Xavier Society for the Blind April 2017 Newsletter

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April 2017 Newsletter
We hope that all of you had a wonderful Easter! It was a busy month here in New York City for our organization. Our revamped website generated a lot of buzz, and we continue to update certain areas to better serve our clients. If you have not seen it yet, please click here. There are many more exciting changes coming in the near future. 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 at (212) 473-7800 or (800) 637-9193 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET to donate over the phone. Thank you for your continued support!
Message from the Executive Director

Greetings! S pring is in full bloom in New York City and our staff is bursting with ideas on how to better serve our existing clients and reach new clients who could benefit from our services and offerings. Having come from a business background I know how important it is to find out what the customer wants. We had a wonderful response from our clients who participated in our recent phone survey - thank you and thanks to the MBA candidates at Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business who helped us design and conduct the survey, and analyze the  results!

As I 'make my rounds', I'm gaining insight from leaders at many of the organizations that serve the blind and visually impaired, and of course from our board members and staff as well. We continue to consider what content should be offered and in which formats (both braille and audio) to best suit the diverse needs of our existing and future clients. Of course evolving technology will play a role, but we don't want to ignore any of the tried and true ways of bringing the community of faithful together to learn about, develop, and practice their faith.

Thanks again to all who have offered their advice and support. I look forward to your continued support in the future.

Most gratefully yours,

Malachy Fallon
Executive Director

Client Survey Results 

We are pleased to announce that the Client Survey which we conducted last month was a great success. We received much valuable feedback on how to better serve our clients. We would like to let our clients know that we will be using a similar automated system to make important announcements in the future. Thank you to all who participated in the survey in order to make it a success. It is a pleasure to serve you!
Patron Profile: Father Ron

Caption: Our patron Fr. Ron
This month we had the pleasure of profiling a patron who has made a difference in the lives of many. Father Ron has been a braille patron of Xavier Society for the Blind since 2002, and uses the  materials he receives to serve the elderly. We are proud to have him as a patron!

"To say that I have loved seniors would truly be an understatement.  Indeed, they have been and continue to be my greatest teachers, wisdom-bringers and guides.  From my mid-teens onward, I have found nurture and a sense of profound humility in the presence of those much older than myself, as I have been taken along as a passenger on so many adventurous roads!

At first such trips caught me quite unawares. A student of Sociology, Philosophy, Political Science and Cultural History, I eventually landed in the seminary where I would make it my life's ambition to serve seniors as a priest and a chaplain. Now several years into my ministry, I serve several Assisted Living Facilities whose residents exhibit a wide array of gifts and challenges.  I facilitate support groups, visit residents individually, lead exercise classes, call bingo, and, of course, lead worship and singing. 

Since 2002, I have been receiving the monthly Propers of the Sunday Mass in Braille provided by Xavier Society for the Blind. The Propers prove useful, not just for my own personal faith practices, but in helping me to lead worship for seniors. Since I receive the Propers weeks in advance, I am able to assign readings and prayers to the seniors. I have found that this not only empowers them by giving them a sense of purpose, but it empowers them to own parts of the liturgy - in a way, to make the liturgy their own. It gives me great pleasure to see them smile when we can share stories and songs together, and the richness of our life together as we share old memories in the creation of new ones lies at the heart of what we do. I am grateful to have Xavier Society for the Blind as a resource, as it also helps me to support those whom I love to serve."
Malachy Makes the Rounds

Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library:
Executive Director Malachy Fallon was very busy this month visiting old friends and making new ones along the way. At the start of the month Malachy, along with Operations Manager Margaret O'Brien and Director of Technology Donald Salvato, visited the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library here in New York City. There, they met Chief Librarian Jill Rothstein who graciously gave them a tour of the facilities while discussing how our two organizations could be of benefit to each other. For those interested to learn more about the Andrew Heiskell Library, Ms. Rothstein sent some valuable information:

The Andrew Heiskell library is part of a national program providing free braille and talking book service for people who are blind, visually impaired, have a reading disability, or have a physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a book or turn pages. We offer over 60,000 titles - from classics and best sellers to cookbooks, poetry, and memoirs, mailed to your door for free, or instantly downloadable from the web or our mobile app. We also provide reference services from our hotline or email account, accessible cultural programs and resource fairs, and free one-on-one assistive technology coaching and group workshops. Our talking-book players feature large buttons, braille letters beside the controls, a sleep timer and digital bookmark-maker and built-in audio instructions. NLS is completely free for all eligible residents of the United States.  Apply today  to get free access to all your favorite titles in a format that works for you. Call  212-206-5400 , or visit  talkingbooks.nypl.org  for more information.

