Xavier Society for the Blind May 2017 Newsletter
May 2017 Newsletter
May has been a very busy month for us at Xavier Society for the Blind. We continue to update our website and this month saw another change. Our online catalog underwent a major face lift enabling our patrons to search, request books and even download selected titles more readily. If you have yet to check it out, please click here . In addition, we have also added a "Client Stories" section to our website. All of the patrons we have profiled in our recent newsletters are featured there, so please be sure to take a look.

Thank you to all of our donors, friends, and clients who contributed in the past to make such changes possible. If you'd like to donate securely online,  please click here. You can also call us  (212) 473-7800 or (800) 637-9193 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET to donate over the phone. We would love to speak with you. Thank you for your continued support!
Message from the Executive Director


I’m very pleased to announce that we have another addition to our Board of Directors at Xavier Society for the Blind. Breandan Ward was recently elected to the Board and he is a welcome and enthusiastic addition.  We’ll provide a more detailed profile of Breandan in an upcoming newsletter.


We need your help. An integral part of our mission is to ‘provide the Word of God,’ but we need your help in spreading the word about Xavier Society for the Blind!  As I have met with many organizations serving the blind over the past several months I’ve realized that many are not familiar with XSB, nor aware of the services that we provide.  You can help by letting friends and families of the blind know that we are here to assist and by reaching out to local churches and organizations and schools serving the blind and visually impaired.  Forward this newsletter on to someone who might benefit or who knows someone who might benefit from our offerings.

Although we’re a small organization, we want to make a big impact and we’re always grateful for your support!

Gratefully yours,

Malachy Fallon 
Malachy Makes the Rounds
Visit to National Federation for the Blind:

Executive Director Malachy Fallon spent much of the month on the road, helping to spread word of our mission and the services we provide to our clients while also learning more about other organizations that serve the blind and visually impaired. At the beginning of May Malachy traveled to Baltimore to meet with Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).

Caption: President of NFB, Mark Riccobono

Founded in 1940, the NFB is the largest organization of the blind in the United States. Many of our patrons are members of the NFB, and there are many local chapters across the country. It is a vital organization to the blind community as it strives for the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality.

President Riccobono graciously gave Malachy a tour of the impressive facilities and offered invaluable advice. We would like to thank Mr. Riccobono and all the staff at the National Federation of the Blind for their courtesy and for the work they do for the blind and visually impaired all across America. We look forward to a continuing partnership!  

Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens' Mass of Inclusion:

At the invitation of Father Raphael Munday, Coordinator of Disabilities and Deaf Ministry for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, Malachy participated in a Mass of Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities and the Deaf on April 30 at St. Kevin's Church in Flushing. Mass was followed by a Community Resource Fair for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities and the Deaf in St. Kevin’s Parish Center. Malachy, along with representatives of a variety of organizations from across the diocese serving the disabled, provided examples of products and services available to the disabled and elderly. We would like to thank Fr. Munday for asking Xavier Society for the Blind to be present at the Mass and for his work with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens. For anyone interested there will be another Mass of Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities and the Deaf on Sunday June 4th.
Caption: Executive Director Malachy Fallon pictured with Rev. Raphael Munda y who is Coordinator of Disabilities and Deaf Ministry for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens 
Visit to JBI International:

Malachy was joined by Operations Manager Margaret O'Brien and Director of Technology Donald Salvato on a trip to our fellow New Yorkers JBI International. Established in 1931 as the Jewish Braille Institute, JBI International defines itself as an organization that " provides individuals who are blind, visually impaired, physically handicapped or reading disabled with books, magazines and special publications of Jewish and general interest in Audio, Large Print and Braille formats." There are many things Xavier Society for the Blind shares in common with JBI International. For one, we both provide the word of God to the blind and visually impaired in their required formats not only in the United States, but throughout the world. Thank you to Vice-President and CFO Israel Taub and Director of Development Beth Rudich for their hospitality and to the rest of the staff of JBI International for their great work. We look forward to a continued partnership.
VisionServe Alliance CEO Summit:

Malachy topped off an action packed month in Charleston where he attended the VisionServe Alliance CEO Summit. The conference was attended by Executive Directors and CEOs of Non-Profits for the blind from across the United States.

