Xavier Society for the Blind
Vol. 10   No. 9
  September   2016
What's New at XSB



Caption: Mr. Malachy Fallon
Executive Director
Mr. Adrian Kerrigan, Chairman of the Board of the Xavier Society for the Board, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Malachy Fallon as the new Executive Director of the 116-year old nonprofit organization. Mr. Fallon was formally confirmed by the full Board on September 22.
"It is consistent with the history of the Xavier Society for the Blind to have a leader who is a Jesuit educated and Ignatian inspired individual," said Mr. Kerrigan, "and so we were very conscious of finding an extraordinary leader to take on this very special and sacred responsibility."
An alumnus of Fordham University, Malachy earned a B.S. degree, an MBA in Finance, and after a successful career of over 30 years at Standard and Poors Global, an MS in Nonprofit Leadership. At S&P, Malachy held a variety of positions and focused on the nonprofit and public finance sectors.  When S&P expanded into the south-central region of the United States, Malachy moved to Dallas, and was Managing Director responsible for S&P's business in that region of the U.S. In 2009 he returned to New York, to lead a global change management team for S&P in the wake of the global financial crisis.
More recently, Malachy led the Municipal Enterprise Group, and in 2013, he became Managing Director for US Public Finance Outreach and Investor Relations. In this senior management role, Mr. Fallon was responsible for all outreach with investors, regulators, industry/trade groups and US Senators/Representatives, and congressional staff for the US Public Finance Department. 
Mal left S&P in 2014 to pursue a masters degree in nonprofit leadership and transition to a career in the nonprofit sector. He serves on the Board of Lantern Community Services in New York City and on the Government Relations Advisory Committee of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (New York City-Southern New York Chapter). 
Mal brings extraordinary leadership experience to the position and a deep commitment to the mission of the Society. Mr. Kerrigan said, "After an intensive and competitive search, and with the assistance of the Diversified Search organization, the Board is unanimously pleased with this selection, and we know that Mr. Fallon will be instrumental in helping us develop new resources and new ways of serving the blind and visually-impaired community."
Malachy replaces Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJ who has been with the Xavier Society for the Blind since 2007. After a farewell party on October 14, and farewell visits with the new Executive Director to the state conventions of both the American Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind, Fr. Sheehan will leave in February of 2017 to assume a new mission in Amman, Jordan.
Information on "Father John's Farewell Bash" is available at the organization's website (  www.xaviersocietyfortheblind.org ). 



We normally recognize the service of our employees with special recognition at 5-year intervals. But when Margaret O'Brien was reaching her 10th year with the Xavier Society for the Blind, we were in the midst of moving and settling in to our new quarters, and since Margaret is the one who keeps track of these things, the anniversary sort of slipped away from us.

But we didn't forget, and on August 29, "Margaret's Day" was proclaimed. Signs all along the corridor told every passer-by that this was a special day, and at a lunch for all our staff at Niles Restaurant, she was presented with a gift card and a pendant. 
Caption: Donald Salvato, Christine Moore and Aisling Redican help Margaret celebrate. Terrence McCafferty left early, and Fr. John took the picture. 

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.  


Change tends to impel other changes, and it is with both regret and gratitude that we announce that Dr. Marc Maurer will be leaving our Board of Directors. Dr. Maurer, the immediate past President of the National Federation of the Blind, has been a valuable member of our Board, bringing with him both administrative experience and a legal education. We are grateful for his contributions and we will certainly miss his wise counsel around the table. 


We are pleased to announce that we are finishing the preparation of "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. Because the text is large, we will probably have it embossed professionally, but we 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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Three weeks to "Father John's Farewell Bash" and things are looking good. We have the Guss Hayes Band for some great music for listening and dancing and (if you are so inclined) singing along. We have a terrific buffet menu, the bar opens when the first person boards at 6:30, we have some terrific raffle prizes, and a gorgeous boat. Now all we need is you. 

First prize in the raffle is dinner for 2 at TWELVE NY restaurants.  Included in the list are 21, Gallagher's Steak House, Primola, Molly Wee Pub, The Cornell Club, Niles, and five others just as good. Other prizes includes a fur cape from Duffy's Furs and several other prizes just to sweeten the pot. The winners will be drawn on the cruise, but YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PRESENT TO WIN!!

You can buy raffle tickets online, or by sending us a check and indicating it is for raffle tickets and we will send you your stubs, or you can simply call us and we will take care of you by phone. 

Caption: The Atlantica, the ship we sail on for the Farewell BASH. 

Vito Catalano is our professional photographer who will capture the high spots of the evening, and photos will be available online at no charge shortly after the cruise. Wilmington Trust is sponsoring the program booklet and the flowers that will grace each table. The dinner sponsor is Michael Mattes, an old friend of the Xavier Society for the Blind and a former member of the Board. 
Caption: Elegant tables, with the NY skyline as the backdrop.

