Thursday 27 October 2016

Nun who died in quake celebrated for making the world a better place

Sister Clare's funeral
Sister Clare's funeral
Sister Clare

The Irish nun who lost her life in the devastating earthquake in Ecuador never stopped dreaming, mourners at her funeral were told.

Sr Clare Theresa Crockett (33) was remembered as a vivacious and fun-loving woman who believed that "a life given in loving sacrifice is never wasted".

The young nun died when a powerful earthquake ripped through Playa Prieta last month, causing the school where she worked to collapse.

Hundreds of mourners, among them members of her order, attended her funeral Mass at the Long Tower Church in her native Derry yesterday.

Sr Clare was a member of the Spanish religious order, the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother, and three young members flew in especially for the funeral, including another Irish member, Sr Karen from Co Mayo.

They joined three bishops, 10 priests, Presbyterian minister Rev David Lattimer, and the North's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in expressing support and condolences to the Crockett family.

Bishop of Derry Dr Donal McKeown said that, like Jesus, Sr Clare had died young.

However, he added that "a life given in loving sacrifice is never wasted".

"She was crazy enough to believe that this was the best possible way to live her life," he said, adding that the young nun had died doing what she believed.

"That is very counter-cultural. In our culture, we are invited to stop dreaming.

"Realism, cynicism and despair are in vogue. We have been sucked in by a cynicism," the bishop added.

Dr McKeown said Sr Clare's life and death posed a number of questions for her contemporaries, including "What is worthwhile doing in life? What makes a beautiful person? Who do we want to have as our idols?"


He said her death was a "huge cross" for her family to bear, adding that photographs, while beautiful, are "little compensation for a real human voice that is no longer with us, a face that will no longer walk in the door, a smile that some young members of her family will never know".

Speaking outside the church, Mr McGuinness said Sr Clare "epitomised all that is good about young people".

He said the young woman had endured the worst possible conditions so as to help educate the poor "and this community is very proud of her", he said.

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