February 2017 Newsletter
As Ordinary Time winds down and we prepare for the Holy Season of Lent, all of us at Xavier Society for the Blind reflect on what was anything but an ordinary February. We met with old friends and made some new ones along the way, helping to further spread our mission. Our Winter appeal was mailed out at the beginning of the month, and so far there has been a great response. If you would like to contribute to help bring the word of God to those who require it in their special formats, please visit our website. You can always call us and make a donation over the phone as well: (212) 473-7800 or (800) 637-9193. We would like to wish you and those whom you hold dear a blessed Lenten season.
Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

T his month we highlight two very different clients who share their blindness and a strong desire to practice their Catholic faith. Both are faithful clients of Xavier Society for the Blind and big fans of ours.  Dick Nenno has been receiving our Mass Propers since the early 1980s. Providing the Mass Propers in braille is at the heart of our mission. The Mass Propers in braille allow our blind clients to actively participate in Sunday Mass and in many cases our clients, including Dick, are serving as lectors and readers.  These are mailed monthly (Sunday and Feast Day Masses) to 800 clients in 20 countries free of charge. 

Mara is a determined 10 year old who uses our Altar Server Guide to serve in her parish, inspiring friends and family.  In addition, Xavier Society for the Blind has provided Mara with several catechetical books and guides in braille as well as several popular inspirational children's books in braille.  Some of these come with companion texts for the sighted, so that friends and family can read along with our younger clients.  Dick and Mara's stories demonstrate how the financial support of our benefactors enables our clients of all ages to learn about, develop, and practice their faith.
I wish you the best during the Lenten season of renewal.

Malachy Fallon

The Patrick Madrid Show

I f you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you may have noticed that we have been highlighting many of the works that have recently been made available in both our braille and audio libraries. On Wednesday of last week we t weeted about a new addition to our audio library called "Where is THAT in the Bible?" by Patrick Madrid. Mr. Madrid is the host of The Patrick Madrid Show that is broadcast Monday  t o Friday on Immaculate Heart Radio  and it is the most listened to show on Catholic radio. Within minutes of his mention, we received a phone call from a patron on the West Coast who had been listening to the show. The following day, he spoke of our organization again. If you would to listen to the first and second broadcasts please click on the links. The first mention is around 5:00 minute mark, and the second mention is just after 16:00 minutes. We would like to thank Mr. Madrid and those associated with the Patrick Madrid Show for helping spread word of our mission! If you would like to check out "Where is THAT in the Bible?" please visit
our website  or call us at (212) 473-7800.
Donor Reception 

Caption: Executive Director Malachy Fallon speaks to the guests. Board Member David Schechtman (front, right) graciously hosted the event.

On Thursday February 3rd, Board Member David Schechtman kindly hosted a reception for past donors and new friends at our offices in 2 Penn Plaza. Mr. Schechtman was joined by fellow board member Rick Kenney as well as the Chairman o f the Board Adrian Kerrigan.  Our guests were treated to a fascinating presentation in the Helen Keller Exhibit by Helen Selsdon, archivist for the American Foundation for the Blind. 

Caption: Helen Selsdon, archivist for American Foundation for the Blind, gave a fascinating presentation on Helen Keller.  

Caption: Executive Director Malachy Fallon (center) and Board Member David Schechtman (right) chat with a guest.

The highlight of the evening was a video sent in by one of our young patrons, Mara. A client of our braille services, Mara explained how our materials helped her succeed in becoming an altar server. The video also proved to be a big hit on our Facebook page and Twitter feed, and you can view it by clicking here . We would like to thank all who attended the event and David Schechtman for making the reception a great success. 

Caption: Ten-year-old Mara stole the show with her video on what Xavier Society for the Blind means to her.

Patron Profile: Dick Nenno

Back in our December issue of the 

Newsletter, we mentioned that 

Caption: Dick & Mimi Nenno visited our offices back in December
we were delighted to have Dick and Mimi Nenno stop by our offices for a visit. Dick has been a client of Xavier Society for the Blind for over 30 years and is an attorney with Wilmington Trust Company in Wilmington, Delaware. Dick and his wife Mimi raised their three children in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  Here's 

what he has to say about XSB:


"I have been a Xavier Society for the Blind client since the early 1980s. Receiving the Sunday readings in braille each month enables me to study scripture far more closely than I could through audible versions. Using the braille readings, I have been a lector at St. John Chrysostom Church, Wallingford, Pennsylvania for 35 years. I often lector at the monthly Mass of the St. Thomas More Society, the organization of Catholic Delaware lawyers. Congregants often compliment me on my outstanding eye contact, which is possible because I read with my fingers. My wife Mimi and I always will treasure the pilgrimages we took with XSB, particularly the one to the Holy Land. In Israel, I availed myself of the chance to read a braille New York Times while floating in the Dead Sea. Other pilgrims-blind and sighted-clamored for the same opportunity. XSB long has been a central part of my spiritual life. Mimi and I regularly support its fine work financially and hope to increase our contributions in the future.  Thank God for the Xavier Society for the Blind!"

