August 2017 Newsletter
August 2017 Newsletter
As we prepare for the end of summer, we hope all of our patrons, supporters and friends had a relaxing month. We are launching our Fall appeal in conjunction with many of our young patrons heading back to school armed with their braille textbooks for the year! Speaking of braille patrons, we are highlighting Father Larry Gillick, S.J. this month. For all of our patron profiles, please visit the Client Stories section on our website!  Best of luck to all our patrons returning to school, or those who have returned to school in the last few weeks! 
Message from the Executive Director


On June 15 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved revised and expanded Guidelines For The Celebration Of The Sacraments With Persons With Disabilities.  At the same time the USCCB reiterated previous statements that "it is essential that all forms of the liturgy be completely accessible to persons with disabilities, since these forms are the essence of the spiritual tie that binds the Christian community together." Providing greater accessibility to the liturgy for blind and visually impaired persons of faith has been at the heart of Xavier Society’s mission since our founding in 1900. 

Today in collaboration with the USCCB, we continue to provide the Mass Propers in braille to over 860 patrons every month . Alternatively, we make the Mass Propers available for download in audio, large print, and BRF (braille format electronic file) formats. Additionally, we hope to work more closely with the National Catholic Partnership on Disability which "works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society."

I hope that you will continue to support us in our mission and that you enjoy the remaining days of summer.

Gratefully yours,
Malachy Fallon
Executive Director
Visit From National Catholic Partnership on Disability
At the beginning of the month, we were pleased to have the Executive Director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (N.C.P.D.), Janice Benton, stop by along with colleague Bob Quinlan and Paul Fontaine, the Assistant Director of Disability Support Services at the Catholic University of America.

Caption: XSB Executive Director Malachy Fallon (center) pictured with Executive Director of the NCPD Janice Benton and Paul Fontaine, from the Catholic University of America, outside the Lavelle Fund for the Blind.
The N.C.P.D. is based out of Washington, D.C. and works collaboratively to ensure meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of the life of the Church and society. The visit came at a good time as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USSCB) released Guidelines For The Celebration Of The Sacraments With Persons With Disabilities . If you have yet to read these new guidelines, please click here.

Many of our patrons were referred to us by the N.C.P.D., and we have referred many of our patrons to them; particularly our Religious patrons who require a Large Print Roman Missal and Lectionary. After meeting the staff here at XSB, Ms. Benton joined Malachy for a meeting with Andy Fisher, who is the Executive Director of the Lavelle Fund for the Blind. With our similar missions, we look forward to working collaboratively to make materials more accessible for the blind and visually impaired. For more information about the N.C.P.D. please go to their website
Patron Profile:
Father Larry Gillick, S.J.

This month we are delighted to profile Father Larry Gillick, S.J. A braille patron for over four decades, Father Gillick has been a constant supporter of our organization and our mission. Here is a little more about him, his inspirational journey to the priesthood and his long-standing relationship with Xavier Society for the Blind:

Caption: Photo to the right of our braille patron Father Larry Gillick, S.J.
At the age of eight years I was given a “terrible gift” of losing my sight through a fall from a porch’s railing. The fall resulted in a blood-clot on my brain. I had to switch from the Catholic grade school I was attending to a public school program for the learning of braille.
Upon graduation I was thrilled to be accepted to Marquette University High School in Milwaukee. Thrilled, because, as I told my parents, I did not know much about this Catholic Faith into which I had been born.
I did not use braille very often those years nor during my two years at St. Norbert College near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Those six years deepened my faith and a desire to be a Religious. Because of my being blind, I never thought of being ordained a priest, but because I loved hard physical labor, I was attracted to the life of a Lay Brother within the Society of Jesus. Again, I was thrilled and a bit surprised when the Society accepted me as a Novice Brother in the summer of 1960. During my first few months, I was informed about Xavier Society for the Blind, a ministry of the New York Province of the Jesuits.
My Novice Director sent for some braille books, the first one being the biography of Brother Andre a Holy Cross Brother in Montreal. Eventually I read in Braille the Confessions of St. Augustine and many others.
The liturgy then was in Latin, so every Sunday a fellow Novice would record the Readings and prayers for the up-coming masses. Then, behold, the little braille booklets for the Sunday masses became available, what a gift! Books on tape of all kinds assisted me in my advancing in the Jesuit spirituality and my own studying of Theology.
After Vatican II the Brothers were allowed and encouraged to advance themselves in academic studies which I did, receiving my degree in English from St. Louis University in 1966. Xavier followed me through those years and my three years of teaching at Campion Jesuit High School in Wisconsin. It was during those years that I was encouraged, even challenged to consider requesting my Superiors and eventually the Vatican, to receive special permission to receive ordination. During those years of seeking that permission I was allowed to study Theology at Regis College in Toronto. Xavier followed me there as well with their sending me liturgical texts, recorded books for prayer and study.
I was again thrilled to receive permission to be ordained which I did in the Gesu church in Milwaukee in 1972. Amazing! It still is! The Xavier Society has been and remains an amazing friend to me. Each month I receive a copy containing all the Readings and prayers for the Sundays and major feast of the month. I have a well-used copy in braille of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. I have a full set of the New Testament. I listen to digital books of all kinds of topics which are helpful for my personal prayer and communal liturgies. I have been celebrating a weekend-mass at a local diocesan church here in Omaha for over thirty-five years. Without those monthly Braille mass books that would not be easy or even possible. I keep a complete three-year cycle of these books over there on my shelf. I presently am the director of the Ignatian Spirituality Center at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
It has been quite a life of being assisted by Xavier Society from those old bulky hand-brailled on only one side of the sheet to now with all the advancements to which Xavier has kept up. I personally am deeply thankful for this group over the past fifty-seven years. I am grateful to the benefactors as well who have supported Xavier Society as well as the Society of Jesus.
Special Announcement for Patrons

