News & Events ::

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)

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Latest Additions in Braille for Clients

January 2017

[In one volume, unless otherwise noted]

A Tree Full of Angels, by Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB. The Benedictine tradition and practice of divine reading made accessible for everyone. 3 vols.

Abide: Keeping Vigil with the Word of God, by Macrina Weiderkehr, OSB. In these scriptural meditations, the piercing reflective questions and personal prayers lead the reader into a deeper relationship with the Divine. The book lends itself not only to daily personal prayer and reflection, but to group faith sharing as well. 3 vols.

Arise Together in Christ, Season One, RENEW International, 2016. A parish-centered process of spiritual renewal and evangelization that enables people to deepen their faith, develop a closer relationship with Christ, grow in community, and reach out in service to others. 6 vols.

Articles on Mary. A collection of ten articles which have appeared in the Catholic Review from 2000-2011.

Canticle of the Sun, by St. Francis of Assisi. A poem written by St. Francis of Assisi praising God for some of the wonders of the world.

Celebrating Mercy: Jubilee year of Mercy 2015-2016, by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization Jubilee Year of Mercy 2015-2016.

Dark Night of the Soul, by Saint John of the Cross. This spiritual masterpiece and classic of Christian literature and mysticism discusses the “dark night of the spirit,” which considers afflictions and pain suffered by the soul. It is followed by an extended explanation of divine love and the soul’s exultant union with God. (From online source: Christian Classics Ethereal Library.) 2 vols.

Favorite Novenas & Prayers. Compiled and edited by Norma Cronin Cassidy. A collection of classic novenas & prayers. 2 vols. .

Forgiveness: Following Jesus Into Radical Loving, by Paula Huston. The author examines the intellectual, psychological, social, and spiritual meanings of forgiveness. She asks tough questions and then offers possible solutions, drawing a portrait of a truly forgiving person.  2 vols.

Guidelines for Catholic-Jewish Relations, by the Secretariat for Catholic-Jewish Relations, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs, National Conference Catholic Bishops. Published by the USCCB.

Handbook for Lectors, by Rev. Peter Schineller, S.J. An instructional manual for lectors.

Jesuits Saints and Selected Blesseds, Collected and Edited by Tom Rochford, SJ. Biographies of fifty Jesuit saints and 140 Jesuits who have been declared Blessed. 3 vols.

Jesus our Eucharistic Love: Eucharistic Life Exemplified by the Saints, by Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, FI. A treasure of Eucharistic devotional writings and examples from the Saints showing their Eucharistic love and devotion.

Jesus the Forgiving Victim: Listening for the Unheard Voice, by James Allison. Alison’s approach to faith will appeal to those seeking an authentic faith, to doubters who are looking for fresh views, and to those who have survived harmful theologies and church practices. 6 vols.

My Saint Pio Prayer Book. A treasury of prayers from the Padre Pio Foundation of America.

My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir, by Colleen Carroll Campbell. The author blends her personal narrative of spiritual seeking, trials, stumbles, and breakthroughs with the stories of six women saints who profoundly changed her life: Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Faustina of Poland, Edith Stein of Germany, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Mary of Nazareth. 3 vols.

Novena to Our Lady of Knock, by the Knock Shrine Office.

101 Questions & Answers On the Crusades & The Inquisition, by John Vidmar, OP. Takes an honest look at two controversial events in Christian history, showing in what ways the seemingly different historical events are related, and undoing several misconceptions about both. 2 vols.

Prayers for Vocations, by United States Conference of Catholic Bishop. Forty-one prayers composed by the USCCB. .

Prayers of St. Francis of Assisi, Compiled from Online Sources. Prayers written by St. Francis of Assisi. A short booklet. 

Silence, by Shusaku Endo. A fictional novel, which tells the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan, who endures persecution in the time of Kakure Kirishitan (“Hidden Christians”) that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion. 3 vols.

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, by Gregory Boyle. A series of parables about kinship and redemption from pastor, activist, and renowned speaker, Fr. Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. Reader warning: Strong language. 3 Vols.

The Angels and Us, by Mortimer J. Adler. Examines the main questions raised by theologians and philosophers over the twenty-four centuries since angelic beings were first thought about. (This is a complete revision of the 2004 edition.) 4 vols.

The Lawyer’s Relic & A Grandfather’s Dilemma: Two Novellas of Faith & Integrity, by Julian Bauer. This book tells two different stories. The first deals with the dilemma of an agnostic lawyer and the second, the problem of an elderly man, both who must face issues of life, faith and integrity. 3 vols.

