Xavier Society for the Blind July 2017 Newsletter
July 2017 Newsletter
We hope all of our patrons, donors, and friends are enjoying these dog days of summer. Or if you are in the southern hemisphere, we hope the long nights of winter are accompanied by a good book! We have added many titles to both our audiobook and braille libraries which we detail below. We also feature an inspiring profile courtesy of a patron who has gone above and beyond for his country and for the blind community. Check it out!
Message from the Executive Director
 Greetings!

I was pleased to attend the Annual Conference of the National Federation of the Blind in Orlando earlier this month. XSB Board member Carl Jacobsen is the President of NFB of New York State and his wife Mindy is President of the New York City chapter. I’d like to thank them for their guidance and graciousness to me in Orlando and since starting at XSB. At the conference I
was fortunate to meet many wonderful people and learn about many issues affecting blind people. 

Xavier Society for the Blind has a proud history of 'serving God and the Blind since 1900.' Over that period of time we have made many changes with regard to how we operate: location, use of volunteers, technology, adding and eliminating products, services and offerings, and adapting to changing standards, to name a few.

As many of our patrons probably already know, the Braille Authority of North America has adopted Unified English Braille (UEB) to replace English Braille American Edition in the United States. Implementation of this change began in 2016 for many organizations. Xavier Society for the Blind has continued to produce documents in English Braille American Edition, but
eventually will transition to UEB. We have no firm deadlines at the moment for this transition, but we will begin the planning process over the coming months and will inform our patrons as our plans are developed. We hope to find the right balance between meeting the needs for our existing patrons and responding to changing standards to ensure that we will continue to serve the blind and visually impaired well into the future.
Malachy Fallon
Executive Director
NFB Convention
In the middle of the month, Malachy made the to trip Orlando for the National Federation of the Blind's annual convention (his first of many, we're sure!). Malachy was delighted to chat with those who stopped by our table and explain a little more about the materials we provide. He also enjoyed the informative sessions that were held, particularly the session for Faith-based organizations. While there, he also got to catch up with representatives from other organizations.
               Caption: Malachy at NFB's annual convention in Orlando
A big thank you to President Mark Riccobono and all of the organizers of the convention for a great week. Malachy enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones. Many people were interested in learning more about our organization, and occasions like this make great platforms for spreading word of our mission. 
Caption: Our audio patron Dwight
Patron Profile 

This month we highlight Dwight Sayer, a patron who is committed to creating awareness for the blind in every sector of society. Dwight became a patron in 2011 and has been using our audio library ever since. 

 

A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Mr. Sayer was Honorably/Medically Discharged in 1969 due to blindness and is the current President of the National Association of Blind Veterans - a Division of the National Federation of the Blind (N.F.B.).

He has been involved in many different organizations always championing causes involving the blind and visually impaired. Of particular note, he is Immediate Past First Vice President of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida and Past President of the Greater Orlando Chapter of the NFB of Florida. Dwight has recently retired from the Consumer Advocate and Community Relations Manager position for MV Transportation, Inc, covering all of North America on ADA and Transportation issues dealing with disabled citizens riding fixed route and paratransit systems. 

 

"I became a user (when Xavier Society's former Executive Director) Father John was elected as National Chaplain (of the National Association of Blind Veterans) and I was introduced to the services of the Xavier Society. I am a 100% service connected disabled Veteran, and I have gotten several things in braille and large print that are not available through the Veterans Association. I am a super user of the audiolibrary and do most of my communication digitally. Thanks to the training I have received from the VA’s Birmingham and West Palm Blind rehab centers, I travel independently and go where I want  to go and do what I want to do. Thanks big time to Xavier Society for the Blind as they have had the braille and large print items not available elsewhere. I pray you guys will continue to flourish."

 

Born in Rochester, New York, Mr. Sayer now resides in Florida with his wife Patty and two children. For more of our inspiring patron profiles please visit our website or click here for a direct link.

