A Bit of History
The J.S. Paluch Company began in 1913 as Merchants Press on Ashland Avenue on Chicago’s north side. Founder John S. Paluch initially printed church forms, baptismal and marriage certificates, parish newsletters, and assorted fund-raising materials for local Catholic parishes. As the business progressed, he soon added devotional items and increased the company’s religious selections. His repertoire continued expanding, but John didn't know just how far his little company would grow!
Following the Great Depression, John's children worked at Merchants Press, keeping the company thriving. The company name was changed from Merchants Press to J.S. Paluch Co., Inc. in honor of its founder, John Stanislaus. After John's passing in 1955, JSP continued to grow and moved to larger facilities on Winnemac Avenue. As business reached outside the Chicago area, Chester began to open regional offices beginning with East Brunswick, New Jersey. Currently J.S. Paluch Co., Inc. has printing plants in Franklin Park, Illinois, Santa Fe Springs, California, and Coral Springs, Florida, with regional offices across the country and Puerto Rico. Since 2004, the home office has been located in Franklin Park, Illinois.
After Chester’s death in 1980, his wife Margaret A. Paluch assumed a more active role in the company. Under her direction, publications expanded significantly. Margaret held a deep commitment to creating awareness of and developing financial support for vocations. She establish the National Vocations Awareness Division (NVAD) in 1985. In 1988 NVAD fully funded the J.S. Paluch Co., Inc., Vocations Seminar inviting leaders from national Catholic organizations devoted to vocations which continues today. The Paluch Family Foundation was established in 1995 to support local seminaries as well as small, local organizations focused in the areas of vocations, stewardship, and liturgy.
In 1994, Margaret was joined by her daughter Mary Lou Rafferty who became the third-generation owner of J.S. Paluch along with her husband William J. Rafferty, our company President. Under their leadership, JSP continues to meet the Catholic community’s changing pastoral needs in an ever-changing economy. The Raffertys have worked hard to stay current with the Church’s needs and to provide the newest technology such as online tools and support for customers.
J.S. Paluch remains a family-owned business. In more than one hundred years of service to the Church, our company has grown from a devotional booklet printer into a major Catholic publisher of bulletins, calendars, liturgical and inspirational music and art, pastoral support products, and worship resources. Our continued service to the Church is more than what we do—it is who we are.