AMS Website Named Among Top 10 Best of the Year

www.milarch.orgrecognized as user-friendly site for Catholics in the U.S. military

ARLINGTON, Va. – The official website of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS)— www.milarch.org —was named a “Top 10 Best Website of the Year” at the 2012 conference of The Diocesan Information Systems Conference (DISC) held August 1-3 in Arlington, Virginia. The AMS Website, which first went online in January 2011 replacing an earlier version, gives visitors new and improved fingertips access to a wide range of information about the AMS and its mission serving those who serve, including how to obtain sacramental records, how to grow deeper in the Catholic Faith, how to make a donation, and how to discern a possible vocation as a Catholic U.S. military chaplain

The 2012 DISC Awards were sponsored by Fig Leaf Software, an award-winning Web and mobile design and development firm serving dioceses and archdioceses throughout North America. The contest is meant to recognize a diocese or an archdiocese that has made significant strides with and has become a model for the use of technology to serve parishes, schools and parishioners within its jurisdiction. Judgment criteria included overall professional appearance, ease of navigation, currency of information, ability to search within the site and get valid results and the site’s findability in top 5 Google and Yahoo search results. All North American archdiocesan and diocesan websites were eligible to compete.

Of the Top 10, the Website of the Archdiocese of St. Louis received the top honor, the Diocesan Achievement Award, according to an announcement by Bret Peters, Vice President of Fig Leaf Software and Host of the August 2 Award Ceremony. Mr. Peters said: “We are especially excited that the Archdiocese for the Military Services achieved such high recognition considering we are a Veteran Owned Small Business, and we hold our military service men and women in high regard.”

Dr. Mark Moitoza, AMS Vice-Chancellor and Director of Evangelization, expressed deep appreciation for the honor. Dr. Moitoza said: “The newly designed AMS Website is a powerful communications tool between the archdiocese and the Catholics who serve our Nation in uniform. The archdiocese relies on it heavily not only to spread information about what’s happening within the AMS but also to bring evangelization and catechetical formation to the troops in the field as well as their families. I am pleased our ongoing efforts to improve how we do that have won the recognition of professional Faith-based Website designers. It tells me the archdiocese is moving toward the right track when it comes to connecting with the people it serves through new media.”

The AMS was created as an independent archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in 1985 as the only Catholic jurisdiction responsible for endorsing and granting faculties for priests to serve as chaplains in the U.S. military. AMS-endorsed chaplains serve at more than 220 U.S. military installations in 29 countries, making the AMS the nation’s only global archdiocese. AMS-endorsed chaplains also serve at 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the U.S.

The AMS service population also includes American Catholic civilians working for the federal government in 134 countries, but currently, due to limited resources, the AMS cannot adequately serve this population.

Worldwide, an estimated 1.8 million Catholics depend on the AMS to meet their spiritual and sacramental needs.

For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, visit www.milarch.org, the only official Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M.