News & Events ::

Digital Talking Books are here!

We are pleased to announce that our conversion to digital talking book format is now complete and we have added some popular titles on cartridge to our library! Please note, at present there is limited availability of these titles in digital talking book, and it is on a first come, first served basis.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions as we are all looking forward to serving many more patrons in new and innovative ways!

New to our library in Digital Talking Book format:

- The Confessions of Saint Augustine translated by John K. Ryan (DBX7100): Heartfelt, incisive, and timeless, The Confessions of Saint Augustine has captivated readers for more than fifteen hundred years. Retelling the story of his long struggle with faith and ultimate conversion - the first such spiritual memoir ever recorded - Saint Augustine traces a story of sin, regret, and redemption that is both deeply personal and, at the same time, universal

- Dagger John: Archbishop John Hughes and the Making of Irish America by John Loughrey (DBX1227): The story of John Hughes, son of Ireland, friend of William Seward and James Buchanan, founder of St. John’s College (now Fordham University), builder of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, pioneer of parochial-school education, and American diplomat.

- Angels of God, Our Guardians Dear: Today’s Catholics Rediscover Angels by Mary Drahos (DBX1205): Captivating stories of angels at work in the lives of the saints. Inspiring accounts of angels intervening in the lives of people today.

- A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century by Paul Kengor (DBX1203): In this fascinating book, Kengor reveals a singular bond which included a spiritual connection between the Catholic pope and the Protestant president that drove the two men to confront what they knew to be the great evil of the twentieth century: Soviet communism.

- The Gospel of John: A Bible Study Course by Rev. Donald Senior (DBX1198): Explore this powerful portrayal of Jesus with Rev. Donald Senior, one of the world’s top biblical scholars, as your personal teacher. You will assess the remarkable philosophical and theological understanding John kindled. Inspiring and beautifully written, the Gospel of John will move you to encounter the Word of God anew.

- Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints by James Martin, SJ (DBX0835): By meditating on personal examples from the author’s life, as well as reflecting on the inspirational life and writings of Thomas Merton, stories from the Gospels, as well as the lives of other holy men and women (among them, Henri Nouwen, Therese of Lisieux and Pope John XXIII) the reader will see how becoming who you are, and becoming the person that God created, is a simple path to happiness, peace of mind and even sanctity.

- A Book of Quiet Prayer: for all the Seasons, Stages, Moods, and Circumstances of Life by William J. Byron, SJ (DBX0808): Invites us to let God touch our lives wherever we may be, in whatever age or state of mind, and in all imaginable circumstances.

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Latest Audio Additions as of April 2019

**As we transition to Digital Talking Book format, we have added some new books on Mp3 disc. Thank you for your patience as we convert our audio library to Digital Talking Book format. Make sure to check out our additions on cartridge by clicking here.

- A People of Hope: Archbishop Timothy Dolan in Conversation with John L. Allen Jr. by John L. Allen Jr. (D1239): Draws out a picture of future trends by exploring where Dolan wants to lead, and how will a Church that increasingly bears his imprint look and feel?  Allen frames questions in a way that allows Dolan to expand on the topic himself as much as possible. The result is a book more “with” Dolan than a book “about” him, which is indeed the best way to understand the man. At the end, one can agree or disagree with Dolan’s outlook, but one may at least be better equipped to understand why thoughtful modern women and men might still believe there’s something worth considering in the Catholic message.

- Along the Way: Real Life Moments Touched by God by various authors (D1240): A collection of over 60 stories describing people going through everyday life’s ups and downs, to realize that Jesus was with them along the way and that their lives have been changed.

- Encountering Truth: Meeting God in the Everyday by Pope Francis and edited by Antonio Spadaro (D1241): This book is a collection of over 185 daily homilies Pope Francis gave between March 2013 and May 2014 taken directly from the Pope’s small Mass that he celebrates daily with in front of an audience that is always different: gardeners, office workers, nuns and priests, as well as a growing group of journalists. They are all based on the days scriptures, and are transformed to explain how they are equal to what is happening in everyday life today.

- Heartstorming: The Way to a Purposeful Life by Father Paul Keenan (D1242): Heartstorming is both a method and a way of living that Keenan, a celebrated Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of New York, devised as a path to lasting inner peace and fulfillment. The simple three-tiered process includes the heart’s reaction to an experience, the mind’s reflection on the reaction, and the soul’s synthesis of the experience, resulting in a new sense of purposefulness. More than a recipe book of techniques, this work facilitates a lifestyle of abundant and joyful living.

