Thursday, September 12, 2013

The J.S. Paluch Company: Celebrating 100 Years of Service to the Church

Thursday morning greetings from the Midwest, where the heat and humidity has finally abated. Sunny and dry today, which happens to be the day of our company-wide picnics at our facilities throughout the United States.

Here's a photo of a fellow Senior Manager, Dan Shrader, and me at the barbecue. Dan and I are the "sausage guys."

It is a special day for all of us here at the J.S. Paluch Company and World Library Publications.

Today is one of our celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the J.S. Paluch Company.

The company was founded as Merchants Press, located on Chicago's north side, in 1913 by John S. Paluch, the grandfather of our current owner, Mary Lou Paluch Rafferty. In 1936, John Paluch's company was printing religious materials for local Catholic parishes, including baptismal and marriage certificates, as well as devotional pamphlets.

In 1952, the company's work had expanded to the production of parish bulletins, supported by the advertising placed within those bulletins. In 1954, vocations booklets were added to the comapny's published works. Mary Lou's Dad, Chester Paluch, assumed the leadership of the company in 1955, upon the death of his father, John. In 1956, Mass booklets containing the Latin responses were printed by our company.

In 1965, following the Second Vatican Council, the company first published the Monthly Missalette, to help Catholics engage in meaningful and active dialogue in English at Mass. Our company history states the following regarding what occurred in 1967: "With the new liturgical guidelines of Vatican II, J.S. Paluch holds a country-wide search for a new sung Mass that will provide quality and ease of singing for the Monthly Missalette. The mass chosen was David Kraehenbuehl's Mass of the People of God/Missa Plebs Dei."

In 1969, Paluch publishes the new monthly Celebrate, which later expands into the We Celebrate worship resource. And then, in 1971, in an effort to expand the company's music repertoire, Chester Paluch purchases World Library of Sacred Music, which was located in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is when the division which I am privileged to oversee, World Library Publications, the music and liturgy division of J.S. Paluch, was born.

Several new publications followed in the 1970's: AIM magazine, Misalito Parroquial, the Spanish inserts to the missalettes, the We Celebrate missal and hymnal program.

Chester Paluch died on September 14, 1980 and at that time Margaret Paluch assumed leadership of the company. In 1983, Paluch published the first Catholic Family Calendar and in 1985, the Monthly Missalette becomes Seasonal Missalette, published four times per year. The following year saw the publication of the first Paluch Vocation Calendar.

In 1994, Mary Lou Paluch Rafferty and her husband, Bill Rafferty, purchased the J.S. Paluch Company. In 1998, WLP's Word & Song and Celebremos/Let Us Celebrate worship resources were published, as well as the first edition of Liturgy of the Word. Margaret Paluch died in 2009, and in 2010, Mary Lou and Bill presented Pope Benedict XVI with a special edition of the Treasures of the Vatican Library calendar.

In 2011, WLP published the Roman Missal, Third Edition, which won several major awards for layout and design and music engraving.

100 years of service to the Church is celebrated in 2013. I am so grateful to have been a part of at least 14 years of this 100!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Denise Anderson said...

Congratulations and thanks Jerry - for this great tribute of ministry~ May God bless all of you as you continue to serve and support the Church~ To the next 100 years!~