Lately, we have been getting many requests for BRF files from patrons who use braille displays. In the past, we had been e-mailing them to patrons who requested them, but we have been asked by many to make them available on our website to download. Although we cannot make our entire braille catalog available at once, we do encourage these requests as it cuts down on the amount of braille paper we use. If you would like to request a BRF file be made available for download, please let us know and we will try to get that up on the website for you. Downloading is much easier on our updated website, so please get in contact if you need your log in information!
Print Calendar 2017
Gearing up for 2018!
Hard to believe it is that time of year, but we are getting ready for our 2018 calendars. For braille clients we will have our Saints’ Feast Days calendar and our pocket calendar. Also, we will have a beautiful complimentary print calendar that will feature client stories among other informational material.

We no longer send out the braille calendars automatically anymore, so if you are a braille client and would like to request one or both of the braille calendars please get in touch and we will put you on the list!

If anyone would like to receive a print calendar, please let us know. We would be happy to send one out to you as well! They make great gifts and stocking stuffers, and have plenty of room to write down appointments, anniversaries, etc.
Caption: Last year's braille calendars (top)
and print calendar (bottom)
Cornell University seeking NYC-area families with visually impaired children to participate in a study - Compensation Provided.

The Enhancing Ability Lab at Cornell Tech in NYC is looking for families to participate in a study. We are working on designing new games for blind children and their families that will help them improve their braille literacy skills. We are seeking participants for one of our user studies that will help us evaluate these games and to obtain input that will help us design these games in the best way.

We are looking for families of two to four members (at least one parent and one child) who have at least one visually impaired child (ages 7 and up) with knowledge of basic braille concepts. The session will be held on the Cornell-Tech campus in NYC for approximately two hours on the following dates:

Saturday, Sep 2: 11:00-1:00 / 1:30- 3:30/ 4:00-6:00/ 6:30-8:30
Sunday, Sep 3: 11:00-1:00 / 1:30- 3:30/ 4:00-6:00/ 6:30-8:30
Monday, Sep 4: 11:00-1:00 / 1:30- 3:30/ 4:00-6:00/ 6:30-8:30
Tuesday, Sep 5: 12:30-2:30/ 3:00- 5:00/ 5:30-7:30

**If a family would like to participate but is unable to make it on any of the posted dates, we will try our best to find a time that works for them.
We will be compensating families with $50 as well as up to $40 for travel expenses.

Please contact us at or (415)-583-9487 if you would like to participate or if you have any questions.

Researchers: Dr. Shiri Azenkot, Neta Tamir, Rona Sadan & Sara Serfaty
Hot off the Presses!

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

**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 very limited quantity left so please get in touch to reserve your copy today!

- Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life  by Rev. Richard Rohr (B1576, 3 volumes): Seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or "gone down" are the only ones who understand "up."

-  The Wisdom of the Beguines:The Forgotten History of A Medieval Women's Movement  by Laura Swan (B1577, 3 volumes): Beguines were laywomen, not nuns, and they did not live in monasteries. They practiced a remarkable way of living independently, and they were never a religious order or a formalized movement. They began over 800 years ago and continued until only recently, leaving a great legacy.

- The Office of the Blessed Sacrament: Official Prayer Book of the American Society for Nocturnal Adoration  by American Society of Nocturnal Adoration (B1578, 2 volumes): Official Prayer Book of the American Society for Nocturnal Adoration.

- The Mysteries of the Holy Rosary Prayers prepared by Our Lady of Compassion & Protection Ministries (OLCP) (B1579, 1 volumes): The prayers of the Rosary, all the mysteries, with accompanying meditations and songs, appropriate for group devotions.

- Prayer for Beginners by Professor Peter Kreeft (D1161): Covers all the key areas for understanding and developing that intimate form of communication with our Creator that we call prayer.