Caption: Dick reading braille while floating in the Dead Sea

New York City Youth & Vision Loss   Coalition (NYCYAVLC) Meeting

At the end of January, our Operations Manager Margaret O'Brien along with our Client Services Coordinator Christine Moore attended a session for the New York City Youth and Vision Loss Coalition which was hosted by our friends at Visions in the Muhlenberg Library. Visions has provided educational and social services to the blind and visually impaired for over 90 years. The meeting provided a forum for those who offer services to visually impaired youth, and a platform for those services to be presented by various agencies. Insurance providers, filmmakers, camps, and daycare facilities were among the organizations present and it was a great occasion for Xavier Society for the Blind to showcase the services we provide to our young patrons. Carers and parents of those with visual impairments were also welcome to attend. The next meeting of the New York City Youth & Vision Loss Coalition will be Wednesday April 26th. For more information, please contact Michexa Belizaire at Visions (646) 486 - 4444, ext. 229. We are looking forward to a continued partnership with our friends at Visions to help make the world more accessible for the blind and visually impaired.

Caption: Client Services Coordinator Christine Moore with Michexa Belizaire,  Youth Services Community Outreach Coordinator for Visions
Caption: Operations Manager Margaret O'Brien with  Michexa Belizaire,  Youth Services Community Outreach Coordinator for Visions

ReelAbilities Film Festival 

Don't miss the 9th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival, March 2-8! ReelAbilities is the largest disabilities film festival in the country, presenting films on the topic of physical, developmental, and psychological disabilities. Award-winning films from around the world screen at JCC Manhattan and in over 30 locations across NY. The festival promotes awareness of the lives of people with disabilities through art and conversation.

SPECIAL OFFER: Enter code XAVIER17 for $4 discount on all general screenings at JCC Manhattan. Visit ny.reelabilities.org for full lineup. 

Hot off the Press

For our patrons interested in works pertaining to Black History Month or the struggles and triumphs of African-American Catholics our library offers...

In Braille:
-The History of Black Catholics in the United States  by Cyprian Davis, O.S.B. (braille)
-Father Augustus Tolton: A Short Biography  (Compiled from online Sources)

In Audio:
-Out of Mighty Waters: Sermons by African-American Disciples  by Darryl Trimiew 
In addition we have works in braille on Saint Bakhita and Blessed Marie-Clémentine Anuarite Nengapeta, who helped spread the Good News and shape the Church in Africa.
-Saint Bakhita of Sudan: Forever Free  by Susan Helen Wallace F.S.P.  
-Blessed Marie-ClĂ©mentine Anuarite: Jesus Alone  by Ginapolo Masconi  
March 17th is just around the corner and for those interested in reading more about Ireland's patron saint our library has:
In Braille:
-St. Patrick: His Confession and Other Works  by Father Neil Xavier O'Donoghue
-The Story of St. Patrick  by the St. Patrick Center in Downpatrick, Co. Down, N. Ireland.
In Audio:
-St. Patrick: His Confession and Other Works  by Father Neil Xavier O'Donoghue
We also have the ever popular  Irish Saints  in braille by Robert T. Reilly for those looking to expand their knowledge on lesser known but just as important Irish holy exports.
Our much anticipated Xavier Review is expected to drop in the coming weeks with exciting new additions to both our braille and audio libraries! 
Assorted Items

Masses may be said at your request not only when someone dies but also to celebrate a special event. And the stipend for the Mass card helps support the work of the Xavier Society for the Blind. If you are a client or would like to send one to someone who reads braille, we can also do a braille overlay on the Mass card. Call us at  (212) 473-7800 or email us at  info@xaviersocietyfortheblind.org for more information.
To make a secure donation through our website,  please click here, or you can always call our office and donate over the phone at  (212) 473-7800 or  (800) 637-9193.
If you use Amazon.com for any of your purchases, help out Xavier Society for the Blind at the same time. Go to  www.smile.amazon.com and sign up. Or use the direct link:

There is no charge to you, and when they ask you what charity you wish to support, type in Xavier Society for the Blind. Any time after that, if you go to Amazon through the smile entry, a percentage of whatever you spend comes to us.
Follow Us!

To keep up to date on all that is new and going on with Xavier Society for the Blind, please follow us on twitter  @XavierSociety  and like our  Facebook page  by searching Xavier Society for the Blind or clicking here. Help us to spread the word about our mission!
Calendar of Upcoming Events

March 1, 2017 - Ash Wednesday (beginning of Lent)

March 17, 2017 - St. Patrick's Day (XSB offices closed)

March 20, 2017 - Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

March 25, 2017 - Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Xavier Society for the Blind | (212) 473-7800 or (800) 637-9193 | info@xaviersocietyfortheblind.org  |   www.xaviersocietyfortheblind.org