We would like to thank Ms. Rothstein and the staff at The Andrew Heiskell Library for their graciousness, and for the work they do for the blind and visually impaired. We look forward to working together in continuing to make resources accessible to the communities we serve!

Caption: Operations Manager Margaret O'Brien and Executive Director Malachy Fallon pictured with Jill Rothstein (r.), Chief Librarian at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library.
Visit to Washington D.C.:
In addition to visiting our friends at the Andrew Heiskell Library, Malachy and Margaret also spent a successful day in Washington D.C. at the headquarters of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. While there, Malachy and Margaret met with Mary Sperry, the Associate Director for USCCB Permissions and NAB Utilization at USCCB Publishing. Xavier Society for the Blind has had a long association with the USCCB, which provides the approved translations of the Bible which we produce in braille. Also, our monthly Mass Propers which our clients receive in braille are available in part thanks to the USCCB. Margaret and Malachy had a wonderful time meeting with Ms. Sperry, who is also an accomplished author of several books on the Bible. We are excited to announce that we will be transcribing some of her books into braille in the near future!

Before returning back to the Big Apple, Malachy and Margaret also met Ms. Janice Benton, Executive Director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD). Rooted in Gospel values that affirm the dignity of every person, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society. As organizations serving Catholics with Disabilities, there are many things Xavier Society for the Blind and the NCPD share. We are looking forward to working more with both the USCCB and the NCPD in the future, and we thank both Ms Sperry and Ms Benton for their time and valuable insight!

Foundation Center Visit:
During Holy Week, Malachy and Margaret were joined by Coordinator of Communications and Fundraising Aisling Redican in a visit to Foundation Center in lower Manhattan. Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world, and since 1956 it is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Susan Shiroma, Senior Social Sector Librarian at Foundation Center, kindly gave us a tour of the offices and conducted an informational tutorial on the center's resources. As we try to expand our reach and increase our visibility, the resources provided by Foundation Center and explained by Ms. Shiroma will be very useful to our organization.

Meeting of the NYC chapter of the NFB:
Rounding off a very busy month, Malachy went solo to the meeting of the New York City Chapter of the NFB (National Federation of the Blind) at the invitation of Mrs. Mindy Jacobsen. Mrs. Jacobsen is the wife of Xavier Society for the Blind Board Member Carl Jacobsen, and she is the President of the NYC chapter of the NFB. Malachy enjoyed being a part of the meeting and meeting several of our patrons. Also, it was a great opportunity to get to know new people! Thank you to Mindy and Carl Jacobsen for the invite and their work with the NFB. Carl is an invaluable member of our Board!
Recent 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

- Building on the Rock: Finding Your Identity in Christ by Peter Maiden (B1545, 2 volumes): Perspectives of identity and demonstrations of how we can live truly fulfilling, stable lives if we live with Christ in us .

- Tobit's Dog by Michael Nicholas Richard (B1546, 3 volumes): This retelling of the biblical story of Tobit, set in North Carolina during the Depression, brings to life in surprising ways the beloved Old Testament characters, including the important but often overlooked family dog.

- Heaven Starts Now: Becoming a Saint Day By Day by Fr. John Riccardo (B1548, 2 volumes): Fr. John Riccardo helps us dive into the Scriptures so that we can apply them to our daily lives. In his inspiring and incisive way, Fr. Riccardo addresses the obstacles we all face in becoming mature disciples.

- God's Bucket List: Heaven's Surefire Way to Happiness in This Life and Beyond by Teresa Tomeo (B1549, 2 volumes): Examines what God wants for each of us: mercy,  fruitfulness, fellowship, and peace, just to name a few, and will explain what the Christian faith teaches about these gifts and how we can begin to achieve and cross out, one by one, the items on that heavenly list.

