Click here to revisit our 2023 St. Lucy Mass in honor of the patron saint of the blind.

Patron Stories: Brother Ricky

Brother Ricky in his order's garb smiling at the camera

My name is Brother Ricky Joe Cook, and I am a first year Novice in the Episcopal order of the Community of the Mother of Jesus Located in Chicago. I have been totally blind since birth due to Congenital Glaucoma.

Since becoming a client, I have received braille and audio materials from Xavier Society for the Blind. About two years ago I was looking for books on the Rosary in braille and found Xavier Society’s website. After signing up as a client, I received several wonderful pamphlets that greatly helped in my praying of the Rosary and deepen my devotion to the Blessed Lady.

Xavier Society has helped me in many ways, in particular with my church Bible study. Even though I am an Episcopalian I really enjoy receiving the Propers of the Sunday Mass. My Parish, St. James, has a Bible study group and we are using the New Collegeville Commentary for the Books of James, First Peter, Second Peter and Jude. Xavier Society transcribed the commentaries for each of the books and also transcribed the scripture portion as well. I am able to follow along as we go around the table and take turns reading, and I have even read to the group from my braille text.

I also enjoy receiving Xavier Society’s braille magazine The Catholic Review, which is a compilation of articles from several religious publications.

Xavier Society has also put me in touch with Father Jamie Dennis so that I could talk with him about becoming a server and lector at my parish here in Oregon. Like me, he is a braille client of Xavier Society for the Blind and he has a guide dog. Father Jamie assisted me in answering my questions and concerns about entering religious life and he helped me in talking to my Order about my habit, which I received in November.

I am very grateful to God for the work Xavier Society for the Blind does for the blind and I pray to Mary that she will continue the wonderful work they do.