Tag Archives: sports

Former pro football player prepares to take final vows as TOR

TORONTO, Ohio, Jun 18, 20.- Every single vocation story is different, but Sister Rita Clare (Anne) Yoches is probably one of the more unusual.

Sr Rita Clare, who this month will profess final vows with the Franciscan Sisters of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother (TOR), was a four-time national champion professional football player prior to entering the convent.

Yes, that’s American football. (She was a fullback.) Nowadays, the only football Yoches is playing is the annual two-hand touch game she organises with the 38 TOR sisters she lives with in Toronto, Ohio.

Although she was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools, Yoches said she never once considered becoming a sister. Her family attended Mass each Sunday, but that was about it in terms of her faith life. A talented athlete, Yoches earned a full basketball scholarship to the University of Detroit-Mercy, where she played for four years.

After college, she began her football career in 2003 after a successful tryout with the Detroit Demolition, a now-defunct women’s professional team. She left the team in 2006, and in March of 2007, the former self-described party girl experienced a calling to enter religious life. She ended her relationship with her boyfriend, and entered the Franciscans shortly after.

“(I) loved to stay out as late as could on Friday and Saturday nights, but always went to Mass on Sundays. But I never really listened to what God was saying,” said Yoches in a video about her conversion.

One Sunday, after a particularly moving homily, Yoches realised that she needed to drastically change her lifestyle.

“And I was like, that’s me. I’m sick and dying on the inside. So that convinced me to go to Confession for the first time in a long time.” Her priest provided her with guidance about reading scripture every day, and she began attending Eucharistic Adoration.

It was during Eucharistic Adoration that she felt truly embraced by God, and really began to get a sense of His plan for her life.

“And then I felt God the Father just wrap his arms around me and give me a hug, and just pulled me onto his chest like only a father can hug a daughter,” she said.

“And my life was forever changed. I just wanted more and more of Jesus.”

She says while her family was supportive of her decision to enter the convent, her friends were surprised, as she had largely kept her faith life private.

“People were very surprised that this was really who and what I wanted to do and be,” she told the Detroit Free Press.

Sr Rita Clare will profess final vows on June 30. – CNA, 18 June 2018

SHC parish fiesta football friendly games draw five teams

Members of the winning Sacred Heart Cathedral Soccer Team pose for the camera after the games, 8 June 2018, Penampang Stadium A.

PENAMPANG  –  The Football  Friendly Games held on 8 June 2018 at the Penampang Stadium A drew five teams: SHC, Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI), Alto Kristus (clergy/seminarians), St Paul Dontozidon (SPD), and St John Kopungit (SJK).

It was a five -team games playing in a league of 15 minutes each.  The Alto Kristus (clergy) team captained  by Archbishop John Wong put up a formidable opposition.

At the end of the games, SHC team emerged as the champion with Dontozidon and Alto Kristus as the first and second runner-ups.

A few days earlier, 32 players took part in the Badminton games at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall Karamunsing on 29 May 2018.

Reno Yu won the Single Men Open with Samuel Simon as the runner up while Robert Gilung/Felix Chung won the Men Doubles with Wong Boon Kie/Stephen as the runner-ups.

Cynthia Migiu/Elizabeth Gonki won the Women Double with Ann Soo/Fiona Danny in the second place.

In the Mix Doubles, the champs were Robert Gilung and Prsy with Alex Ryeon and ann Soo in the second place.

In the Veteran category, the champions were Oswald Pawoh/Lui with John Ho/Thien as runner-ups.

The games were organised in conjunction with the cathedral parish fiesta 4-10 June 2018.

According to the Vatican’s new document on Sport, Giving the Best of Yourself (released 1 June 2018), Pope Francis has lauded the document: “Sport is a very rich source of values and virtues that help us to become better people… We need to deepen the close connection that exists between sport and life, which can enlighten one another.”

The 52-page document highlighted the Church’s positive view of the important values inherent to sport and blew the whistle on the growing threats in the sports world, including corruption, over-commercialisation, manipulation and abuse.

Pope: Sport is a place of unity and encounter

Golden Gala athletics event in Rome (AFP or licensors)

VATICAN CITY – In a letter addressed to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life on 1 June 2018, Pope Francis reflected on how precious sport is in current culture which, he said, is “dominated by individualism and the gap between the younger generations and the elderly.”

“Sports,” the Pope said, “is a privileged area around which people meet without any distinction of race, sex, religion, or ideology”.

It’s where, he continued, “we can experience the joy of competing to reach a goal together, participating in a team, where success or defeat is shared and overcome.”

This, he said, helps us to reject the idea of conquering an objective by focusing only on ourselves.

The Pope’s letter came as the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life presented a new document entitled “To Give the Best of Oneself. On the Christian Perspective of Sport and of the Human Person.”

