As teams of people bustle behind the scenes preparing celebrations to honor Sister Lauren Weinandt, Mayo Clinic’s longest-serving staff member, you will likely find her in her office answering questions or writing cards.
Weinandt came to Mayo Clinic in 1956 as a secretary to the hospital administrator at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Today, she is the archivist at Mayo Clinic Hospital ― Rochester.
And those celebratory preparations? Well, Weinandt will celebrate her 100th birthday on Monday, Aug 2.
Spend a few minutes with Weinandt and your spirit will lift. She shares laughter and a smile without effort. Her joy and gratitude come from those around her. And she prays daily for everyone. Her faith and her calling have been her life’s desire.
Join Kevin Sullivan, video journalist for the Mayo Clinic News Network, as he introduces you to this extraordinary woman who continues to lead a purpose-filled life.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video natural sound pkg (3:40) is available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy: “Mayo Clinic News Network.” Read the script.
“My name is Sister Lauren Weinandt. I’ve been here 36,490 days.” Note that 100 years equals 365,000 days.
“I have a lot to pray for and a lot of gratitude.”
“I like to write poetry. I wrote one about Sister Generose, and I said ‘Sister Generose, when you go to bed at night, do you ever hear the baby cucumbers cry because their mom and dad got pickled?’ We were good friends. We enjoyed a lot of things together.”
“When I was working here at Saint Marys, people came from all other the world. I was a ham in amateur radio and talked to people all over the world. I talked to missionaries and thru rummage sales was able to help them with funds or supplies.”
“We made over a million dollars just on rummage sales and bazaars for the Poverello fund. We are helping the poor and that’s what I wanted to do is help people. That’s why I wanted to be a missionary. In honor of my birthday, I’ve received two big donations for the Poverello fund.”
“We go at four o’clock every day in our chapel. We say the rosary for the patients that have COVID-19 and thank the doctors and nurses and other personnel.”
“I wanted to go out to the world and help everybody that I could. But instead, the people came to me.”
Read more about Sister Lauren on In the Loop.
For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.