Patron Stories: Mary
Meet our braille patron Mary Haupt. Like many of the people we serve, she uses our braille materials to understand, develop and practice her Faith. But Mary goes even further - she goes to local Catholic schools and talks about braille and blindness with sighted students. Here is a little more about her:
I was born in 1961 and have lived in Louisiana all of my life. I have been blind since birth. From kindergarten through twelfth grade I attended the Louisiana School for the Blind. I received an excellent education there and have many happy memories of that time. My college alma mater is the home of the “fighting Tigers,” Louisiana State University, where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1982.
Employment for me mostly consisted of clerical jobs, but I have not worked in many years. These days I keep busy speaking about braille and blindness to sighted elementary school students, library patrons, and civic groups. I feel that it is very important to educate the sighted world about blind people’s abilities and the techniques they use to accomplish various tasks. In my spare time I also enjoy helping blind friends find solutions to their blindness-related problems.
I had never heard of Xavier Society for the Blind until the early 1980s, when I unexpectedly received the Mass Propers in the mail. In those days there was a separate booklet for each Sunday’s readings. It is wonderful to be able to follow along with the readings at Mass! For the last twenty years I have been a lector at St. Lucy and holiday Masses held at my Church, Our Lady of Mercy.
Since 2000 I have received many other valuable services from XSB, most of which have been provided by Terrence McCafferty, their highly efficient braille transcriber. He has brailled several books for me as well as Bible courses offered by my parish. Often a teacher at a Catholic school asks me to read their students information on a topic such as thankfulness or the Mass. I contact Terrence, and he always has material on hand that I can use. In this way I have obtained the Arch Books collection, children’s Bibles, and Rosary guides. I also have books about Saints Lucy, Maria Goretti, Cecilia, and others.
God bless the hardworking people at Xavier Society for the Blind! This nonprofit organization is very deserving of your support!