The Shed that Fed A Million Children: The Mary’s Meals Story, by Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. Chronicles the work of MacFarlane-Barrow to feed the world’s children. 4 Vols.

The Story of Knock, by Father James, OFM, Cap. (EWTN) The story of Mary’s apparition at Knock in Ireland, a short booklet.

Three Minutes A Day, Volume 51, 2017, Toni Rossi, Editor-In-Chief. Published by The Christophers. Daily three minute meditations with short vignettes, covering 12 months of the year. 4 vols.

Twelve Little Ways to Transform Your Heart: Lessons in Holiness and Evangelization from St. Thérèse of Lisieux, by Susan Muto. Explains how twelve facets of the Little Way of Spiritual Childhood can enhance the evangelical mission of the Church. 3 Vols.

Would you Baptize An Extraterrestrial? ... and Other Questions from the Astronomers’ In-Box at the Vatican Observatory, by Br. Guy Consolmango, SJ and Fr. Paul Mueller, SJ. Witty and thought provoking, two Vatican astronomers shed provocative light on some of the strange places where religion and science meet. 6 vols.

You’ll Never Be younger: A Good News Spirituality for Those over 60, by William J. O’Malley. Teaches how to use Spirituality to help live with enthusiasm in the later years of life. 3 vols.

Young Adult

Guidelines for Altar Servers, Prince of Peace Catholic Church. Handbook for young Altar Servers.

Sophie Wonders about Eucharist.

Sophie Wonders about Confirmation.

This Is Our Church: A Guide for Children, by Msgr. James A. Comiskey. Explains the different parts of a Catholic church, such as the altar, ambo, music center, and confessional.

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Latest Audio for Clients

January 2017,
Additions to Catalogue

Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God’s Holy Ones, by Scott Hahn. Through stories about angels and saints Dr. Hahn shows how we can begin our heavenly life here on earth.

A Call to Mercy: Hearts To Love, Hands to Serve, by Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa Offers her profound yet accessible wisdom on how we can show mercy and compassion in our day-to-day lives.

Pilgrimage: My Search for Pope Francis, by Mark Shriver. An intimate portrait of Pope Francis based on interviews with people who knew him long before he stepped into the shoes of St. Peter.

Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, by St. Catherine of Siena. Written during a state of ecstasy, this work from this saint of the Middle Ages, is Instructive and profound,... inspires with a revelation from God.

Why Do Catholics Genuflect? By Al Kresta. Answers to Puzzling questions about the Catholic Church. D1131

The World’s First Love: Mary the Mother of God, Fulton J. Sheen. A moving portrayal of the Blessed Virgin Mary that combines deep spirituality with history, philosophy and theology.

Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots, by Scott Hahn. A clear and comprehensive guide to the Biblical doctrines and historical traditions that underlie Catholic beliefs and practices

The Life of Mary as Seen by Mystics, by Raphael Brown. Details on the life of Mary and the Holy Family.

Catholic for a Reason, Edited by Scott Hahn. Series of essays that will help Catholics and non-Catholics alike develop a better understanding of the Church.

Resisting Happiness, by Matthew Kelly. A true story about why we sabotage ourselves, feel overwhelmed, set aside our dreams, and lack the courage to simply be ourselves… and how to start choosing happiness again.

Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path To Knowing and Following Jesus
, by Sherry Weddell. By coming to know Jesus Christ, and following him as his disciples. These are times of immense challenge and immense opportunity for the Catholic Church.

Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence, by Sarah Young. A follow-up to Jesus Calling. A thirty-six day devotional experience with scripture reading for each day in addition to guided reflection and prayer thoughts.

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, by Sarah Young. Personal writings and reflections, daily meditations based on Jesus own words of hope, guidance and peace within Scripture.

Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World, by Pope Francis and the Children of the World. Letters from Children to Pope Francis and his answers to them.

The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of A Medieval Women’s Movement, by Laura Swan. The history of a group of women who never took solemn vows or lived in monasteries, but lived their lives devoted to God. The movement began around 1200 and lasted over 500 years. Though largely unknown, their influence on history is undeniable.

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Catholic New York Reports on our St Lucy Mass

The Catholic New York newspaper honored us with an article recounting our Saint Lucy Mass at the Lady Chapel of Saint Patricks Cathedral - please click on the link to read the full article. Saint Lucy Mass

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The Interview with the Pope

The Holy Father recently gave an extended interview.