Caption: Our audio volunteer Bill Hoste
Volunteer Profile: Bill Hoste

This month we are delighted to profile another volunteer who has shared his talents with our organization since last year. Our patrons certainly enjoy his engaging reading style. Bill shares two grown children with his wife of 37 years, and lives northeast of downtown Detroit. Here's a little more about him:

I started narrating audio books for the visually impaired in April, 2012 for “Mindseye: The Virtual Newsstand”, a webcast/broadcast reading service for those with reading related challenges that services the St. Louis, MO area.  Although it was and is a good organization to volunteer for, when I learned of the things being done by Xavier Society for the Blind, and the focus and the content of what it provides, I knew I wanted to switch.  So, with the help of XSB’s Don Salvato, I made the change in August 2016.

In the recent past I have done a considerable number of radio announcements for Catholic radio stations and small networks, mostly in Michigan. One even found its way on the EWTN Radio Network. Also, to my delight and amazement, I received an award for the 2015 “Narrative Reading Program of the Year” through the International Association of Audio and Information Services while with Mindseye.

Along with my time with XSB, I am also a certified volunteer reading tutor with Macomb Literacy Partners.  I meet twice weekly with two of the nicest students one could ask for, each being a sparkle in their own way.  Having fun.  

With about 25 books under my XSB belt so far, I look forward to doing more.

Thank you to Mr. Hoste, and all of our volunteers, for the incredible work you do for Xavier Society for the Blind. Along with our patrons, we are indebted to your service!
Meet Greg
Over the last couple of months Greg, a student studying Global Business with a concentration in Health Care Management at the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham Univeristy, has been assisting our audio department with research projects. Our hope is to eventually convert our catalog from Mp3 format to DAISY in order to make our titles more accessible and easier to use for our patrons. 

Greg has been researching software, and the possibility of mobile applications among other projects.  
Caption: Our summer intern Greg
We are excited to have Greg on board with us here at Xavier Society for the Blind, and anticipate some new ventures and exciting changes that will be of interest to our patrons in the near future! 
Hot Off the Shelves!

For patrons interested in some of our most recent titles, we have braille and audio materials to meet your every need!

BRAILLE
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: For our braille clients interested please note that we have  The Vatican II Documents. It is 16 documents in 14 volumes (the volumes are quite thin) and they are the official documents of the Vatican II Council which addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world in the 1960s. We have a limited quantity left so please get in touch to reserve your copy today!

- After 50: Spiritually Embracing Your Own Wisdom Years by Robert J. Wicks (B1573, 1 volume): This book encourages readers to focus on three areas in preparation for retirement: building interior lives with prayer, caring for others from a deeper place in the soul and nurturing their own soul and hopeful heart.

-  Creed: The Word of God (Our Catholic Life, 2) by Bill Huebsch (B1574, 1 volume): This engaging summary of the main themes of the Catechism helps adults understand their faith through the lens of modern life and their own experiences.

AUDIO
- A Mystic's Work: Julian of Norwich by Professor Christina Carlson, PhD. (D1157): This course explores the inspiring wisdom of Julian of Norwich.

- Letters From an Understanding Friend: Jesus on the Way to Jerusalem by Rev. Isaias Powers (D1158):  Offers creative ways to reflect and meditate on the message of the Gospel, by creating inspiring letters from Jesus.

- My Saint Pio Prayer Book by Pio Foundation of America (D1159): Prayers from the Padre Pio Shrine in Connecticut.

- Last Testament: In His Own Words by Pope Benedict XVI and Peter Seewald (D1160): Pope Benedict XVI addresses the many controversies the Church faces and reveals how at his late age, governing and reforming the Papacy and particularly the Vatican, was beyond him. Pope Benedict XVI has also said this will be his last work.

Books for Every Season

Next month heralds the Memorials of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, and Saint Augustine. We also celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here are some books for these occasions!

