"Dean of Catholic Book Publishing" Michael Leach Retires

Once described as “the dean of Catholic book publishing” by U.S. Catholic magazine, Michael Leach has been a recognized leader in Catholic publishing for over 40 years. The more than 3,000 books he has edited and published include a remarkable array of authors, from Nobel Prize laureates and National Book Award winners, to literally hundreds of Catholic Press Association Book Award winners. Prior to joining Orbis Books as executive director and publisher in 1997 Mike was president of The Crossroad / Continuum Publishing Group in New York City, and served as president of both the Catholic Book Publishers Association (now the Association of Catholic Publishers) and the ecumenical Religion Publishers Group. In 2007, the Catholic Book Publishers Association honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

As current Orbis Books Publisher Robert Ellsberg writes, “It is impossible to summarize or tabulate the contribution that Mike has made—not just to Orbis, but to the world of Catholic and general publishing  . . . .  For over two decades we at Orbis have treasured Mike’s encouragement, his wisdom, and his friendship.”

In addition to shepherding hundreds of authors, Mike has written or edited a number of books of his own, including the bestsellers Why Stay Catholic? Unexpected Answers to a Life-Changing Question (Loyola Press) and, with Therese J. Borchard,  I Like Being Catholic as well as I Like Being Married (both Doubleday/Image).  For Orbis he has edited Joyce Rupp: Essential Writings in the Modern Spiritual Masters Series, as well as The Way of Gratitude: Readings for A Joyful Life, All Shall Be Well, Goodness and Light,  A Maryknoll Book of Prayer, A Maryknoll Book of Inspiration, and A Maryknoll Book of Poetry. His most recent book is Positively Catholic (Loyola Press). He is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and edits the popular Soul Seeing column which has won the first place award as Best Regular Spirituality Column for five years in a row from the Catholic Press Association.

Reflecting on this milestone, Mike says “I am retiring from my beloved Orbis Books but not from writing and publishing. I love my Soul Seeing column and would love to write another book or two. The ideas keep on coming.”

Mike lives in Connecticut with Vickie, his wife of 48 years. They have two grown sons and two adorable grandchildren.