Sister Jean starts every interview the same way.
“I am Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our mother house is in Dubuque, Iowa. Today is April 20 and I’m being interviewed for The Phoenix. I’m 95 years old.”
Most people on campus know that, but some have been wondering where she lives.
The answer? Regis Hall.
However, Regis is just the latest of many moves for Sister Jean. She lived in Mundelein — when it was still a women’s college — for 13 years before moving to Coffey Hall in 1974. Though the building now houses offices, 205 students once lived there and Sister Jean served as their residence director.
Four years later, she moved to the Northland — which stood in the current location of the Quinlan Science Building. After Loyola University merged with Mundelein College in 1991, she moved to BVM Hall — then called Wright Hall.
After that she lived in Creighton Hall until it was torn down in 2012.
Since then, she’s been living in Regis, where her door on the seventh floor of the building is decked out in every Regis resident assistants’ door decoration from this year. She doesn’t have a favorite — they’re all so creative, she said.
Inside, Sister Jean has her own kitchen, sitting area, bedroom and bathroom. She said the small space comes alive on Tuesday nights when her prayer group meets there.
Community is important to Sister Jean, but so is the solitude her room provides.
“It’s great to live in community — but still have your private space — because I think all of us need to take time for reflection every day,” she said. “We need the quiet time. Our society is too bustling all the time so we need the quiet time, just to reflect on God’s gifts to us and on our relationships with other people.”
While she’s lived with other sisters and among students throughout the years, Sister Jean said her experience in Regis has been “life giving.”
“You’re young,” she said. “You have the latest ideas. I find that you’re very mature. I find that every class is like a new generation, instead of having a new generation every four years.”