Pope Francis spoke of the need for a team spirit that helps each one of us give the best of ourselves.

“When a father plays with his son, when children play together in the park or at school, when an athlete celebrates the victory with his or her supporters, in all these environments we can see the value of sports as a place of unity and encounter between people. We reach great results, in sports as in life, together, as a team!” he said.

The Pope also reflected on the value of sports as a ‘formative vehicle’ for the young who look to sportsmen and are inspired by them.

He pointed out that athletes exemplify the virtues of generosity, humility, sacrifice, constancy, and cheerfulness and they contribute to the group spirit, to respect, healthy competition, and solidarity with others.

Pope Francis also emphasised the role of sports as a “means for the mission and sanctification” explaining that the Church is called to be a sign of Jesus Christ in the world, also through the sports practised in oratories, parishes, schools, and associations.

“Every occasion is good for announcing Christ’s message, whether the time is favourable or unfavourable” the Pope said quoting from St Paul’s letter to Timothy.

And describing sports as the “discovery of the human potentials that incite us to unveil the beauty of creation and of the human being, made in the image and likeness of God” he said “sports can open the way to Christ in those places or environments where, for different reasons, it is not possible to announce Him directly”.

Pope Francis also said that to give the best of oneself in sports is also a call to aspire to holiness and he expressed his conviction that young people nurture the hope of giving the best of themselves, the important thing is “that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts.”

Pope Francis concluded his message with the exhortation to deepen the close connection that exists between sport and life drawing on the fact that an athletic discipline also serves as a stimulus to always improve as a person, in all of life’s aspects.

Sport, he concluded, is a very rich source of values and virtues that help us to become better people, training, practising, discovering our limits without fear, struggling daily to improve.

In this way, “to the extent that each Christian grows in holiness, he or she, he said, will bear greater fruit for our world.” –Linda Bordoni, Vatican News

Sports component of SHC fiesta draws good response

Father Joshua (R) in action, SHPC, 23 June 2017.

KOTA KINABALU – The sports component of the Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish fiesta drew a good response from the parishioners.

The Fellowship Football Match held on 21 June 2017 at the Penampang Stadium A drew six teams: SHC, Church of Mary Immaculate, clergy/seminarians, Dontozidon, Kobusak and Kopungit.  SHC team was the overall champion with six points and three goals.

The Badminton Friendly Match on June 23 at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre also drew a good response from the parishioners.

Preliminary rounds were held every Sunday starting in May.

On the final day, Archbishop John Wong and Father Federick Raymond played against George Low and John Ho in the opening match.

Among the players were Father Joshua Liew and several members of the Boys Brigade.

Daryl Siponong won the Single Men Open while Danny Ka/James Paustine won the Double Men Veteran.

Prsy Asun/Jayelien Paingin won the Double Women with Grace Fung/Cecilia Amid as first runners-up and Seimi Gutok/Maria Kinjau as second runners-up.

In the Mix Double, the champs were Jouni and Marcella with Alex and Diana in the second place and Brandon and Jayelien in the third place.

According to Pope Francis, Sports is a human activity of “great value, able to enrich people’s lives. An important characteristic of sports is that it is not just for professional athletes, but for everyone: for pleasure, for recreation, for improving health, as well as for learning how to be part of a team, and how to win and lose graciously” (Sports at the Service of Humanity Conference, Vatican, 2-7 Oct 2016).

ICCT organises ecumenical basketball tournament to build unity among members

The participants pose for a shot after the event.

The participants pose for a shot after the event.

TAWAU – The Inter-Church Committee of Tawau organised a basketball tournament among member churches from 28 October to 1 November 2015. The competition, held at the Methodist basketball court, attracted five teams. They were from the Basel, Anglican, Calvary, Methodist and the Catholic Church.

The purpose of the event was to build unity among members of the Christian churches, all in all a healthy event to build up the body of Christ, united in love and in prayers.

The programme was launched with a time of praise and worship, followed by a dance performance by the Holy Trinity Youth.

The inter-church basketball tournament was not a new event. It was held as early as in the 1980’s.

Pastor Dylan Cham, from Basel Church chaired the event, assisted by Pastor Chong Tan Wa also from Basel Church, with Danny Carreon and Joel Monasque representing the Holy Trinity Church as committee members.

Rev David Wong, the chairman of the Tawau Inter-Church Committee in his sharing to the participants said, “We need to be physically and spiritually strong, for with a strong body and mind we can be a good host to the Holy Spirit who will drive us to serve the Lord and one another with love and confidence.”

The tournament ended with a  fellowship. Basel Church emerged as the champion,  Holy Trinity Church as 1st runner-up and St Patrick’s Church as 2nd runner-up. – Jessielyn Monton

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