Loyola’s Sister Jean captured hearts during March Madness. Now she’s written a book.

by | Feb 21, 2023 | Religion

CHICAGO (RNS) — Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt entered religious life at 18 to become a schoolteacher, and though Bob Hope’s kids and a future cardinal were among her students over the years, when fame came — international fame, she’d remind you — it was as chaplain to the Loyola University Ramblers during the men’s basketball team’s improbable 2018 run to the NCAA Final Four.Now 103, Chicago’s beloved Catholic sister, best known simply as “Sister Jean,” has added publishing a memoir to her list of achievements.
“Wake Up With Purpose!: What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years” not only chronicles Sister Jean’s long life — growing up in California, she remembers watching the Golden Gate Bridge being built and playing intramural basketball when the sport was “still quite young” — but also the wisdom she has accumulated along the way.

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Among the proverbs she shares, always with a sense of humor: Having a consistent, daily purpose not only keeps her alive, but also young and vibrant. Teamwork is what life is all about. And “There’s nothing like hugging a sweaty basketball player after a big win.”
The sister doesn’t shy from controversial topics either, though she writes that she realizes to many people she sounds “hopelessly old-fashioned”: She voted for Hillary Clinton, but thinks too many people argued Clinton should be president because she was a woman; she believes abortion is immoral, but thinks it should be left out of politics; as a longtime educator, she doesn’t understand why anybody would wa …

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