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A Conversation with James Martin, SJ

October 10th event at Keenan Commons. Click link for registration details

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Newest braille additions

Recent additions to our braille catalog

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Newest additions in audio!

Here are some of our newest additions to our audio catalog in talking book

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Calendar of Upcoming Events

A brief listing days of note for Xavier Society for the Blind

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Newest additions to our Digital Talking Book library!

Check out some of our newest additions in Digital Talking Book format. These books are compatible with the talking book machine provided by the National Library Service! Get in touch if you’d like to request any of these titles.

- Bernadette of Lourdes: A Life Based on Authenticated Documents by Rene Laurentin (DBX0142): Recounts the day-to-day experiences of the saint to whom Our Lady appeared at Lourdes.

- A Gift for God: Prayers and Meditations by Mother Teresa (DBX0156): The letters, meditations, lectures, and private prayers collected here reveal Mother Teresa’s wisdom, compassion, and abiding faith in God, and offer a glimpse into the heart of the gentle sister of Calcutta. By sharing a taste of Christ’s own love with those she served and with us, she has offered inspiration and hope for all.

- Kateri Tekakwitha: The Mohawk Maid by Evelyn M. Brown (DBX0216): The inspiring story of a holy, young Native American woman who was converted to Christianity by the French missionaries led by Saint Isaac Joques during the 1600s affectionately known as the “Lily of the Mohawks” and canonized by Saint Pope John Paul II in 2012.

- Touched by Christ: Twelve Stories About Lesser-known People in the Bible by Louis G. Miller, C.SS.R. (DBX0459): From the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, stories of people that are not as well known but can help us discover our Faith.

- Anthony of Padua: Proclaimer of the Gospel by Lothar Hardick, OFM (DBX0630): A detailed account of the life of St. Anthony and the various customs associated with him.

- The Yellow Brick Road: A Storyteller’s Approach to the Spiritual Journey by William J. Bausch (DBX0814): Father Bausch recruits classic figures from The Wizard of Oz and uses a treasury of stories and experiences to reveal the many roads that lead to prayer. The stories are not only for entertainment; they are meant to invite and provoke.

- My Life with the Saints by James Martin, SJ (DBX0821): Martin introduces us to saints throughout history - from St. Peter to Dorothy Day, St. Francis of Assisi to Mother Teresa - and chronicles his lifelong friendships with them. Filled with fascinating tales, Martin’s funny, vibrant, and stirring book invites readers to discover how saints guide us throughout our earthly journeys and how they help each of us find holiness in our own lives.

- Questions and Answers by Pope Benedict XVI (DBX0831): Question and answer sessions held between Pope Benedict XVI and various groups, including Italian priests and youth, that cover such topics as divorce and remarriage, consumerism, sacraments, Scripture, and Mass.

- Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope by Joan Chittister (DBX0837): Building on the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with God and on the story of her own battle with life-changing disappointment, Sister Joan Chittister deftly explores the landscape of suffering and hope, considering along the way such wide-ranging topics as consumerism, technology, grief, the role of women in the Catholic Church, and the events of September 11, 2001.

- Audio Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (DBX0889): A thorough presentation of the intimate conversations between the humble Polish nun, Jesus and Mary.  Spoken and sung versions of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy are included.

- Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross (DBX0956): Considered one of the greatest religious poems ever written. This masterpiece of Mystic Christianity examines faith and how to keep faith when all seems lost, and narrates the journey of the soul to mystical union with God.

- Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God’s Holy Ones by Scott Hahn (DBX1135): Dispels traditional notions of angels and saints, telling stories of several and explaining that we need to be more like the saints if we want to live in heaven someday. Dr. Hahn shows us that our heavenly life can begin now

- Why the Rosary, Why Now? by Gretchen Crowe (DBX1207): An accessible and inspiring compilation of texts woven together with personal anecdotes that outline eight persuasive reasons why the Rosary should be an essential part of every Catholic’s life, now more than ever.

- Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala by Michael F. Steltenkamp (DBX1212): Based on conversations with Black Elk’s surviving friends and relatives, especially his daughter Lucy Looks Twice: a reassessment of the Lakota holy man’s religious vocation and devotion to his fellow American Indians.

- Mother of Christ Crusade’s Our Lady of Fatima Precious Little Book by Joao de Marchi (DBX1218): Published in 1947, this book contains the very important message of the Mother of Christ to the world. What happened in Fatima, Portugal proclaims the miracle. It is the presage of what the Immaculate Heart has prepared for the world.

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Newest braille additions as of June 2019!

- Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary by Michael W. Higgins (B1718, 2 volumes): Thomas Merton was the consummate post-modern holy one: flawed, anti-institutional, a voice for the voiceless. But he was also a classical traditionalist: centered, obedient, in search of stability. He was a religious thinker of remarkable insight, a social commentator of courage and conviction, and a writer of startling virtuosity. Michael W. Higgins recounts the life of this insatiable wanderer. He explores the various layers of influence and evolution in Merton’s thought and spirituality. This book tells the remarkable story of a life that remains to be understood from its beginnings and long after its premature ending.

