Happy Birthday, Sister Jean!

In 2018, when the Loyola Ramblers burst into the NCAA basketball Final Four, my school burst into the national spotlight.

But it wasn’t just Loyola University Chicago: it was also the Ramblers’ chaplain, Sister Jean. She became a fixture on TV, on the internet, and even in the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum.

Today, Sister Jean celebrates her 103rd(!) birthday. Among other things, the plaza outside of the main Loyola Campus has been renamed in her honor and, on Tuesday, she’ll throw out the first pitch at the Cubs game.

I’ve run into Sister Jean a handful of times, albeit not in recent years. While I don’t know her, she is as kind as she is charismatic. Five feet tall, she played high school basketball in the 1930s. She became a member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary shortly after high school, taught and coached in California, and began teaching at the collegiate level in the 1960s.

Today, in addition to being the chaplain of Loyola’s basketball team, she has an open door for students, five days a week during the school year and three during the summer.

There’s no explicit connection to Mormonism here, but 103 years old is a big deal, Sister Jean is a remarkable person, and I think it’s worth celebrating remarkable people. And I also think it’s worth paying attention to her secret for a long and full life:

I eat well, I sleep well, and hopefully, I pray well. You have to learn to take care of yourself. I teach young men and women to take care of yourself because if you don’t, you’re not going to be any good to take care of anyone else.

May we all eat well, sleep well, and pray well. And happy birthday, Sister Jean!

Image: Sister Jean by the National Bobble head Hall of Fame. CC BY-SA 4.0


  1. Amen!

  2. Roger Hansen says:

    Nice story. I remember seeing her at the games. The TV cameras loved her.

    One other key to longevity, genetics. My mother passed away recently; she was 102. Her mother lived to 101, her brother to 104, and her sister died prematurely at 98.

  3. What an inspiring woman! Go for 104, Sister Jean.

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