Living life in the Nun Study

Uploaded by UofMAHC on 12.01.2010

Narrator- The school sisters of Notre Dame – Mankato is one of five SSND provincial
homes across the United States and the original home base of the Nun study. Most of the sisters
who live at the province, called Good Council, return after a life of mission work. But their
mission is not over, the fact is the sisters never really retire.
Sister Catherine Bertrand-Obviously the school sisters of Notre Dame have a long history
of being educators. So their desire was to be able to educate in death as well as in
Narrator- It is not exactly the setting you would have in mind for a ground breaking research
Sister Celine Koktan-Well personally I feel rather privileged in a way, maybe honored
to a certain degree that I am able to participate in this study.
Sister Catherine Bertrand-One of our 96-year-olds said recently, you know I just wish they would
ask me different questions every year. So I think it give you a clue about what type
of shape her brain is in.
Narrator-Even by the time the sisters retire many are in extraordinary good shape. They
volunteer, teach and participate in art activities; in short they keep themselves busy. It reinforces
the Nun studies original finding: lifestyle plays a role in healthy cognitive functioning.
Sister Catherine Bertrand-It is endless what can happen and we feel like we are just making
on little tiny contribution in that and yet it could be a significant contribution.
Sister Celine Koktran-I only say that if they are really doing something with the brain,
I am going to go to heaven brainless.