Sister Jean: A Century of Faith, Basketball, and Purpose

The Inspiring Story of a 103-Year-Old Nun and Her Siblings

Sister Jean, also known as Jean Dolores Schmidt, is a 103-year-old nun who has captured the hearts of millions with her faith, service, and passion for basketball.

She is the chaplain of the Loyola Ramblers men’s basketball team and has been a loyal supporter of the team since 1994.

sister jean

She became a national sensation in 2018, when the Ramblers made a surprising run to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament, and again in 2021 when they reached the Sweet 16.

But who is Sister Jean, and what is her story? In this article, we will explore the life of Sister Jean, and the role that her siblings played in shaping her vocation and personality.

Early Life and Family

Sister Jean was born on August 21, 1919, in San Francisco, California, as the oldest of three children.

Her parents were devout Catholics, and her father worked as a clerk for the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Her mother was a homemaker, who taught her children to be grateful and generous.

Sister Jean had a brother, George, and a sister, Mary.

They grew up in the Eureka Valley neighborhood, where they attended St. Paul’s Catholic School.

Sister Jean was a bright and cheerful student, who loved to play basketball with the girls’ team. She also enjoyed reading, writing, and singing.

Sister Jean felt a calling to religious life when she was in third grade when she was inspired by her teacher, a nun from the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM).

Her siblings supported her decision and encouraged her to follow her heart.

Sister Jean entered the BVM convent in Iowa in 1937, after graduating from high school.

She took the name Jean Dolores, after her patron saint, Joan of Arc, and her middle name.

Her brother and sister visited her often and kept in touch through letters and phone calls.

Teaching Career and Education

Sister began her teaching career in 1941 when she returned to California to teach at St. Bernard School in Glassell Park.

She then moved to St. Charles Borromeo School in North Hollywood, where she taught for 15 years.

She had a positive impact on many of her students, some of whom later entered religious life, such as Cardinal Roger Mahony, Fr. Thomas Rausch, S.J., and Sister Mary Milligan, RSHM.

Sister Jean also continued her education, earning a bachelor’s degree from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles in 1949, and a master’s degree from Loyola University of Los Angeles in 1961.

In 1961, Sister Jean moved to Chicago, where she joined the faculty of Mundelein College, a Catholic women’s college affiliated with Loyola University Chicago.

Sister Jean taught sociology, and also served as the director of the academic advising program.

She was active in the civil rights movement, and participated in marches and protests.

Sister Jean also traveled to several countries, such as Mexico, Italy, and Israel, to learn about different cultures and religions.

She loved her students, and mentored many of them throughout their lives.

Loyola University Chicago and Basketball

Sister Jean became a part of Loyola University Chicago in 1991, when Mundelein College merged with Loyola.

She worked as the assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and later as the director of the Office of Academic Services for Student Athletes.

Jeans also became the chaplain of the men’s basketball team, a role that she still holds today.

She attends every home game, and leads the team in prayer before and after each match.

jean also sends motivational emails to the players and coaches, and offers advice and encouragement.

She is a loyal fan, who cheers for the Ramblers with enthusiasm and joy.

Sister Jean gained national fame in 2018 when the Ramblers made an unexpected run to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.

She was featured in many media outlets and became a symbol of hope and inspiration for many people.

Sister jeans also received a bobblehead doll, an honorary doctorate, and a Jean day in her honor.

Jeans also met many celebrities, such as Charles Barkley, Barack Obama, and Stephen Colbert.

She repeated her success in 2021 when the Ramblers reached the Sweet 16, and she again captured the attention of the nation with her prayers and scouting reports.

Siblings and Legacy

Sister Jean has outlived both of her siblings, who passed away in the 1990s.

She remembers them fondly and credits them for their support and love.

She says that they were always close and that they shared many interests and values.

Jean also has many nieces and nephews, who visit her regularly and keep her updated on their lives.

She considers them as her extended family and prays for them every day.

Sister Jean is a remarkable woman, who has lived a long and fulfilling life.

She has dedicated herself to God, to education, and to basketball.

She has touched the lives of countless people and has spread joy and faith wherever she goes.

Sister Jean  is an icon of Loyola University Chicago and a role model for many.

She is Sister Jean, and this is her story.


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