- Rosemary Nyirumbe: Sewing Hope in Uganda by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda (B1719, 2 volumes): Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe’s 62 years of life provide a powerful testament to God’s presence, love, and hope amidst unimaginable violence. Throughout these many years, her native Uganda and southern Sudan (now South Sudan) have suffered the devastating effects of war and military clashes. Children, as the most vulnerable population, have suffered the most - being orphaned, kidnapped, forced to become child soldiers and sex-slaves. Scaperlanda brings to light Sister Rosemary’s vocation of loving presence to these youth in the midst of this cultural and societal obliteration.

- Paul VI: Pilgrim Pope by Michael Collins (B1721, 2 volumes): Pope Paul VI (1963-78) was one of the most important and influential pontiffs of the twentieth century. In this engaging biography, Michael Collins examines this deeply spiritual man who is remembered as a reformer, evangelizer, and pilgrim.

- The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis (B1722, 1 volume): Short story referenced in “The Proverbs Explained” containing nine sermons delivered by Lewis during World War Two. The nine addresses offer guidance, inspiration, and a compassionate apologetic for the Christian faith during a time of great doubt.

- Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World by Sherry A. Weddell (B1723, 1 volume): How does God’s grace change our individual lives, families, neighborhoods, parish communities, and cities? In Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World, Sherry A. Weddell describes how the Holy Spirit is at work in all the baptized-calling and gifting us to say yes in ways that will be the longed-for answer to someone else’s prayers and fuel the mission of the whole Church.

- The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run: Fr. Stanley Rother, Martyr from Oklahoma by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda (B1726, 2 volumes): The moving story of a simple parish priest from Oklahoma who would not abandon his Guatemalan parish and was martyred during the Guatemalan civil war at the age of 46, from the author of Rosemary Nyirumbe: Sewing Hope in Uganda (B1719, 2 volumes).

- Selected Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor compiled by Angelo O’Donnell (B1727, 3 volumes): Selected writings of the celebrated American novelist, short story writer and essayist.

- The Catholic Guide to Loneliness: How Science and Faith Can Help Us Understand It, Grow from It, and Conquer It by Kevin Vost, Psy.D. (B1728, 2 volumes): Offers a comprehensive guide to loneliness affording men and women the deepest possible answers to the pain of loneliness. Rooted in ancient philosophical and Biblical wisdom, and buttressed by modern theory and research, these pages bring you to an understanding of the root causes of loneliness and teach you remedies - secular and religious. Includes scores of lessons about loneliness from solitary monks, modern psychologists, saints like Thomas More and Thomas Aquinas, and Christ Himself. Cites The Enchiridion from the Works of Epictetus which is available in braille (B1729, 1 volume)

- A Priest Answers 27 Questions That You Never Thought to Ask by Father Michael Kerper (B1730, 2 volumes): Fr. Michael Kerper has collected and answered over two dozen questions that most of us have asked, but rarely took the time to seek an answer. With wit and enthusiasm, Fr. Kerper tackles each question head-on, relying on Scripture, tradition, the Catechism, and the writing of the saints to provide us with answers. Fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable, this book provides you with a treasure trove of little-known knowledge to share with your family and friends.

- A Mind at Peace: Reclaiming an Ordered Soul in the Age of Distraction by Christopher Blum (B1731, 3 volumes): Provides the time-tested antidote that enables you to regain an ordered and peaceful mind in a technologically advanced world. Drawing on the wisdom of the world’s greatest thinkers, including Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas, these pages help you identify and show you how to cultivate the qualities of character you need to survive in our media-saturated environment.

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Just Love Radio Show!

In mid-May, Executive Director Malachy Fallon and longtime braille patron Bob White stopped by the Just Love Radio Show at Sirius XM studios in midtown Manhattan. Hosted by Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York, Just Love is a popular program on The Catholic Channel, XM 129. Malachy and Bob chatted with Monsignor Sullivan about Xavier Society for the Blind, our mission and the materials we provide to patrons worldwide.
Please click here to listen to the broadcast (it starts around the 3 minute mark)! If you are in the Archdiocese of New York, you may recognize Bob - since 1987 he has presented the Mass on Sundays on WFUV Fordham Radio. Like many patrons who lector, Bob uses our Propers of the Sunday Mass in braille as well as the Holy Week Triduum. Here’s a little more about him:

A longtime patron of Xavier Society for the Blind, Bob is a retired teacher who has spent most of his life living in the Bronx. After earning a BA in history and Psychology from the University of Rochester, he received a Master of Arts in teaching from Fordham University and taught Social Studies at South Bronx High School for nearly 20 years. After being certified by Hunter College in 1995, Bob taught the visually impaired as part of Educational Vision Services, a citywide Special Education program, until 2011.

Thank you to Monsignor Sullivan, Tom Dobbins, and all at JustLove Radio for inviting Malachy and Bob on the show and helping to spread awareness of Xavier Society for the Blind’s mission!

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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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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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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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