November 2016 Newsletter

The weather here in New York has turned from unseasonably warm, to the brisk November chill that normally heralds the arrival of Thanksgiving and the holy season of Advent. We wish you and your friends and families a very Happy Thanksgiving. If you are thinking about donating on this upcoming Giving Tuesday (November 29th), please consider giving to Xavier Society for the Blind. You can make a secure donation by clicking here. Your offering will help us to continue our mission of providing religious reading material to the blind and visually impaired, just as it has done since 1900. 

Message from Our Executive Director

To Our Clients and Supporters,
It is a great privilege for me to be named as Executive Director of this venerable 116-year-old organization.  After a long career in the corporate sector, and a bit of retooling in the classroom, I look forward to a new career in the nonprofit world. 
Finding a home at an organization with a mission focused on the underserved in our society was a key goal for my career transition.  Certainly XSB's mission "to provide the Word of God and the best of Roman Catholic teaching and literature, spiritual and inspirational material, to blind or visually impaired persons of any faith at no charge" is indeed important to many of the faithful, but often overlooked by other organizations.  I am thrilled to be in this position and to have the opportunity to build on all of the good work of Fr. John Sheehan, S.J. and our deeply dedicated board of directors, staff and volunteers.
I have had the very good fortune to have Fr. John at or near my side over the past several weeks as the transition in leadership of Xavier Society for the Blind has taken place.  Fr. John's knowledge, wit, and passion for our mission, have served our clients well over the past nine years, and his legacy will provide me, and all of the XSB staff with direction and inspiration for the future.
I know you will join me in thanking Fr. John for the gift of his service to Xavier Society for the Blind and wish him further success and fulfillment as he begins his new mission of service.
Most gratefully yours,
Malachy Fallon
Executive Director

Malachy Makes the Rounds!
Our new Executive Director has spent his first few weeks on the job learning about the blind and visually impaired and meeting with many of the leaders from this community.  
In October he and Fr. John Sheehan attended the annual conferences of the New York State Chapters of the American Council of the Blind (Buffalo) and the National Federation of the Blind (Albany).  The New York Chapter President of the NFB, Carl Jacobsen also serves as a board member for Xavier Society of the Blind.

Caption: Mal met with Jacobus "Dutch" tenBroek, the son of the founder of the National Federation of the Blind, and Dutch's wife Kathy.

In the first week of November, our new Executive Director Malachy Fallon, along with our Director of Technology, Donald Salvato, packed their bags and travelled to Boston to visit our friends and longtime collaborators at National Braille Press. Over the years, N.B.P. has helped us produce our New American Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as the monthly Mass Propers in braille, among other projects. In fact, the January Mass Propers were in production while Malachy and Donald toured the facilities with the President of N.B.P., Brian MacDonald. Other highlights included viewing the zinc plates that were used in creating our 45 volume braille Bible and seeing the Heidelberg embossers at work. A worthwhile trip that cemented our relationship with a great organization, we look forward to a continued partnership with National Braille Press. 

Caption: From left to right, Jackie Sheridan, VP of Production, Donald Salvato, Technology Director of XSB, Malachy Fallon, Executive Director of XSB, and Brian MacDonald, President of NBP standing outside its headquarters.

Our annual St. Lucy Mass
We are looking forward to our annual Mass for Saint Lucy, in celebration of the feast of the patron saint of the blind. As is tradition, we will be having a mass in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick's Cathedral (5th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets) on Tuesday December 13th at 6:30 p.m. We are extremely pleased and excited to announce that our celebrant will be Father Jamie Dennis, a newly ordained priest out of Owensboro, Kentucky. Father Jamie is also blind, and we are grateful to call him one of our many amazing clients.  As we honor our patron and her special significance in the blind community we will, as usual, have a blind lector, a blind person reading the Prayers of the Faithful, and the gifts will be offered by blind members of the congregation. There will also be reading materials in large print and braille for our clients and friends. For anyone who would like to have their intentions brought to the altar, please call us at 212-473-7800 or 800-637-9193 or e-mail us at Everyone is welcome to attend!
Caption: St. Lucy mass in the Lady Chapel of St. Patrick's Cathedral December 13, 2014

Caption: Our client Joan Bowen-Nichols lectoring at the altar last year
2017 Calendars
2017 is fast approaching and we have calendars both in braille and print available to give away. If you are a client and would like to receive our Saints' Feast Days Calendar and/or small pocket calendar in braille please contact us at 212-473-7800 or 800-637-9193. You can also email us at if you prefer. If you are not a client but would like to receive our services please feel free to get in contact. Our print calendars are available to anyone who would like one at no cost. With large font and lots room to write appointments, reminders, and other notes, the print calendars make great Christmas gifts. They include lots of pictures of all the great events over the past year, including the pilgrimage and Father John's Farewell Bash, as well as pictures of the work we do here at Xavier and the clients we serve. The calendars also help spread word of our mission, so please feel free to get in touch and request one!
Print Calendar 2017
Caption: Print Calendar 2017

Braille Saints_ Days Calendar _ Pocket Calendar
Caption: Braille Saints' Days Calendar &Pocket Calendar

Father John
Our former Executive Director, Father John Sheehan, S.J. officially started his sabbatical on November 1st and will continue his ministry in Amman, Jordan in the new year. We would like to thank Father John for his years of guidance and leadership of Xavier Society for the Blind and wish him all the best in this new chapter of his life.

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. Help us to spread the word about our mission! 
Facebook and Twitter logos

Calendar of Upcoming Events:
November 23
XSB Offices close early - re-open November 28

November 24
Thanksgiving Day

November 25
Office closed

December 2
Feast of St. Francis Xavier

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

December 22
Christmas break - XSB Offices close - re-open December 27

December 24
Christmas Eve

December 25
Christmas Day

December 30
XSB Offices close for New Year's reopen January 2

December 31
New Year's Eve

January 1
New Year's Day

Assorted Items

Masses may be said at your request not only when some
one 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) 473-78 00 or email us at for more information.

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 catalog, 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.