Margaret A. Paluch’s two great personal commitments - to her family and to her church - have shaped her life and guided her business. Mother of 9 and grandmother to 17, Margaret, better known as “Mickey,” is Chairman of the Board of the J.S. Paluch Company, publisher of parish liturgical, communications, and vocation resources. She worked with her husband, Chester, head of the company originally established by his father, John S. Paluch. Following Chester’s death in 1980, Mickey assumed leadership of the company.
Mickey has served the Catholic Church throughout her life at the parish, archdiocesan, and national level. She was honored to be Co-chair of the 1994 Chicago Archdiocesan Sesquicentennial Liturgy Committee.
The area of church vocations holds a special place in Mickey’s heart and is a primary focus of her personal commitment. She established the J.S. Paluch National Vocations Awareness Division in April 1985, thus committing substantial resources of the company to support vocation ministry, locally and nationally. The Paluch Company supports vocation ministry through its worship resources, bulletins, calendars, financial contributions and personnel commitment to vocation projects and programs, and the annual J.S. Paluch Vocations Seminar.
The Paluch seminar brings together leaders from the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors (NCDVD), the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), the National Coalition for Church Vocations (NCCV), as well as representatives from the Bishops’ Committee on Vocations, the USA Council of Serra International, and, recently, committee members from the Third Continental Congress on Vocations to the Ordained Ministry and Consecrated Life. J.S. Paluch is a partner in, and Executive Board member of, NCCV, a national organization that produces and promotes vocation awareness materials.
The Paluch Family Foundation, established by Mickey in 1995, funds liturgy, stewardship, and vocations projects. Award recipients are chosen for their witness to the gospel and service to the Church and their community.
In 1991 St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois, established The Chester and Margaret Paluch Chair of Theology, endowed by a grant from Mickey. She serves on the Development Board for St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, is a Steward of the Seminary, and a recipient of the Rerum Novarum Award from St. Joseph’s College Seminary in Chicago. Mickey has been a member of FATICA, an organization that supports vocation ministry. She often contributed her time and resources to fund-raising for the archdiocese and for religious orders, and has personally given financial assistance for seminary study costs.
In recognition of her devotion to vocation ministry, the NRVC presented its John Paul II Award to Mickey in 1987. In 1989 the NCDVD bestowed its Stewardship Award on Mickey and, in 1995, established the Margaret A. Paluch Award in her honor. This award is given to individuals who make outstanding contributions to vocation ministry.
On April 27, 1998, the Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago, the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry in the U.S., dedicated Margaret Paluch Hall in honor of Mickey’s lifelong devotion to the Church. Mickey also supports the annual CTU Trustees Dinner and the Augustus Tolton Scholarship Fund.
The USA and Canada Councils of Serra International named Mickey the first recipient of their Outstanding Catholic Lay Person of the Year Award in 2000.
On February 5, 2005, Mickey received a Coordinating Board Award from the Association of Chicago Priests. This award was presented at Holy Family Church, an historic Chicago church which Mickey helped to preserve and renovate when she served on the Committee for the Preservation of Holy Family Church.
Mickey treasures the personal friendship she enjoyed with the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. She 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 has also served as a board member of the Bernardin Pastoral Center at CTU.
Mickey has also been a member of the Advisory Board of the Dominican Office for Development and the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre. Mickey also received two Golden Heart Awards from the Passionist Fathers, a 1986 Woman of Achievement Award from Women in Management, Inc., and was honored as one of the Women of the Year by Vicariate II of the Archdiocesan Council of the Apostolate of Women in 2005.
In 2007 Mickey received the Pope John Paul II Seminary Leadership Award from the National Education Catholic Education Association (NCEA) Seminary Department in recognition of her distinguished service to the Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States and Canada.
Mickey’s dedication and vision inspire the many ways the J.S. Paluch Company serves the Church. Her leadership and example have earned the respect, admiration, and love of Paluch employees, as well as bishops, priests, deacons, religious, lay ministers, and parishioners across the country.