- The Life of Christ  by the Most Rev. Fulton Sheen (D1162): Filled with compassion and brilliant scholarship, Fulton Sheen's recounting of the Birth, Life, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ is as dramatic and moving as the subject Himself.

- The Divine Dance: The Trinity & Your Transformation by Rev. Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell (D1163): Explores the early Christian image of the Trinity: perichoresis, a circle dance. The unending flow of giving and receiving between Father, Son, and Spirit is the pattern of reality. God is not only a dancer, but the Dance itself! We're all invited to participate in the rhythms of New Creation.

- True Devotion to the Holy Spirit by Archbishop Luis M. Martinez (D1164): Written by a former Archbishop of Mexico City, this handbook explains how you should respond to the Spirit, how the Spirit helps you grow in virtue, and the characteristics of true love of the Spirit.
- The Spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi by Brother William Short, OFM (D1165): This was previously published under the title "The Treasure of a Poor Man: St. Francis of Assis and Franciscan Spirituality." This is a second edition with completely re-recorded and updated lectures.

Books for Every Season

Next month heralds the Memorials of Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Padre Pio, Saint Vincent de Paul, and Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels. Also, we have some books to reflect on the anniversary of September 11.

- Searching for God at Ground Zero by Father James Martin, S.J. (B1060, 1 volume): An inspiring account of firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers laboring in the smoldering ruins of the twin towers.

- The Doctors of the Church: Thirty-three Men and Women Who Shaped Christianity  by Bernard McGinn (B1052, 3 volumes): An in-depth, college level text on Doctors of the Church such as John Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine of Hippo, Anthony of Padua, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and many more.

- Father Mychal Judge: An Authentic American Hero by Michael Ford (B1063, 2 volumes):  Intimate spiritual portrait of the New York City fire chaplain who died during the attack on the World Trade Center.

- My Saint Pio Prayerbook  by Pio Foundation of America (B1520, 1 volume): Prayers from the Padre Pio Shrine in Connecticut.

- Beauty for Ashes: Spiritual Reflections on the Attack on America by John Farina (B1220, 2 volumes): Meditations on the September 11, 2001 attacks on America.

- Saint Padre Pio: Prayers and Novenas  by Online Sources (B1433, 1 volumes): Prayers petitioning Saint Padre Pio and his Novena

- Padre Pio: Man of Hope by Renzo Allegri (B1080, 4 volumes): An intimate portrait of the humble Capuchin monk and mystic.

- Saint Pio of Pietrelcina: Rich in Love  by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti (B1386, 2 volumes): The story of the beloved and renowned stigmatic.

- Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel  by Catholic Church (B1160, 1 volume): Short prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

- St. Michael Chaplet and Prayer  by Catholic Church (B1258, 1 volume): Prayers to St. Michael the Archangel.

- Vincent de Paul: Saint of Charity By Margaret Ann Hubbard (B1209, 2 volumes): The inspiring and dramatic story of the great French saint of charity, St. Vincent de Paul.


- Searching for God at Ground Zero by Father James Martin, S.J. (D0778, also available for download): An inspiring account of firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers laboring in the smoldering ruins of the twin towers.

- On Living Simply: The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom  by Robert Van De Weyer (D0885): A collection of more than 90 excerpts from the sermons of the leader of the Church of Constantinople known as an exceptional preacher.

- My Saint Pio Prayerbook  by Pio Foundation of America (D1155): Prayers from the Padre Pio Shrine in Connecticut.

- Padre Pio  by John A. Schug, OFM (D0320, also available to download from the website): The life of a modern stigmatist.

- Padre Pio: He Bore Christ’s Wounds  by Fr. Andrew Apostoli (D1094): Exploring the life of this humble Italian priest who has become one of the most famous stigmatists of recent history.

- The Life of St. Vincent de Paul by Frances Alice Forbes (D1038): St. Vincent de Paul dedicated his life to working with the poor, establishing orders of both priests and nuns to work with the disadvantaged.

- Saints for Our Times by Theodore Maynard (D0385, also can be downloaded from the website): Stories of Saints Vincent de Paul, Anthony of Padua, Elizabeth of Hungary, and many more.
Other 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  for more information.

If you use for any of your purchases, help out Xavier Society for the Blind at the same time. Go to  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.
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

September 4, 2017 - Labor Day (XSB Offices Closed)

September 8, 2017 – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

September 9, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest

September 13, 2017 - Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

September 14, 2017 - Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

September 15, 2017 - Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

September 16, 2017 - Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

September 20, 2017 - Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

September 21, 2017 - Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist

September 23, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest (Padre Pio)

September 27, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest

September 29, 2017 - Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels

September 30, 2017 - Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Xavier Society for the Blind | 2 Penn Plaza Suite 1102 New York, NY 10121| 800-637-9193| 212-473-7800 ||