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Sister Jean celebrates 100th birthday, shares her secrets to living a long life

Sister Jean, who became a national treasure last year during the 2018 Final Four for her unparalleled fandom of Loyola-Chicago, is celebrating her 100th birthday. 

To celebrate her hitting the century mark, Lego gifted Sister Jean a statue of herself, complete with her staple scarf.

“We studied Sister Jean meticulously in order to create this look-a-like, complete with Loyola colors, striped scarf and glasses,” Greg Nuse, a master model builder at Legoland Discovery Center, said.

She now not only has a best-selling bobblehead of herself, but a 10,000 brick statue to commemorate her years of support for her favorite team. It will be on display at the Legoland Discovery Center Chicago until the end of October

In her 100 years, Sister Jean has seen a lot, and has wisdom for everyone else trying to hit the century mark like her. When asked what she has done to live this long she said, “I eat well, I sleep well, and hopefully, I pray well.”

“You have to learn to take care of yourself,” Sister Jean added. “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.”

She also realizes the importance of keeping your mind working and having a reason to get up every day, and that is clear to the people in her community that know her.

“You always hear when people retire they go down here, their mind goes. Well, she’s 100, but not close to retiring from having a purpose. She has a purpose every day in this community,” Loyola men’s basketball coach Porter Moser said. 

Sister Jean has a reputation of not only being a fan of the team, but scouting for them as well.

“I scout the opponents, and then just tell them who to watch out for,” she said back in 2018 during Loyola’s March Madness run.

The sudden fame Sister Jean received as a result of the 2018 NCAA Tournament was not expected, and she is still coming to terms with how to take all the attention. However, she knows if she is making others happy that’s all that matters.

“Well it’s sort of overwhelming to me, of course,” she said, “but I have to say to myself ‘go with the flow.’ If I’m making people happy, that’s important to me too. It’s as important to me as being happy myself.”

Loyola is honoring Sister Jean currently with an exhibit at the school’s Museum of Art. “A Century of Sister Jean” is a shrine of sorts to her, and it features photos from her childhood, cardboard cut-outs and more.