Joining the Board of Advisors at Mundelein Seminary has become a family affair for Mary Lou Paluch Rafferty. Her mother, the late Margaret “Mickey” Paluch, was a former board member with a big heart, an infectious smile, and a passion and generosity for vocations to the priesthood.
Mary Lou rememebers at an early age that her mom took the kids to the ordination Mass. She wanted them to see that the culmination of their work. “It touches your heart. Vocations were so front-and-center for her. It was just a part of the way she was brought up.”
“Mom was very faithful; very dedicated to the Catholic Church. And she loved priests.”
Mickey started her involvement with the seminary system as a volunteer with Niles Seminary, the former college seminary. It was close to their family home and she loved spending time with priests. She helped with fundraising and with their summer music festival.
Priests were always a part of the Paluch family home. As the owner of J.S. Paluch & Company (bulletin printing company for parishes throughout the country), priests would drop off their bulletin copy at their home and would stay for conversation and several cups of coffee. When she joined the Board of Advisors for Mundelein Seminary, she was one of the first organizers of the Golf Outing and Dinner in the fall that has since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Mundelein Seminary. She also established the Chester and Margaret Paluch Endowed Chair of Theology, ensuring that Mundelein SEminary could recruit a top-tier faculty member to spend a year teaching and giving public lectures.