Sister M. Louisita (Welsh), CSC, was inducted May 31 into the Saint Mary’s College Athletic Hall of Fame, the first team chaplain to receive the honor. A 1958 Saint Mary’s College graduate and lifelong sports enthusiast, Sister Louisita, or Lou, entered her chaplaincy work with the college’s volleyball and basketball teams in the early 2000s. She then became a member of the Athletics Department staff and the departmental chaplain.
During the induction ceremony, Saint Mary’s Director of Athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek praised Sister Lou for her contributions to the department and college, her support and meaningful friendships with students and staff, and for her faithful and continued prayers.
“I was very happy with the honor,” Sister Lou said. She also shared that what she appreciated most about her chaplaincy work was “the impact and interactions with students,” noting her special fondness for the volleyball and basketball teams.
Sister Lou supported the Belles at nearly every home competition, and often traveled with the team. “She led our pre-game prayers with spirit and humor,” Julie said. For instance, Sister Lou would pray that the Saint Mary’s athletes would play their best, and that their opponents would not; or for a well-called game by officials, but that their heads would be turned the other direction should a Saint Mary’s athlete commit a foul.”
“Our coaches and student-athletes always left the prayer circle with light hearts,” Julie said. And in her work as departmental chaplain, Julie added, “[Sister Lou’s] presence kept us educated and grounded in the mission of the college.”
Prior to her position in the Athletic Department, Sister Lou served as a nurse and in various administrative, educational and pastoral ministry roles in health care. She also served in the college’s Office of Mission from 1998 to 2011. Currently, Sister Lou helps to arrange activities between Saint Mary’s Convent and the college’s Department of Athletics, encouraging and promoting fellowship opportunities among the sisters and Saint Mary’s student athletes.