- The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus by Brennan Manning (D1243): In a powerful exploration of the mind of Christ, Manning reveals how our obsession with security, pleasure, and power prevents us from living rich and meaningful lives. Our endless struggle to acquire money, good feelings, and prestige yields a rich harvest of worry, frustration, and resentment. Manning explores what Christ’s mind was truly focused on: finding the Father, compassion for others, a heart of forgiveness, and the work of the kingdom. A refreshing reminder of the radical call of Jesus and the transforming love of God.

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Latest Braille Additions as of April 2019

- John XXIII: The Medicine of Mercy by Massimo Faggioli (B1707, 2 volumes): The canonization of Pope John XXIII and the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican II call for a fresh look at this remarkable man. Faggioli offers a rich and insightful portrait, sourcing the complete edition of the private diaries of the future John XXIII, published recently in ten volumes, much of which is unavailable in English. Faggioli’s use of this treasure of personal notes of the future pope means this biography offers a more complete and nuanced understanding of Angelo Roncalli than is available anywhere else in English at this time. The result is both unforgettable and inspiring.

- A Call to Souls: Words of Our Lord from The Way of Divine Love by Sister Josefa Menendez (B1712, 1 volume): Striking words of Our Lord awaken the slumbering human heart to the mysteries of God’s love and mercy. Shows how to return His love each day and how we can help save many souls from Hell. Beautiful and sublime, these words of Our Lord will move you to serve Him ever more faithfully. Excellent for meditation, spiritual reading, or retreats.

- Joseph Bernardin: Seeking Common Ground by Steven P. Millies (B1713, 2 volumes): Explores Bernardin’s controversial “seamless garment” approach to life issues, his founding of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, the disturbing abuse allegations against him that were later recanted, and his experience of cancer that prompted him to write the bestselling book “The Gift of Peace” and that ultimately took his life. Millies offers a fresh new portrait of one of the most remarkable Catholic leaders of the twentieth century.

- Francis: Bishop of Rome by Father Michael Collins (B1714, 2 volumes): Fr. Michael Collins introduced readers to the pope who has grabbed the attention and the spiritual imaginations of Catholics and others around the world. Now, in this second edition, Collins takes account of the most important events and development of his remarkable pontificate. With a focus on compassion, Francis has challenged world leaders to be more attentive to the poor, begun important reforms of the Curia and the Vatican Bank, and called for two synods of bishops to discuss pastoral challenges that face modern families.

- Knight of the Holy Ghost: A Short History of G.K. Chesterton by Dale Ahlquist (B1715, 3 volumes): Ahlquist’s history of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, is an excellent portrait of the man and what he stood for. There is a short biography of Chesterton, followed by a chapter that reviews some of his most memorable books, and a final section discussing the difference that Chesterton made to the world. Ahlquist demonstrates that Chesterton was a good man who gave the world common sense and wisdom - two things it desperately needed and still needs.

- Dorothy Day: Love in Action by Patrick Jordan (B1716, 2 volumes): In this title, Patrick Jordan - who knew her personally - conveys some of the hallmarks of Day’s fascinating life and the spirit her adventure inspires. She was a journalist, activist, single mother, convert, Catholic laywoman, and co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. A lifelong radical who took the gospels at their word, Day lived among the poor as one of them, challenging both church and state to build a better world for all people. Steeped in prayer, the liturgy, and the spiritual life, she was jailed repeatedly for protesting poverty, injustice, and war. Through it all, she created a sense of community and remained down-to-earth and humanly approachable.

- My Badass Book of Saints: Courageous Women Who Showed Me How to Live by Maria Morera Johnson (B1717, 3 volumes): This edgy, honest, and often audacious book of Catholic spirituality explores the qualities of twenty-four holy women who lived lives of virtue in unexpected and often difficult circumstances and demonstrates how their bravery, integrity and hope helped the author through difficult times and can inspire others to reach for a closer connection to God.

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Interactive Lenten Reflections sessions

Image - Interactive Lenten Reflections sessions

On March 13th we launched our interactive Lenten Reflections based on the teachings of Anthony de Mello.

Each of these sessions were inspired by the content of the Gospel for the preceding Sunday in Lent. The reflections from Wellsprings provided a 5 to 10 minute guided meditation. This introduced the longer 10 to 15 minute devotional and imaginative prayer exercises of Sadhana followed by a concluding discussion. The combination of de Mello guided meditations, exercises and discussion was fertile ground for new, liberating, insightful understanding of the Lenten Liturgical themes. All links to the Sunday readings were from the website of The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

If you were unable to make the live sessions, don’t worry! We recorded the sessions for you to listen to afterwards. Your feedback and comments are appreciated!

