Through The Distinguished Catholic Leadership Award, FADICA pays tribute to an individual who has demonstrated imaginative leadership, outstanding initiative and a spirit of service in contributing to the renewal and vitality of the Catholic Church.

Sister Teresa Maya, CCVI (2019) In recognition of her leadership role in religious life, her committed representation of all sisters-- including Latina and next generation sisters, and her example of servant leadership.

Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ (2019) For her steadfast commitment to migrants and refugees through the respite center, her vital leadership in the Rio Grande Valley and her bridge-building approach, and her courageous advocacy to relieve the humanitarian crisis at the Mexico/US border.

Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, OFM (2015).  In recognition of outstanding contributions to the vitality of the Catholic Church.

Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, CSB (2010). For exemplary leadership, his love for the people of God and his vision in shepherding with great wisdom and superb stewardship a home mission diocese and courageous advocacy for human dignity and the empowerment of the poor.

Cardinal John P. Foley (2009). For outstanding service to the worldwide Catholic community; for a generous and inspiring vision of the communications apostolate.

John P. Foley, S.J. (2008). For his vision and remarkable work in starting Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, and for his leadership in providing Catholic educational opportunities for urban young people.

Bishop Tod D. Brown (2006). For the extraordinary courage and compassion he has shown as the shepherd of the Diocese of Orange, California.

Edmund Cardinal Szoka (2000). For his collaboration with the laity in improving the administration and finances of the Holy See.

Msgr. Philip J. Murnion (1999). For his contribution to the improved quality of Catholic parish life.

Renato Poblete, SJ (1998). For heroic service and devotion to the poor of Chile.

Katarina Schuth, OSF (1995). For excellence in research on Catholic seminaries and for establishing the first training institute for vocations personnel.

Margaret Steinfels (1994). For outstanding writing and commentary on Catholic life.

William J. Bryon, SJ (1992). For the advancement of Catholic social teaching in Catholic higher education.

Walter J. Burghardt, SJ (1991). For his excellence in preaching and contributions to the social ministry of the church.

Sr. Joan Bland, SND (1988). For the enablement of lay leadership through theological education.