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WAKE UP WITH PURPOSE! by Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt


What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years

by Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt with Seth Davis

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2023
ISBN: 9781400333516
Publisher: Harper Select/HarperCollins

The 103-year-old nun, famed for her courtside presence at multiple NCAA men’s basketball tournaments, serves up anecdotally driven lessons for life.

“Thank you, God, for all our blessings and the chance to serve You. But goodness gracious, can’t we make March Madness just once?” So writes Sister Jean, as she’s known, who doesn’t shy away from opining about the mixed quality of the coaches with whom she’s worked as the longtime chaplain for the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. Neither does she shy from puns or pronouncements on all sorts of matters, from the utility of the iPad for studying Scripture to the power of positive thinking and even self-praise (“As I nod off, I pat myself on the back for all the good things I’ve done that day”). As the author writes, assisted by longtime CBS college basketball guru Davis, those good things include simply waking up, purpose or no. Clearly beloved by Loyola’s students and players—who, she notes, are religiously diverse, with a large Muslim population—Sister Jean is both deeply religious and fond of poking fun at life’s foibles, not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Charles Barkley. On that note, she is solid in her courtside commentary, as when she breaks down some of the key moments in the team’s historic run to the Final Four in 2018. Throughout, she acknowledges that her constant presence next to the bench has made her an icon, though she pokes fun at herself as well, saying, “Let’s face it, people love little old ladies!” Clearly people love underdogs, too, and though Loyola Chicago went for three decades without making it to March Madness, they’ve had a good run in the last few years thanks to strong coaching and, of course, excellent players.

A pleasure for college basketball fans, especially those of religious inclination.