                                                                                                        Caption: Attendees at the CEO Summit

VisionServe Alliance serves to " bring together the full diversity of services for one conversation with the ultimate goal of unifying the many issues and organizations operating independently of one another in the field." While there, Malachy learned a lot about the services of other organizations all while spreading word of our mission. He met with familiar faces such as Mark Ackermann from the Lighthouse Guild, and made new connections. Thank you to VisionServe for hosting the event. 
Caption: Malachy pictured with Mark Ackermann from the Lighthouse Guild and Roxann Mayros, CEO of VisionServe Alliance
Board Member Profile:  Father Hank Hilton
Father Hank Hilton is a native of Monmouth County, New Jersey. He graduated from Fordham University in 1978 with a B.A. in Economics and then completed an M.A. in Economics the following year. Father’s other Masters degrees are from Loyola Chicago, Boston College and Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and then began a 15 year career as an Economics professor at Loyola Baltimore. Prior to leaving Loyola in 2011, Father served as department chair for four years. Before entering the Jesuits, Father worked as an Energy Economist at Texaco. He continued his work in the energy industry for nearly 20 years at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, now part of IHN Global. Much of Father’s academic research has studied the intersection of energy and environmental issues.

Father’s service to people with disabilities began early in his youth when his youngest sister, Judith, was born with Down Syndrome. Her influence steered him into many forms of service at the Arc of Monmouth where he now serves on the Board of Trustees and was recently awarded the Countess Buxhoeveden Award, the Arc’s highest honor for those who support its mission. It also led him to join the Board of XSB. The organization's emphasis on faith and commitment to those who are blind or visually impaired was one that struck a chord with Father Hank.  

In addition to serving on the board of XSB and the Arc of Monmouth, Father has also served as a trustee of Canisius College, LeMoyne College, Loyola Blakefield Academy and Cristo Rey of Baltimore. Currently, Father Hilton is serving as the administrator of St. Joseph’s parish in Hillsborough NJ and is a visiting professor of economics at Rutgers.  
Patron Profile
This month we are excited to profile a very special patron who goes above and beyond for our organization and for others. Since becoming a patron in 2015, Inés receives audio material from us and even made an index of the New American Bible. Unlike our previous profiles, Inés started losing her vision as an adult. We'll let her tell you a little more about herself:

Caption: Our patron Inés receives our audio materials
When I first started to lose my visual acuity, I reacted like everyone else—with disbelief and prayed that it was temporary or could be cured.  Within 2 weeks of learning that I had permanent damage, I came to realize that it was OK. God has a reason for everything and I just need to trust in His wisdom. I don’t need to ask “Why?” because He knows the reason and it’s a good reason. So, I wasn’t to feel sorry for myself.

I took the initiative of searching out what was available for the blind. I discovered XSB through a sighted friend who came across an XSB ad in a small Catholic prayer book. She brought it to my attention and gave me the phone number. I quickly phoned and signed up for services. That was the start of a beautiful relationship.

I receive Catholic books on CD that feed my thirst for spiritual growth and closeness to God. Living in a small community surrounded by cotton fields means that there are not many places to seek spiritual sustenance outside of Sunday Mass. XSB has been a blessing by providing spiritual readings that inspire me, lead me to reflection and prayer.  When I received the New American Catholic Bible on CD, I was grateful and astonished at the generosity of XSB. Here was God’s Word now accessible to me again. When I was given the Bible in large print, I touched the volumes with joy and appreciation for now I could also hold the Word of God in my hands and turn its pages as I used to do. I shall make of these Bibles as I continue writing my scripturally-based book on living with radical change.

These books have often become a part of my morning prayers. After my morning prayers, I listen to one of the XSB-provided audio books for several minutes as another way of praying because prayer is lifting yourself to God and the books help me to do exactly that.

I used the audio book The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything by Fr. James Martin to lead a book study group. The other participants are sighted and followed the audio with their copies of the book. I could pause the audio book for questions and discussion. It worked wonderfully and helped me introduce my friends to Jesuit spirituality.
I don’t know what’s ahead for me but I don’t need to know. I trust that God will show me what he wants from me now that I cannot drive or do some things I did before. Somehow, I believe he wants to use me to show others that we the blind and visually impaired have much to offer. Now that I have software that magnifies the screen and reads aloud what is on the page, I am determined to go back to writing...a book about finding peace through faith when faced with sudden, dramatic life changes. My goal is to help others through reflection and Scripture to attain spiritual peace no matter what happens in their lives. I hope that these books will inspire children and their parents to aim high and not to limit themselves through fear of taking risks. True, we have a physical limitation, but everyone has limitations. Not everyone can read music, but not everyone can read Braille. Nor can everyone be a political leader, but we blind folks can lead people in an unlighted, dark street at night.  I guess I believe in the old army recruiting slogan, “Be all that you can be.” To do less is to not be who God made us to be—a sign of His love and kindness.
Recently Added Titles to Our Library 

Here is a list of some of titles hot off the shelves in both braille and audio. For a complete listing of our library, please visit our website's catalog which can be accessed by clicking here


- The Wounded Healer: Ministry Contemporary Society by Henri Nouwen (B1562, 1 volume): Filled with examples from everyday experience, The Wounded Healer is a thoughtful and insightful guide that will be welcomed by anyone engaged in the service of others.