There are seats left but remember - ON OCTOBER 6 the price goes up by $15, so get your reservations in no later than October 5. That is also the deadline for putting an ad in the program, and for becoming a sponsor. If you are NOT coming on the cruise, either buy a ticket as a gift for someone who would otherwise not be able to come and tell us - or simply send us the money. Both are tax-deductible. If you buy a ticket, and don't come - we still have to pay the boat, so you're not really supporting us. 

REMEMBER - DON'T BE LATE! We sail promptly at 7, so unless you can walk on water - BE EARLY!!


The Intrepid is known as an outstanding military and Sea, Air and Space Museum. But as is true for more and more museums these days, they have many facilities to help blind and visually-impaired individuals enjoy the museum. 

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek at the Intrepid Museum- the
first venue in the United States to host this immersive "Trek Tech" experience, spanning 12,000 square feet on Pier 86. Become a cadet at the Starfleet Academy, and embark on an interactive journey with Leap Motion, projection mapping, holograms and other Star Trek technologies. 

After student orientation, you'll visit nine zones focusing on the Academy's special training in language, medicine, engineering, navigation, command and science. Complete your training to learn your specialty. In addition to Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience, the Museum will feature special Star Trek-themed programs and tours.

To Boldly Go: Welcome to Starship Intrepid
You've just joined the crew of the Federation starship Intrepid in the 24th century. Visit its namesake, the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, and discover how service aboard a starship is like service aboard an aircraft carrier. Gain new appreciation for their shared legacy of exploration,  service and sacrifice-a legacy whose next chapter you and your starship will help to write.
To Boldly Go will be conducted "in-universe," as if guests are newly commissioned officers who just graduated from the Starfleet Academy and are visiting the Museum in the 24th century. Costumes encouraged. Though the tour will be conducted in English, native Klingon speakers are welcome.
The tour lasts 60 minutes and involves long periods of walking and standing. Lightweight portable stools are available upon request, and the tour is wheelchair accessible. The tour does not include or require admission to Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience. Additional fee required with paid Museum admission.

The Verbal Description and Tactile Guide features a multi-page tactile map of the Intrepid Museum Complex with raised images of several key exhibitions and objects. Using a talking smart pen, visitors can tap the map to uncover layers of way-finding directions, verbal descriptions and stories from former crew members. Guides are available to borrow from the Information Desk.

For visitors who are blind or have low vision, educators lead tours that incorporate verbal description, guided touch of aircraft, models and tactile images. To schedule a private verbal description/touch tour, please contact access@intrepidmuseum.org or 646-381-5182 at least two weeks prior to the visit.


After that date, the price of a ticket for Father John's Farewell Bash increases, so be sure and get your ticket before the price goes up. Go to the event page (http://bit.ly/28S8wtl or the Xavier Society for the Blind website ( www.xaviersocietyfortheblind.org ) or call our office (212 473-7800). The three-hour cruise includes an open bar, a buffet dinner (so you can eat what you want when you want) and a terrific band, carefully placed on the upper deck (with the dinner tables on the lower deck) so you can talk comfortably during dinner. There is a raffle ($5 for one ticket, $10 for three) with the first prize dinner for two at 12 different restaurants in New York. A variety of other prizes include a fur cape from Duffy Furs. 

ON September 22nd the Board of Directors officially confirmed Malachy Fallon as the Executive Director and now I am just one of the volunteers who help keep XSB moving ahead. I have some small jobs I need to finish, and I will be attending the state conventions for the American Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind along with our new Executive Director. On November 1, I begin a three-month mini-sabbatical before heading off to begin a new assignment in Amman, Jordan. 

During my years I was responsible for many changes at the XSB, and as we move into different times, the new Director may decide that we need to make other changes. I would encourage you to support him and put your trust in God, our dedicated Board of Directors, and the extraordinary experience that Mr. Fallon brings with him. As I told someone recently - if Mr. Fallon and I had been competing for this job, his resume is much more impressive than mine when I started, and he certainly would have won the position. Over the last weeks I have come to know him, and I cannot imagine a better person to lead the Xavier Society for the Blind. 

Thank you for all you have done for us in the past, please remember us 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 us and for our clients in the future. 

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

F r. John R. Sheehan, SJ  
Xavier Society for the Blind
Two Penn Plaza, Suite 1102      
New York, NY 10121
Phone: (212) 473-7800  

(If you would like to donate directly online, you can go to


October 5
Deadline to buy BASH tickets before the prices go up
Deadline for advertising and sponsorship in the program

October 10
Columbus Day Observed - XSB Offices closed

October 14
Father John's Farewell Bash

October 15
White Cane Day

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