Sister Jean’s Memoir Set To Hit Shelves At End of Month

Sister Jean previously announced her new memoir “Wake Up With Purpose!”, which will go on sale Feb. 28.

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, previously announced her upcoming memoir entitled “Wake Up With Purpose!: What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years,” which will go on sale Feb. 28 and is currently available for preorder.

The memoir details Schmidt’s life story from her childhood in San Francisco to her sudden March Madness stardom at Loyola’s 2018 Final Four appearance.

“It’s an easy book to read,” Schmidt said to The Phoenix in December. “There’s no big, deep thoughts in there. It’s just ordinary life.”

Schmidt said the February release date was planned so the book would be released before the 2023 NCAA March Madness tournament. She said the idea for the memoir’s title came from co-writer Seth Davis but was inspired by her.

“Actually, Seth came up with that title when he was talking with Porter Moser who was our previous coach,” Schmidt said in December. “He talked to him one day, called him and asked about me, and Porter said, ‘Well, she gets stuff done, and she always has a purpose.’ The word purpose kind of circled around in his brain, and he came up with this, which I think is a really neat title.”

Schmidt collaboratively wrote “Wake Up With Purpose!” with Davis, a studio analyst for CBS and senior writer for The Athletic, who focuses his work on college basketball, according to Harper Select. Davis also has previous experience writing eight other books including several New York Times bestsellers, according to Harper Select.

“She is an extraordinary, beautiful person and she’s taught me so much and inspired me so much, and we’re really good friends,” Davis said. “So I hope people when they read this book feel like I did when I talked to her because she’s truly a gift from heaven.”

The two wrote “Wake Up With Purpose” conversationally, with Schmidt telling stories while Davis interviewed her to fill in any missing information or push for more details, according to Schmidt. She also said she was particularly impressed by Davis’ interviewing skills.

“He knew the right questions to ask all the time,” Schmidt said. “That’s what I think is very important in [journalism], is you ask the right questions, not to push.”

Schmidt compared Davis’ interviewing skills to those of ABC News anchor George Stephanapolous.

“That is the ultimate compliment from her because she is a big George Stephanopoulos fan actually and I know she spent some time with Good Morning America,” Davis said.

One of the stories in “Wake Up With Purpose” concerns Jerry, the pet monkey Schmidt had while growing up in San Francisco.

“We had a friend who worked on a cargo boat going to South America, and he stopped by our homes the night before he was going to Brazil,” Schmidt said. “And he said, ‘What would you kids like me to bring you back from South America?’ And my brothers and I said, ‘a monkey.’ And that’s all we knew.”

Davis was impressed by how thoroughly Schmidt remembered similar such childhood memories.

“She had very vivid recollections of the day she and her mom walked across the Golden Gate Bridge on the day that it opened,” Davis said. “The fact that she remembered that and you know her journey as a teacher, I mean, that’s really what it comes down to who she is.”

After reading the advance copy, Schmidt is optimistic about the quality of her memoir.

“I hope people learn from it,” Schmidt said. “I learned a lot just reviewing my life and thinking about all these things to talk about, and I hope you like it.”

“The book is called “Wake up with Purpose,” and so I think all of us should find something in our lives that doesn’t just get us through the day but makes us excited about the day,” Davis said. “And I’m incredibly blessed that, like Sister Jean, I just love what I do. I was just on TV talking about college basketball, I mean who does that? And so to have that sense of purpose every day, What’s your why?”

“Wake Up With Purpose!” is available for preorder from Harper Select, and also available to purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and more.

Featured Image by Hunter Minné

Hunter Minné

Hunter Minné