- Seeing Home: The Ed Lucas Story by Ed Lucas (B1552, 3 volumes): The incredible true tale of a beloved Emmy-winning blind broadcaster who refused to let his disability prevent him from overcoming many challenging obstacles and achieving his dreams.

- A Simple Life-Changing Prayer: Discovering the Power of St. Ignatius Loyola's Examen by Jim Manney (B1554, 1 volume): By following five simple steps for praying the examen, we can encounter the God who, as Scripture tells us, "is not far from each one of us"--the God in whose presence our lives can make all the difference in the world.

-The New St. Joseph Revised Baltimore Catechism, No. 2 by Fr. Bennet Kelly, C.P. (D1142): Classic text for religious education.

- All You Who Labor: Work and the Sanctification of Daily Life by Stefan Cardinal Wysynski (D1143):  Learn how to turn your work into a tool for personal growth in holiness. This book will help you change your work from a curse into a blessing.

- God is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) (D1144): Building on the urging of Vatican II to discover new reverence for the Eucharist, Cardinal Ratzinger focuses on the importance of the sacrament for both the individual and the life of the Church.

- Building Your Life on Rock: Standing Firm in the Storm by Ralph Martin (D1145): How to build our lives on rock and equip ourselves spiritually so that we can reach out to others with true charity and how fidelity to the Word of God will give us the strength to stand victorious in difficult times.

- Pursuing Holiness: Lessons from St. Francis de Sales by Ralph Martin (D1146): Through the inspiration of the timeless teachings of St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church and famous 16th century author, Martin provides insights that enables us to live the fervent, authentic Catholic life to which we are called.

- Praying With John of the Cross (Companions for the Journey) by Wayne Simsic (D1147): John of the Cross was a poet, mystic, theologian, spiritual director, administrator, and collaborator with Teresa of Avila in the reform of the Carmelites. Pope Pius XI proclaimed John a Doctor of the Church.

Books for Every Season:
The month of May sees baseball in full swing and the celebration of mothers everywhere. Here are some suggested titles this month for those looking for some good reads:

- Crossing Home: The Spiritual Lessons of Baseball by Joseph Penrice (B1067, 2 volumes: also available in audio): A book that follows religion through baseball.

- Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the
Marian Doctrines by Tim Staples (B1413, 5 volumes: also available in audio): Takes you through the Church's teachings about the Blessed Virgin Mary, showing their firm Scriptural and historical roots and dismantling the objections of those who mistakenly believe that Mary competes for the attention due Christ alone.

- Fly While You Still Have Wings: And Other Lessons My Resilient Mother Taught Me by Joyce Rupp (B1410, 2 volumes):
The author of many inspirational books tells the story of her own grief in the wake of her mother's death, offering readers both a profile of her mother's resilient spirit and a voice of compassion for their own experience of loss.

- The Mother of My Lord: Mary by Father Richard Gilsdorf (D1075): Fr. Gilsdorf presents a most beautiful study of Mariology - the Woman clothed with the sun, the New Eve, the Mother of the Mystical Body. As she prepared the world for the First Coming of Christ, so she will prepare the world for His Second Coming.

- Imitation of Mary by Thomas à Kempis (D1109): Comprised of writings about Our Lady carefully culled from the works of Thomas à Kempis and set forth in the style of The Imitation of Christ.

- The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God by Fulton Sheen (D1130): A moving portrayal of the Blessed Virgin Mary that combines deep spirituality with history, philosophy and theology.
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.

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.

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Calendar of Upcoming Events

April 29, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

May 2, 2017  - Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

May 3, 2017  - Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles

May 14, 2017  - Mother's Day

May 25, 2017  - The Ascension of the Lord

May 26, 2017  - Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest

May 29, 2017  - Memorial Day (XSB Offices Closed)

Xavier Society for the Blind - 2 Penn Plaza Suite 1102 New York, NY 10121 - (212) 473-7800 or (800) 637-9193 - info@xaviersocietyfortheblind.org