By: Samantha Dameron, Features Editor
By now most students have noticed the office in the basement of Theresa with the sign outside the door that says “The Baseball Nun.” Surely you have wondered, “Who is that and what is a baseball nun?” Perhaps she is very strict? “Maybe you get three strikes with her and you’re out!” Freshman Abby Jacobson supposes. Other students guess that perhaps she plays baseball. If you take just a few steps into her office, however, and the answer becomes clear—Sister Paulette Doyas is an avid baseball fan.
A Baltimore native, Sister Paulette has made her office a shrine to the Orioles. On the wall she has hung a few baseball-related newspaper articles, including the headline announcing Cal Ripken’s retirement. Her cabinets are covered with bobble heads and figurines. She has baseballs signed by Cal Ripken, Jim Palmer, and Brooks Robinson. Many of the mementos that fill almost every surface of the room were given to her as gifts. A few of the faculty members at Notre Dame gave her a signed baseball bat Jeff Conine used during spring training. She was also given an adorable figurine of a nun wearing a habit and a baseball mitt. Even the sign outside her office was a gift given to her by Susie Breaux. She used to have a photo of Mike Mussina, but she had to take it down when he signed with the Yankees in 2001. Sister Paulette’s feelings about this are clearly expressed by the Yankees cap hanging on the wall that is being stepped on by the Orioles mascot.
Sister Paulette is more than an adoring baseball fan; she is regarded as a huge addition to the Admissions team. Meridith Fell and Stephanie Cavill were more than happy to take a moment to dish on working with Sister Paulette, whom they affectionately call “Sister P.”
“It’s good because she keeps us on our game, and it’s helpful when you’re always doing a million things—she’s the only constant,” says Meredith. “Sister Paulette is an unquestionably hard-worker.”
“She even prays for blizzards so she can get more work done,” notes Stephanie. (Now we know who to blame for Snowmageddon 2010!) They consider her to be the backbone of Admissions. Meridith explains, “She knows everything. When in doubt, go to Sister P!”
She may be tough, but Sister Paulette is also known to be kind. Our campus sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, sent their fall pledges on a scavenger hunt, which involved “taking a photo with the baseball nun.” Chelsea Dickerson, a junior and OPA pledge, says she enjoyed her funny encounter with Sister Paulette. “She was friendly and really approachable,” Chelsea recalls.
Amy Mudd Ciarlo, a Notre Dame alumna who worked with Sister Paulette for twelve years, remembers her as efficient and always caring in all her dealings with the students and the school. “She’s very loyal, and not just in regard to baseball. She’s a loyal friend, even on a casual basis,” Amy comments, “She has a very sweet side.”
Sister Doyas first came to Notre Dame 35 years ago, and since then her love of baseball has become well known. Ciarlo thinks “avid fan” may be an understatement and describes Sister Paulette as “more than just a fan of baseball; she is a student of the game. She doesn’t just like baseball; she is passionate about it, especially the Orioles.”
“I went the games any chance I got, and now I listen or watch whenever I can,” says Sister Paulette. She used to take about 250 students to attend the games. She even got the opportunity to sing the national anthem, but she believes her nerves got the best of her during the performance.
“It says a lot about a woman to be a fan of a team that hasn’t been good since 1983,” jokes Stephanie Cavill. “She’s got a lot of chutzpah.”