Sister Rita Clare Yoches, T.O.R. grew up in Dearborn Heights and was a “punishing” fullback for Detroit Demolition, the women’s professional football team, winning four national championships and earning the MVP title in 2005. Her athletic aspirations started at Divine Child Grade and High School where she won two High school state championships in basketball. She earned a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at the University of Detroit-Mercy where she graduated with a degree in sports medicine and went on to work with athletes at the University of Notre Dame.
Her faith was far from her mind during these years until she heard a homily of Father John Riccardo’s that inspired her to go back to confession for the first time in ten years. She started going to daily mass, reading the bible, going to confession and adoration. It was during a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi that she felt the Lord calling her to religious life. In 2009 she entered the Franciscan Sisters T.O.R.and made her final vows in 2018. Today she works with the poor in Steubenville and is currently a campus minister at Florida State University.
What was the last book you read?
“A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken
Who do you admire?
Dorothy Day, my mom and Edith Stein.
What is your favorite feast day?
St. Rita, May 22nd, the saint of the impossible.
What is your best quality?
My loud laughter.
What virtue do you most admire in others?
Temperance and vulnerability
What words do you use too much?
Detroit Baby! You know what I’m saying!
What gives you the most happiness?
Prayer and the Eucharist.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Pray a Holy Hour and morning prayer
What talent or skill do you wish you had?
Singing and musical instrument ability.
What are you most proud of?
My nieces and nephews.
What is your vision of heaven?
Me slam-dunking on Micheal Jordan, lots of loud celebration and a ton of praising and worshiping the Lord.
What was your first job?
Strength and conditioning coach at the University of Notre Dame.
What is your most cherished possession?
Letters from my family.
What is your favorite hobby or pastime?
What do you value the most in your friends?
Loyalty and honesty
Who is your favorite author?
Caryll Houselander and Elizabeth Goudge
Who is your fictional hero?
Which saint do you turn to for intercession the most?
How do you define a “Missionary Disciple”?
Prayer and action, listening to the Lord in prayer and then following what he is telling you to do in order to save souls.
What keeps you up at night?
Thinking, reading, talking to people, anything, I’m a night owl.
How do you want to be remembered when you die?
As someone who loved others well
What is your life motto or mantra?
The Christian life is not an athletic performance, it is a matter of poverty offered to God and transfigured by him.
What makes you laugh?
Myself, I’m one of those people that cracks herself up!
How do you define success?
Getting back up after you fall, or letting someone pick you up and carry you.