Session 1 - Wednesday, March 13th at 3 PM Eastern
Lenten Liturgical Theme: “When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.” Lk. 4:1-13
From the web
From your phone - (712) 770-4752 Access code: 942796#  Reference number (include pound sign after) 29#

Session 2 - Wednesday, March 20th at 3 PM Eastern
Lenten Liturgical theme: “Master it is good that we are here.” Lk. 9:23b-36
From the web
From your phone - (712) 770-4752 Access code: 942796#  Reference number (include pound sign after) 33#

Session 3 - Wednesday, March 27th at 3 PM Eastern
Lenten Liturgical theme
: “Unless you repent you too will perish.” Lk. 13:1-9
From the web
From your phone - (712) 770-4752 Access code: 942796#  Reference number (include pound sign after) 36#

Session 4 - Wednesday, April 3rd at 3 PM Eastern
Lenten Liturgical theme: “Your brother was dead and has come to life again….He was lost and has been found.” Lk. 15:1-3, 11-32
From the web
From your phone - (712) 770-4752 Access code: 942796#  Reference number (include pound sign after) 39#

Session 5 - Wednesday, April 10th at 3 PM Eastern
Lenten Liturgical theme: “Woman, has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir.” “Then neither will I,” said Jesus. Jn. 8:1-11
From the web​ -
From your phone - (712) 770-4752 Access code: 942796# Reference number (include pound sign after) 42#

Session 6 - Wednesday, April 17th at 3 PM Eastern
Lenten Liturgical theme: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away…. Still, not my will but yours be done.” Lk. 22: 14-56
From the web​ -
From your phone - (712) 770-4752 Access code: 942796# Reference number (include pound sign after) 46#

If you have any questions please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We hope you can join us! Thank you for your interest in this new offering from the Xavier Society for the Blind.

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Calendar of Upcoming Events

March 19, 2019 - Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
March 25, 2019 - Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
April 14, 2019 - Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
April 18, 2019 - Holy Thursday (XSB offices close at 2:00 p.m.)
April 19, 2019 - Good Friday (XSB offices closed)
April 21, 2019 - Easter Sunday
April 22, 2019 -Easter Monday (XSB offices closed)
April 28, 2019 - Divine Mercy Sunday
April 29, 2019 - Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

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Article in “Chicago Catholic”

Image - Article in “Chicago Catholic”

Chicago Catholic, the diocesan newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago recently profiled our braille patron Pam and highlighted the materials we provide in Chicago and beyond! Make sure to check out the article by clicking here.

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Braille patron Andrea in “The Arlington Catholic Herald”

Image - Braille patron Andrea in “The Arlington Catholic Herald”

In case you missed it, our braille patron Andrea was profiled in The Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper of the Diocese of Arlington! This fascinating young lady LOVES to lector and receives our monthly Propers of the Sunday Mass enabling her to do so. Hard to believe she is only 17! Check out the inspiring article and the podcast that she also featured in by clicking here.

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Sessions on awareness and meditations based on the teachings of Tony de Mello

Image - Sessions on awareness and meditations based on the teachings of Tony de Mello

In 2018, we undertook a project with Desmond Towey and Fr. Leo Daly, SJ to develop an interactive series of meditation and awareness sessions for our clients. Des and Fr. Leo are trustees of the de Mello Spirituality Center. In the spirit of Fr. Tony, the de Mello Center presents, through books, recordings, articles, and conferences, spiritual themes and exercises designed to enrich and transform your life. We have concluded the current series and would like to thank all those who participated. Please pay attention to your email for future sessions.

For anyone who missed out on our previous sessions, or if you would like to listen again, you may do so either with your internet connected device or via phone.

Direct Access via internet connected device:

de Mello First Session: Experience God’s Power and God’s Love

de Mello Second Session: Speak to God about this Body He has Given You

de Mello Third Session: Hear the Song the Angels Sang When You Were Born

de Mello Fourth Session: Begin to Discover Who You Are

de Mello Fifth Session: Find Out What Makes People Happy

de Mello Sixth Session: Locate the Source of Joy Within You

Access via phone:

The playback number is (712) 770-4752

Access code: 942796#

de Mello First Session is Reference Number 8

de Mello Second Session is Reference Number 16

de Mello Third Session is Reference Number 14

de Mello Fourth Session is Reference Number 19

de Mello Fifth Session is Reference Number 23

de Mello Sixth Session is Reference Number 26

We recently added Fr. Tony’s books Wellsprings and Sadhana to our audio library on Mp3 disc (and we are working to make it available on digital talking book in the near future). If you would like to request these, please let us know and we can send them to you.  Thanks again for your ongoing support of this new initiative from Xavier Society for the Blind! 

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Stream our 2018 St. Lucy Mass

We are happy to announce that we live streamed the
St Lucy Mass on
December 13 via YouTube. The link is
St. Lucy Mass Stream

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Malachy Fallon Interview on This is the Day

Malachy Fallon, our Executive Director, was interviewed by Bishop Robert Reed on the Catholic TV show, This Is the Day.

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