SBA receives national service award

Janet Donato, at left, and Sondra Morris, at right, congratulate SBA senior Chris Schuhlein on work for the Charity and Social Service honor.
From left, the superintendent of Catholic Schools congratulates SBA senior Chris Schuhlein and Principal Sondra Morris for the honor they received from the National Shrine in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy photo

St. Benedict at Auburndale High School was one of five U.S. recipients of this year’s Charity & Social Service Honor presented by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

The school submitted a student-produced video to the Memphis Diocese, describing how they serve the greater community. The video was chosen to represent Memphis in the competition. From there, the Basilica selected the Memphis video as one of the five to be honored.

Senior Chris Schuhlein, who played an integral part in the production of the video, will represent the school and Diocese at the March 29 ceremonies in Washington at the National Shrine.

St. Benedict based the video on the school’s Benedictine charism of “pray and work.” Over the 25 years as a Diocesan School, St. Benedict has been in the forefront of student service. The list is lengthy and includes leading the  high school canned food collection for the Mid-South Food Bank each year, meeting the goals of Lifeblood drives, and marching in Washington each year at the annual March for Life (leading the March for the nation in 2001 and helping to lead this year).

The school also contributes to Birthright and Life Choices Pregnancy centers, Habitat for Humanity, Biking for Babies, Catholic Charities, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Make-a-Wish, Ave Maria Home, St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis, Special Olympics, the Mayor’s Memphis Faith in Action Clean-up project, Go-Jim-Go LeBonheur Hospital efforts, and many more. The school also rallies to help families in the school community whose lives are touched by problems such as fires.

Memphis Catholic Diocese Bishop J. Terry Steib congratulated the school’s students by video, praising them for their service and this recent accomplishment. The bishop also granted the students a day off from school on Easter Monday, April 21.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools Janet Donato thanked the students, Schuhlein particularly, for their hundreds of hours service each year and for taking the time to produce the video to bring recognition to the diocese and the school.

St. Benedict’s video may be found on the National Shrine’s website at