CHICAGO – On Friday, June 1, Mr. José Amaya, Director of Faith Formation for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) was honored to receive the newly-created Wineskins Award from the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL). Mr. Amaya is the first-ever recipient of the Wineskins Award in the category of “Diocesan/Multi-Diocesan.” The NCCL established the award recently to: (1) highlight and celebrate extraordinary achievement occurring in a diocese (or diocesan clusters) in the ministries of evangelization and catechesis; (2) share successful initiatives that may benefit other dioceses; (3) encourage continued creative innovation in parish catechetical and evangelization efforts; and (4) reflect the spirit of the “new evangelization” promulgated by Saint Pope John Paul II and the General/National Directories for Catechesis.
Specifically, Mr. Amaya was recognized for his collaboration with colleagues, publishers, and church leaders to foster the development of the Archdiocesan Family Faith Assessment tool. The online tool brings catechetical conversations into the home in the form of question-and-answer games that parents can play with their children on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. The questions relate to the Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Guide, which Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio first promulgated in 2013, giving transient military families an opportunity to sit down and spend a good time together learning the tenets of Catholic teaching. Dr. Mark Moitoza, AMS Vice-Chancellor for Evangelization, said that Mr. Amaya has been the AMS’s lead actor in overseeing the ongoing development of the AMS Faith Assessment tool, in both English and Spanish, in partnership with CatholicQuiz.com.
Dr. Moitoza said, “José’s creativity has equipped parents with an easy-to-use resource to engage in catechetical moments at home. The online games are a fun way to share, laugh, and learn together. Sometimes parents recognize that their children know more than they thought. Other times both parent and child are seeking answers together through links providing additional information. For families on the move this consistent online tool resources parents in their role as the primary catechist to their children. I congratulate José on the extensive effort he has committed to developing, promoting, and improving the resource all to encourage growth in faith.”
Commenting on the Wineskins Award, Archbishop Broglio added: “José is tireless in his willingness to go the extra mile and help far-flung military communities grow on their pilgrimage to eternal life. I am delighted that he is the first recipient of this new award. His example will inspire many catechetical leaders to strive for excellence.”
According to the NCCL website, beginning this year, the organization will present the Wineskins Award annually in two categories: the Parish/Cluster level, and the Diocesan/Multi-Diocesan level. The criteria for the latter require that the ministry of the diocese must exhibit: (1) a strong catechetical and/or evangelization dimension; (2) innovative qualities; (3) a history or track record of at least three years; (4) a demonstrated record of effectiveness; (5) fidelity to Scripture and Church teaching.
Mr. Amaya accepted the award during an awards luncheon at the NCCL 2018 Annual Conference in Chicago. Mr. Amaya said, “This New Wineskins Award is a recognition and a testament to Archbishop Broglio’s comprehensive vision for catechesis in this global Archdiocese in support of the military families. The AMS Family Faith Assessment is an inspiration and a gift to the Church to find ways to better support families in their faith formation journey. The Archdiocese is grateful to the benefactors whose contribution and prayers ensure the transmission of the Catholic faith in the heart of military families both digitally and in the Chapel religious education programs.”