Ace tennis "brat" now Dominican nun

1980s tennis star and former World No 2, Andrea Jaeger, also known for her on-court temper, has discovered a new spiritual life caring for children in need - and now as a Dominican nun.

People reports that twenty-five years ago, Andrea Jaeger was the brat of the women's tennis tour.

Jaeger told the US celebrity magazine that she sometimes screamed at linesmen and was standoffish to competitors in her rise to the top of the tennis ladder.

Today, however, the former tennis star spends her time with young cancer survivors she visits at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Now 41, Jaeger has become Sr Andrea, an Anglican Dominican nun. The Anglican Dominicans who include priests and nuns were founded by American Rev Jeffery Mackey as the Anglican expression of the Catholic Order of Preachers founded by St Dominic.

Sr Andrea told People that even when she was on the tour she always felt that "God had a plan" for her.

Jaeger who turned pro at the age of fourteen rose to world number two within two years.

Her career ended in 1985 with a shoulder injury requiring surgery.

With her tour winnings, she created the Little Star Foundation with friend Heidi Boukout to look after children.

Jaeger didn't hear the call to become a nun until earlier this year, when it came in a dream. "I was getting a tour of a monastery. My tour director was Catherine of Siena, who mission was to help the sick, the poor and the suffering."

"My biggest concern was the foundation," explained Jaeger, who raises the funds for programs that cost $4.3 million a year.

The first person she told was supermodel Cindy Crawford, a supporter and personal friend. "Becoming a nun is pretty radical," Crawford told People, but "she can't deny who she's supposed to be."

"When people ask if I miss tennis," says Jaeger, "my answer has always been, 'No regrets. God wanted me to do something else, and it happened to be helping children with cancer. I love what I do."

South African Catholic Dominican and international student chaplain, Fr Mike Deeb, told CathNews that he admired the fact that Andrea Jaeger "had given up everything to join (the Anglican Dominicans)".

Tennis Star Andrea Jaeger's New Life as a Nun (People, 18/11/06)
Former ace Andrea Jaeger becomes nun (Mirror, 20/11/06)
Tennis ace Jaeger becomes a nun (Contact Music, 20/11/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Andrea Jaeger Story
Andrea Jaeger (Wikipedia)
Little Star Foundation
Anglican Dominicans
Catholic Dominicans

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21 Nov 2006