historical integrity is a formidable task. Each word, line, and illuminated letter is scrutinized for errors or missing parts…Mary has to create a new alphabet to match the handwriting and then produce a complementary missing altar card that matches the first in lettering, style, and art work. The average revitalizing effort takes over 80-90 hours per card…

Part of Mary’s magic is the Sacred Artist Heritage Association she is helping to form in Dayton, Ohio…Benefactors are needed who will help furnish parishes, missions , and priests, new to the Latin Mass or who are simply too poor, with altar cards. Other benefactors are needed to help search for these antique altar cards around the world…

 The article was written by John Staggenborg, who attends Holy Family Catholic Church in Dayton, an AoC parish staffed by the FSSP. Kudos and heartfelt thanks to both Mary and John.

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