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The Xavier “Free Publication” Society began on 16th Street in Manhattan, in a single room at the College (later the High School) of St. Francis Xavier, from which the Society derived its name. Its mission was a simple one: to make writings on religion and spirituality available to the blind.

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At its founding in 1900, inspired by a group of dedicated lay women and aided by a Jesuit priest, Rev. Joseph Stadelman, SJ, Xavier Society was the only Catholic publishing house to make such writings available to the blind, and all services were provided free of charge, a tradition that continues to the present.

In 1904, the Xavier Society became legally incorporated. Its first major undertaking was a transcription of the Bible into Moontype, then New York Point and finally Braille in 1918.

Since its founding, the Xavier Society has continued its pioneering mission by adding large print, vinyl records, audio cassette and most recently MP3 digital formats to its Braille offerings. In 1995, the Xavier Society was the first to transcribe the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church, including footnotes and indices, into three formats. As new translations of Scripture and readings and prayers for the Mass have been approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Xavier Society was ready to transcribe and offer them to our clients. 

The tradition of this Jesuit-led ministry continues today, with six full-time staff members and a number of volunteers to assure that “those without sight may see.”

Please Note: Our phone lines are open during the week between 8:30 AM and 4 PM Eastern time. Between 4 PM and 8:30 AM, your call will go to our answering machine, and your call will be returned or your requests handled as quickly as possible, Thank you for your understanding.

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