We also have the text of the interview available in braille. Send a request to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (212) 473-7800 and leave a message with your request. Be sure to include your name and mailing address. The audio version is also available for clients on the restricted area of the Website.

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Website for Braille Music

A new website has recently started called Catholic Braille Music. The purpose of the list is to assemble and share braille sacred music. There is very little available, which makes it nearly impossible for someone who needs braille music to participate in serving the Mass through music.

The webpage to sign up is at

Also, here is a link to an interview that might be of interest to patrons.

This will give you a little more information.

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Southborough artist Arthur Ellis refuses to let blindness hold him back

Image - Southborough artist Arthur Ellis refuses to let blindness hold him back

Southborough artist Arthur Ellis refuses to let blindness hold him back

By TimWyatt
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

There was a moment when, lying in a hospital bed after a devastating bout of meningitis had robbed him of his sight, Arthur Ellis considered giving up art.

“It just flashed through my mind for a little while that maybe life would be easier without this constant drive to keep creating things,” he said. “But I thought ‘That’s not right, I really must carry on with it’. Nothing stopped (after becoming blind), it was just like starting all over again.”

The 67-year-old Southborough resident had been painting, sculpting and drawing in his spare time for decades when he suddenly contracted meningitis in 2006. He said: “I went to the doctors with an earache and before I got out of the surgery the doctor got me an ambulance. From there on I was in a coma. It was touch and go. They told my brother and my boys to constantly expect the worse - brain damage and life support. It was all pretty hairy stuff I think.”

After more than nine months in hospital Mr Ellis returned to his home on Bedford Road and began to teach himself to draw without being able to see what he is doing.

“I started trying to crosshatch because that used to be a favorite technique,” he said. “I suddenly realized that it wasn’t easy to do that anymore so I invented different kinds of techniques and began using different media.”

His sense of touch became vital as he used small blobs of Blu-Tak to mark out on the paper where he was drawing. Gadgets that can tell what color a surface is and then say it audibly are also helpful in the creative process.

“I have got used to all sorts of crazy techniques but the actual drawing has got to come straight from me,” Mr. Ellis said.

With the outside world now closed off, imagination had to become Mr Ellis’ inspiration. Before losing his sight he focused on creating portraits of people but since becoming blind his artwork has become more abstract.

“I think my brain still doesn’t accept it (the blindness) and keeps inventing things,” he said. “I still hallucinate quite a bit as well.”

Mr. Ellis suffers from Charles Bonnet Syndrome, a condition where blind people have vivid, recurring, visual hallucinations.

He said: “I can cope with it now but it had reached a pitch where it was quite frightening. I used to imagine I was on the edge of a precipice with rocks and the sea beneath. And there was the feeling you could just tip off. I got my sons to take me from room to room to get away from it but you just got images of the same thing from different angles. For me it was pretty terrifying. The brain keeps throwing up these images and sometimes they are very interesting. It’s still really good for subject matter.”

While it does still frustrate Mr. Ellis at time that he cannot see his finished work, he insisted he was not angry about his predicament.

“I’m not really into this whole business of saying ‘Why me?’ If it wasn’t me it would be someone else,” he said. “It’s got it’s downsides but my brother’s built this great studio, I’ve been involved in exhibitions and through the South East Open Studios project people have come to view my art work, and I’ve made contacts with people who are interested in art.”

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Pope Records Message for Blind

Image - Pope records message for blind and visually impaired

Vatican City, 11 June 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father sent the following audio message to the Italian Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti) on the occasion of their summer program for around 75, mostly elderly, persons at their Le Torri Centre in Tirrenia, Italy, specializing in rehabilitation studies and vacations.

“I know that … some of you wanted to come to Rome,” the Pope said. “Thanks to modern technology, I can come to you! Thank you for your appreciation, for your affection, and especially for your prayers.”

“The Gospels tell us that Jesus had a particular care for the blind. Besides other sick persons, He healed many blind persons. But the healing of a visually impaired person has special symbolic meaning: it represents the gift of faith. It is a sign that concerns us all because we all need the light of faith to walk along the path of life. This is why Baptism, which is the first Sacrament of Faith, was also called ‘illumination’ in antiquity.”

“I ask the Lord to renew the gift of faith in each of you, so that your spirits may alway have God’s light, the light of love that makes sense of our lives, illuminates it, gives us hope, and makes us good and available to our brothers and sisters.”

