Xavier Society for the Blind
Vol. 10   No. 10
  October   2016
What's New at XSB



As one of his first official acts outside the office, the new Executive Director of the Xavier Society for the Blind, Malachy Fallon, will visit the state conventions for the American Council of the Blind in Buffalo and the National Federation of the Blind in Albany. He will meet officers and members, and talk about the future of the Xavier Society for the Blind. Photos of his visit will be posted on the Xavier Society for the Blind website as they become available. 

Our phone lines are open from 8:30 to 4:00 PM each working day, eastern time. If you call before or after those hours, or if staff is busy outside of the office, you will get our answering machine. Please leave a message, with your phone number, your name, and what you are calling about. If you are requesting a specific book or item from the catalogue, we will only return your call if there is a problem. Otherwise we will return your call as quickly as we can. Thank you for understanding.  


We want to remind you that we will shortly be placing orders for  "A Handbook for Lectors" in braille. Written by a Jesuit scholar with many years experience, the book is both a practical guide to the mechanics of being a Lector and an aid to both the study and prayer that should be a part of this special Ministry in the Church. With many blind Lectors around the country, this text might help encourage other blind people to take up this important work. 

The text is a single braille volume, so it is not like ordering the Bible or the Catechism. We still need to have a sense of how many to order. If you would like to pre-order a copy, please call the office and let us know. If you know someone who might be interested, please encourage them to get in touch with us. 

and ways you can help
Caption: A yellow smiley face with dark glasses. 

Use Amazon smile. 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.

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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. 

Call us at (212) 473-7800 or email us at info@xaviersocietyfortheblind.org for more information. 

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On Friday, October 14, the Xavier Society for the Blind celebrated Fr. John Sheehan for his years of work, and welcomed Malachy Fallon, as he begins his new assignment as the Executive Director. 

Beautiful weather graced the trip, the music of the Guss Hayes Band provided a background for cocktails before dinner and dancing throughout the night, and the service and food from Entertainment Cruises who run the Atlantica satisfied everyone's taste. New York City at night provided breath-taking views as we
As he takes the helm of the XSB, Malachy Fallon poses in front of the Atlantica. 
cruised. People from many different parts of Fr. John's past found the typical introduction, "And how do YOU know Fr. John?" Dwight Sayer came from Florida (National Commander of the National Association of Blind Veterans), Tom Moran from Las Vegas (former National Treasurer for the Catholic War Veterans) and State Department veteran Jessica LeCroy came from Texas. Many organizations were represented - Ancient Order of Hibernians, two American Legion Posts, the Knights of Columbus, the Notre Dame Club of New York, many members of the New York Athletic Club, and both the past and current head of the American Foundation for the Blind.
Before the cruise, Fr. John took a quiet moment on deck with a good cigar.
 Board members from the XSB mingled with clients and supporters, and Martha Nielson won the prize for the person who knew Fr. John the longest (4th grade). 

Vito Catalano spent the evening taking pictures and we include a few of them here as well as on our website. The full range of photos will be available at the Xavier Society for the Blind blog in about two weeks. 

Delicious food in beautiful surroundings kept everyone happy.
For many, being able to smoke on the upper deck was an added attraction.

(S) Staff; (B) Board Member
Back Row: Donald Salvato (S), Carolyn Marino (B), Someone who crashed the picture (?), Adrian Kerrigan (B), Malachy Fallon (S), Bob O'Brien (B).
Front row: Carl Jacobsen (B), Christine Moore (S), Margaret O'Brien (S), Aisling Redican (S).

Malachy Fallon poses with members of his family.
Terry Holiday, former Commissioner of Veterans Affairs for the City of NY came with his wife Marta to say goodbye.

Zerline Johnson chats with Carl and Mindy Jacobsen from the NFB.
Everyone wanted to get their picture taken with the skyline in the background.


That has been the heading of this closing letter for a number of years now, and it strikes me that it has never been more appropriate. This is the final issue of this Newsletter that I will put together, but I have been assured that the Newsletter WILL continue. It may look different, have a different focus, be better written and have more interesting photographs, but in one form or another, it will continue.

I like this picture, and it seems a good way for me to take your leave - in the company of friends, sailing, heading off to a new assignment, with the city of my birth in the background. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the Xavier Society for the Blind as we serve God and our Church and the community of blind and visually-impaired. As is often the case, I have learned more than I have taught, and I have probably been helped more than I have helped. But I leave in peace, because the staff of the Xavier Society for the Blind is an extraordinary group of people, whose skills are exceeded only by their dedication to the work and the people. Our new Executive Director who has not even been in place for a month has already shown what an exciting leader he is going to be. See how relaxed I look in this picture? That's why. 

Thank you for all you have done for the XSB in the past, please remember this work in your will, or if you win a major prize in the Lottery, and thank you as well for whatever God might inspire you to do with this work and for clients in the future. 

Caption: A photo of  Fr. John Sheehan, SJ 
Chaplain for American Legion Post 2001
F r. John R. Sheehan, SJ  

 After February 7:
The  Jesuit  Center
PO  Box  212074
Amman  11121,  Jordan
         Personal Email: 
           Personal Website:
                             (Due to go online shortly)
The full set of photos from the Farewell Bash will be available after November 1 at:
and check the Xavier Society for the Blind website


October 21 - 23
American Council of the Blind - NY State Convention
Buffalo, NY

October 28-30
National Federation of the Blind - NY State Convention
Albany, NY

November 1
Father John Has Left the Building! 

November 6
Daylight Savings Ends

November 8
National Election Day

November 11
Veterans Day - XSB Offices closed

November 17
XSB Board of Directors Meeting

November 20
Christ the King
End of the Year of Mercy

November 23
XSB Offices close early - re-open November 28

November 24
Thanksgiving Day

December 2
Feast of St. Francis Xavier

December 13
Feast of St. Lucy
(Patron Saint of the Blind)
Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral - 6:30 PM
Fr. Jamie Dennis, Guest Celebrant