In 1997, CNN did a special segment on the Nun Study. School Sisters of Notre Dame had appeared with Dr. Snowdon on numerous television programs, including McNeil Lehrer, Donahue, and others. But this CNN segment offered an unusual insight. The director chose the context of Eucharist as a way to explain the commitment to annual assessment and the gift of brain donation that the sisters have given.
Annually, each participant in the Nun Study engages in an individual two-hour mental and physical function assessment conducted by other School Sisters of Notre Dame. These have been going on for 16 years. This takes humility and dedication to record one's diminishment year after year, but the participants' commitment to these assessments have provided vital data to the Nun Study research.
The spirituality of the School Sisters of Notre Dame is centered on Christ, who gave his life that others might live. In Eucharist, Jesus says, “This is my body given for you…” By participating in annual assessments as well as donating their brains to this research, these participants in the Nun Study can also say: “This is my body given for you.” Facilitator Directions.are available.