Sister Jean

Jean Dolores Schmidt[1] BVM (born August 21, 1919), popularly known as Sister Jean, is a chaplain for the Loyola Ramblers men's basketball team of Loyola University Chicago and a religious sister of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.[2][3][4]

Personal details
Born (1919-08-21) August 21, 1919 (age 100)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
ResidenceChicago, Illinois

Early lifeEdit

Sister Jean was born on August 21, 1919 in San Francisco, California, and raised in the Eureka Valley neighborhood.[5][6][7][8] She first considered becoming a nun while she was in third grade.[9] As a student at St. Paul's High School, she played on the girls basketball team. After graduating from high school in 1937, she entered the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary convent in Iowa. In 1941, by then a sister, she returned to teach in California.[6] Sister Jean completed her B.A. at Mount St. Mary's College (now Mount St. Mary's University in Los Angeles in 1949 and M.A. at Loyola University of Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount University) in 1961.[5]


Sister Jean moved from California to teach at Mundelein College in Chicago in 1961.[10] During the mid-1960s, she was active in the civil rights movement.[11] She was hired by Loyola in 1991 when Mundelein was merged into Loyola.[9] She has worked as the team chaplain for the Ramblers men's basketball team since 1994.[12] In 2016, she was presented with an honorary doctorate from Loyola.[13] Providing a mix of spiritual and scouting support, Schmidt inspired her own bobblehead doll in 2011 and was honored with a "Sister Jean Day" on December 1, 2012.[9]

Sister Jean gained overnight publicity beyond the Loyola community after the Ramblers' upset of Miami in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Her fame continued to grow after the team upset Tennessee in the round of 32, sending Loyola to their first Sweet 16 appearance in 33 years.[14][15] The then-98-year-old nun quickly became a star in the tournament;[14] her bobblehead sold for more than $300 on eBay.[16] Loyola ultimately advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 1963,[17] but they were defeated by Michigan in the semifinal game. Sister Jean maintains an office in the student center on campus and lives in a freshman dorm, offering advice to those who visit her.[6]


  1. ^ "'The Ad Hoc Committee...' 1970". Loyola University Chicago Digital Special Collections. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "Sister Jean". Loyola University Chicago. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Macur, Juliet (March 22, 2018). "Sisters of Sister Jean Embrace Her Loyola Team and Marvel at Her Fame". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  4. ^ Arnold, Jeff (March 22, 2018). "A Day in the Life of Sister Jean, Media Darling". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Jean Dolores Schmidt, B.V.M. 1960–2006, n.d." (PDF). Loyola University Chicago. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Ryan, Shannon (February 18, 2018). "'Sister Jean' offers comfort, prayer — and a competitive edge — for Loyola basketball". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  7. ^ Cohen, Jodi S. (March 5, 2013). "Loyola men's basketball chaplain, a 93-year-old nun, is full of team spirit". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 5, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  8. ^ Ostler, Scott (March 30, 2018). "Sister Jean's spirit: Made in San Francisco". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Breen, Justin (December 12, 2012). "Schmidt A One-Of-A-Kind Sister Act at Loyola". DNAinfo Chicago. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  10. ^ Whitehair, Julie (October 26, 2016). "Sister Jean Sets the Record Straight on Mundelein Haunting". Loyola Phoenix. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  11. ^ Crosby, Denise (March 20, 2018). "Loyola's Sister Jean is the face of an endangered profession of religious women". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Lang, Cady (March 16, 2018). "Why This 98-Year-Old Nun Is Already a March Madness MVP". Time. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  13. ^ "Chicago nun, 96, receives honorary doctorate". WLS-TV. May 14, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Dixon, Schuyler (March 17, 2018). "Prayer answered again: Loyola tops Tennessee on late jumper". Associated Press. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Dixon, Schuyler (March 16, 2018). "Loyola-Chicago lifted by 98-year-old nun, fan in Sister Jean". Associated Press. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  16. ^ Rovell, Darren (March 26, 2018). "Sister Jean 'gave her blessing' for Loyola to license her name, image". ESPN. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  17. ^ Wolken, Dan (March 24, 2018). "Loyola Chicago, team of 'winners' bound for Final Four, turns NCAA tournament fans into believers". USA Today. Retrieved March 27, 2018.

External linksEdit