Margaret A. Paluch Biography

Paluch Family Foundation Founder - June 4, 1922 - October 8, 2009

Margaret A. Paluch's two great personal commitments, her family and her church, shaped her life and guided her business. Mother of 9 and grandmother to 17, Margaret, better known as "Mickey", worked with her husband, Chester, head of the J.S. Paluch Co., Inc. J.S. Paluch, established in 1913 by Chester’s father, John S. Paluch, is a major national Catholic publisher of parish bulletins, worship aids and resources, inspirational music, and calendars. Following Chester's death in 1980, Mickey assumed leadership of the company and served as Chairman of the Board.

Church vocations held a special place in Mickey's heart and became the primary focus of her service and generosity. She established the J.S. Paluch National Vocations Awareness Division in April 1985, committing substantial resources of the company to support vocation ministry, locally and nationally. Fully funded by J.S. Paluch, Co., Inc. and The Paluch Family Foundation, NVAD has held an Annual Vocation Seminar since 1988.

Mickey established the Paluch Family Foundation in 1995 to support liturgy, stewardship, and vocations projects. The Paluch Family Foundation Annual Recognition Dinner honors award recipients chosen for their witness to the gospel and service to the Church and their community.

Mickey has served the Catholic Church throughout her life at the parish, archdiocesan, and national level:
  • Provided an endowment to St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois to establish The Chester and Margaret Paluch Chair of Theology (1991)
  • Co-chaired the 1994 Chicago Archdiocesan Sesquicentennial Liturgy Committee (1994)
  • Served for many years on the Development Board for St. Mary of the Lake Seminary
  • Promoted and funded vocation ministry projects as a member of FATICA, a Catholic philanthropic organization
  • Served on the Committee for the Preservation of Holy Family Church, an historic church on Chicago's west side
  • Supported the annual Catholic Theological Union (CTU) Trustees Dinner
  • Served on the board of the Bernardin Pastoral Center at CTU
  • Contributed to the Augustus Tolton Scholarship Fund
  • Served on the Advisory Board of the Dominican Office for Development
  • Often contributed her time and resources to fundraising for the archdiocese and religious orders
  • Personally provided financial assistance for seminary students
  • Treasured her friendship with the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, worked on numerous projects with Cardinal Bernardin, and was a major contributor in the production of the film Bernardin, which won the Gold Camera award at the 32nd Annual U.S. International Film and Video Festival

Mickey received numerous honors over her lifetime, including:
  • Woman of Achievement Award, Women in Management, Inc., (1986)
  • Steward of the Seminary, Mundelein Seminary
  • John Paul II Award, National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) (1987)
  • Member of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, nominated by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin
  • Stewardship Award, National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors (NCDVD) (1989)
  • Rerum Novarum Award, St. Joseph's College Seminary, Chicago (1994)
  • Margaret A. Paluch Award established by NCDVD (1995)
  • Golden Heart Award, Passionist Fathers
  • National Pastoral Musician Music Industry Award (1997)
  • First woman recipient of the Outstanding Catholic Lay Person of the Year Award, USA and Canada Councils of Serra International (2000)
  • Coordinating Board Award for outstanding contributions to the life of the Church of Chicago from the Association of Chicago Priests (ACP) (2005)
  • Woman of the Year, Chicago Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, Vicariate II (2005)
  • Pope John Paul II Seminary Leadership Award, National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) Seminary Department (2007)
  • Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA) Award to the J.S. Paluch Vocation Seminar for 25 years of Outstanding Support of Vocation Discernment among Young People and College Students (January 10, 2013)
  • Alumni Room, Mundelein Seminary at University of St. Mary of the Lake named “Margaret A. and Chester J. Paluch Alumni Room” (2017)