- Mother Angelica:The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo (B1561, 6 volumes): Traces Mother Angelica's tortured rise to success and exposes for the first time the fierce opposition she faced, both outside and inside of her church.

- Prayers for All Occasions: From the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by The Basilica of the National Shrine (B1560, 1 volume): A prayerbook published by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

- Alphonsus Liguori's Way of the Cross by  Alphonsus Liguori (B1559, 1 volume): The classic Way of the Cross by Alphonsus Ligouri.

- Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by EWTN (B1557, 1 volume): Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be said over nine days.

- The Prayers & Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo (B1556, 1 volume): Collection of Mother Angelica's daily, personal spiritual conversations and writings edited by Raymond Arroyo.

- The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus by Mark Labberton (B1555, 4 volumes): Following the Year of Mercy, we are still asked to see others as Jesus would see them.

- Priest: Portraits of Ten Good Men Serving the Church Today and Striving to Serve Him Faithfully by Michael S. Rose (D1148): True stories of ten real priests which show us that, contrary to media reports, priestly virtue courage, humility, sacrifice, and above all charity continues to flourish in rectories throughout America.

- The Journey to Peace: Reflections on Faith, Embracing Suffering, and Finding New Life by Alphonse Spilly, Jeremy Langford, and Monsignor Kenneth Velo (D1149):  A posthumous collection of previously unpublished excerpts from the homilies of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. Like Bernardin's autobiography, The Gift of Peace , much of this new volume has an elegant and simple style.

- Ascent of Mount Carmel by St. John of the Cross (D1150): Depicts the soul's ascent to Mount Carmel--allegorically, the place of God--and the "dark night" that the soul must endure to reach it.

- The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society by Henri J. Nouwen (D1151): In this hope-filled book, Nouwen offers a fresh interpretation of modern ministry. Here he offers inspiration to men and women who want to be of service in their Church or community but who have found the traditional ways of ministry alienating and ineffective.

-Lord Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession by Scott Hahn (D1152): A guide providing practical advice and inspiration that will help readers come to a deeper knowledge of themselves and of Jesus through the sacrament of penance.

Books for Every Season:
The recent canonization of Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto has proved to be a popular talking point and an even more popular topic for our patrons. Here are some suggested titles for those looking for some good reads:

- Centenary of Fatima  published by Ireland's Own Magazine (B1563, 1 volume): Leading up to the 100th anniversary of Our Lady's appearance at Fatima, a brief historical background of the events that made a small Portuguese village one of the biggest sites of Pilgrimage in the Catholic faith.

- Our Lady of Fatima: Our Sunday Visitor Pamphlet  published by Our Sunday Visitor (B1558, 1 volume): Pamphlet for the anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady at Fatima, giving some history and prayers.

- Fatima Prayers  by Lighthouse Catholic Media (B1344,1 volume):  Prayers given by Our Lady to the children at Fatima

- Fatima for Today: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope by Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. (B1138, 1 volume) An analysis of the prophetic messages and events of Our Lady of Fatima.

-Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto: Shepherds of Fatima by Anne Herrernan, F.S.P. (B1372, 3 volumes):  Story of the children to whom Our Lady appeared at Fatima. 

- Fatima and World Peace by Monsignor William Smith (D1084): Fr. Smith eloquently recalls the words of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima to prayer, conversion, and repentance, their importance in the light of modern Papal Witness and their urgency in light of the world's quest for peace

- The Sun Danced at Fatima  by Joseph Pelletier (D0606):  An account of Mary's apparitions at Fatima to the three children.
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.

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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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Calendar of Upcoming Events
June 1, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr

June 3, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs

June 4, 2017 - Pentecost Sunday

June 5, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

June 11, 2017 - The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

June 13, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

June 18, 2017 - Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ and Father's Day

June 23, 2017 - Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

June 24, 2017 - Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

June 29, 2017 - Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Xavier Society for the Blind - 2 Penn Plaza Suite 1102 New York, NY 10121
info@xaviersocietyfortheblind.org - (212) 473-7800 - (800) 637-9193