Longtime Loyola Rambler's basketball team chaplain Sister Jean turns 103

ByTre Ward and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, August 22, 2022
Loyola's Sister Jean celebrates 103rd birthday
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The longtime Rambler's basketball team chaplain is celebrating her 103rd birthday Sunday in Rogers Park.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Celebrations were on tap Sunday for Loyola University's beloved ambassador Sister Jean.

The longtime Rambler's basketball team chaplain celebrated her birthday in Rogers Park.

"We did well at 100, but this is surpassing 100," Sister Jean said.

On a day meant for scattered showers, the clouds parted for a woman who's been celebrated on August 21 for the past 103 years.

"I can't believe that the sun came out...perhaps, I better get better prepared to get to heaven. I'm having so much fun," she joked.

A week-long celebration kicked off Sunday when the Loyola CTA stop, just across Sheridan Road from the Campus, was renamed the "Sister Jean CTA Plaza."

"To dedicate the plaza? That's something very special," Sister Jean said. "I'll come more frequently. I know that! I know that for sure"

Speakers at Sunday's ceremony included Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Governor JB Pritzker and Loyola's University President Jo Ann Rooney.

"Sister Jean: you are a role model to us all - inspiring us to love our neighbors and build strong communities. I'm thrilled to be a part of your 103rd birthday celebration and to officially unveil the Sister Jean CTA Plaza," the governor said on Twitter.

Donned in her maroon and gold, whether on or off the sidelines, her impact, goes well beyond the court as an educator and mentor.

"You have graced the lives of generations of students," Rooney said.

She even shared her secrets to longevity.

"I eat well. I pray well -- I hope I pray well. And, I sleep well," Sister Jean revealed.

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Mayor Lightfoot also issued a proclamation Sunday declaring August 21, 2022, "Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt Day."

Mayor Lightfoot issued a proclimation Sunday declaring August 21, 2022, "Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt Day."

Sister Jean is also being honored with her own birthday bobblehead. They are currently for sale on the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame's website.

Sister Jean is also expected to throw out the first pitch at Tuesday's Cubs-Cardinals Game at Wrigley Field.