“I also wish the best for your association. … Always spread a culture of encounter, solidarity, and hospitality towards persons with disabilities, not just asking for the proper social services but also encouraging their active participation in society.”

“I entrust you all to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother. I ask you to pray for me and for my service to the Church and I wholeheartedly bless you, together with your loved ones.”

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When It Comes to Hiring, Blind Workers Face Bias

When It Comes to Hiring, Blind Workers Face Bias
The Wall Street Journal

March 18, 2013, 10:27 AM
By Leslie Kwoh

When it comes to hiring blind employees, many employers remain skeptical.

Bosses often assume blind workers cost more and produce less, according to a new study. They also believe blind workers are more prone to workplace accidents and less reliable than other workers.

The study, scheduled to be released this week by the nonprofit National Industries for the Blind, polled 400 human-resources and hiring managers at a mix of large and small U.S.-based companies. The group commissioned the survey, in part, to shed light on why roughly 70% of the 3.5 million people working-age Americans are not employed. (Legally blind Americans are eligible for Social Security disability, according to NIB.)

NIB president and chief executive Kevin Lynch described the survey results as a “terrible surprise.” With the exception of certain jobs that require driving or steering, “there are very few jobs that a person who’s blind is not capable of doing,” he says.

The findings reveal a disconnect between what employers say and what they do. While the majority of executives claim they want to hire and train disabled workers, many view blind workers as an inconvenience.

Hiring managers tended to be slightly more negative than human-resources managers, but overall results were similar.

Among hiring managers, most respondents (54%) felt there were few jobs at their company that blind employees could perform, and 45% said accommodating such workers would require “considerable expense.”

Forty-two percent of hiring managers believe blind employees need someone to assist them on the job; 34% said blind workers are more likely to have work-related accidents.

One-quarter of respondents said blind employees are “more sensitive” than other employees; the same percentage said they were “more difficult to supervise.”

Twenty-three percent of hiring managers said blind employees are not as productive as their colleagues, and 19% believe these employees have a higher absentee rate.

Blindness is largely absent from corporate conversation about employees with disabilities with the exception of sporadic lawsuits: Last August, Hawaiian Electric Co. agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a discrimination suit by a partially blind employee, the AP reported.

And in December, Bloomberg reported that a blind ex-banker at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group lost a suit seeking disability benefits.

Rarer still is news about companies like apparel business SustainU, based in West Virginia, which hires blind and visually impaired employees to man its factory, according to the New York Times. The company said there was no difference in the cost and quality of its goods when compared to that of other U.S. manufacturers.

Companies may have to invest some money to provide “reasonable accommodations” for a blind employee, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, says NIB’s Lynch, many computers and smartphones already have built-in features that enable users to change font size and light intensity. Installing voice technology that allows computers to “read” text to a blind employee costs just $1,500 to $2,000, he says. The American Foundation for the Blind has estimated that 88% of employee accommodations cost less than $1,000.

As for health insurance, company rates are determined by the number of incidents among the entire group - not individual employees - no evidence suggests that blind employees incur more costs than other workers, Mr. Lynch says.

Blind employees may also be more loyal than most, he adds. A DePaul University study from 2007 found that employees with disabilities were likely to stay on the job four months longer, on average, than employees without disabilities.

The study also found that workers with disabilities took 1.24 fewer scheduled absences than non-disabled workers during a six-month period. But they took, on average, 1.13 more days of unscheduled absences.

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New Items in the Audio Library for the Events of the Day

We are pleased to note two new items available in the Audio Library -
D0933: Picking Popes: Conclaves,  by Professor Peter M. Bellitto, PhD (3 lectures)
D0934: Benedict XVI: Theologian and Preacher, by Fr. Claudio Burgaleta, S.J., PhD (12 lectures)

PICKING POPES by a Vatican expert walks you through the history of the Conclave, the procedure of the election of the Pope, and answers any questions you might have about the most important meeting in the calendar of the Catholic Church.

BENEDICT XVI: THEOLOGIAN AND PREACHER is a comprehensive look at our recent Pope, written by a member of the Board of Directors of the Xavier Society for the Blind. IN this 12-CD series, Fr. Burgaleta gives you a deep ionsight into the thought and theology of the man many consider the most learned Pope of our time.

NOTE: Audio Library items are only available to registered clients of the Xavier Society for the Blind.

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