BRAILLE
- Confessions by St. Augustine (B1460, 7 volumes):  In the first new English translation in 30 years, readers are offered details of the saint's conversion and deeply personal meditations in clear, modern English.

- As One Struggling Christian to Another: Augustine's Christine Ideal for Today by Theodore E. Tack, O.S.A. (B1105, 1 volume):  The author uses the writings of Augustine of Hippo to explore the challenges and struggles of living the Christian life.

- The Story of Monica and Her Son Augustine by Monsignor Leon Christiani (B1443, 2 volumes):  An easy-to-read story of the patron saint of mothers and her son who eventually became the famed philosopher and writer.

- Munificent Deus: Defining the Dogma of the Assumption by Pope Puis XII (B1140, 1 volume):  Apostolic Constituion Munificent Deus, Defining the Assumption.

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

- Last Days of St. Maximillian Kolbe by August Derleth (B1147, 2 volumes):  Story of St. Maximillian Kolbe, who offered up his life in a Nazi concentration camp so that another prisoner might live.

- One-of-a-Kind-Friends: Saints and Heroes for Kids by Ethel Pochoki (B1119, 2 volumes):  Thirty saints and heroes for kids, including Pierre Toussaint, Maximillian Kolbe, Dorothy Day and Thea Bowman.

AUDIO
- St. Augustine's Confessions: The Arc of Conversion by Prof. James Wetzel, PhD. (D1044):  These lectutures will lead you into the most personal and universal work of St. Augustine that has had an incalculable influence in the history of Christianity and Western philosophy.

-City of God by St. Augustine (D1002):  A cornerstone of Western thought, expounding on many profound questions of theology, such as the suffering of the righteous, the existence of evil, the conflict between free will and divine omniscience, and the doctrine of original sin.

- The Way of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori (D6026): Alphonsus Liguori's Way of the Cross.

- 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley (D0950): Do-It-Yourself Retreat in preparation for Marion Consecration. Fr. Gaitley summarizes the teachings of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Teresa of Calcutta and St. John Paul II, summarizing them and making them easy to grasp and simple to put into practice.

- As One Struggling Christian to Another: Augustine's Christian Ideal for Today  by Theodore E. Tack, O.S.A. (D1113, on 2 CDs):  The author uses the writings of Augustine of Hippo to explore the challenges and struggles of living the Christian life.

- From Augustine to Chesterton and Beyond: Great Spiritual Autobiographies by Dr. Michael W. Higgins, PhD. (D1067):  Under the guidance of the author, a celebrated literary scholar, explore 14 inspiring writers whose autobiographical works capture their spiritual yearnings and encounters with the transcendent.
Ways You Can Help
Since 1900 we have been providing religious and spiritual materials to the blind and visually impaired in their required formats in order for them to be able to learn about, understand, and practice their Faith. Some of our braille books in particular can often cost upwards of $500, taking up to 6 months to produce. Yet on a weekly basis, Xavier Society for the Blind ships reading materials to people all over the United States and throughout the world. Please help us continue this important ministry by sending your gift today. 

Donate securely on our website by clicking here. If you wish to donate, but prefer to do it over the phone you can always call our office at (212) 473-7800  or (800) 637-9193.

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 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.

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  http://smile.amazon.com/ch/13-5563026

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 clicking here or searching for Xavier Society for the Blind. Help us to spread the word about our mission!
Calendar of Upcoming Events

August 1, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

August 4, 2017 - Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest

August 6, 2017 - Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

August 8, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest

August 10, 2017 - Feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr

August 11, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin

August 14, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

August 15, 2017 - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 21, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope

August 22, 2017 - Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

August 24, 2017 - Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

August 28, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

August 29, 2017 - Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

Xavier Society for the Blind | 212-473-7800 | 800-637-9193| info@xaviersocietyfortheblind.org | xaviersocietyfortheblind.org