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Saturday 1 October 2016

Earthquake tragedy nun Sr Clare Crockett found God while out partying in a nightclub

Derry woman turned her back on possible fame and fortune to dedicate life to God

Published 27/04/2016 | 12:27

The order of nuns which a Derry woman, killed in an earthquake belonged to, has published a video of her documenting her path to God and how she decided to enter a life of servitude much to the astonishment of her friends and family.

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Sister Clare Theresa Crockett was killed when a school collapsed following an earthquake in Ecuador in the Playa Prieta area on April 16.

Sister Clare Theresa Crockett with a pupil at the Home of the Mother order school in Ecuador. Photo: Home of the Mother order/PA
Sister Clare Theresa Crockett with a pupil at the Home of the Mother order school in Ecuador. Photo: Home of the Mother order/PA

Hundreds were killed and thousands more injured after many towns and villages were reduced to rubble following the 7.8 magnitude quake

Sister Clare, who was from the Long Tower area of Derry, had been working at the school with the Home of the Mother order of nuns.

The 33-year-old was one of six members of the order killed in the quake.

Her family said she died how she lived - helping people.

Sister Clare Theresa Crockett with a student at the school in Ecuador. Photo: PA/Home of the Mother order
Sister Clare Theresa Crockett with a student at the school in Ecuador. Photo: PA/Home of the Mother order

The Mother of Order had published a new video of Sr Clare, of her telling her story to a group of young people in Madrid in 2011.

The then 28-year-old talks about how she was once a wild party animal before she found God and decided to enter a life of servitude.

She begins her testimony - given entirely in Spanish - with a joke: "Since I was a little girl I stood out because of my holiness. People just looked at me and said, 'I wish this girl could be my daughter'."

She goes on to talk about her school days at St Cecilia's College and how by the age of 17 she had a "pretty big problem" with alcohol.

But as a young budding actress, with a manager and a belief that "she was going somewhere" she was offered a free trip to what she thought was 10 days on the party island of Ibiza which turned out to be a pilgrimage.

While taking part in a Good Friday Veneration of the Cross she talks of feeling a "strong blow" as if God Himself as talking to her.

"I had everything.... and in spite of that I felt a huge emptiness inside that nothing could ever fill."

She then talks of another occasion after the Spanish trip that she felt God's gaze, this time in a nightclub.

"I was sick and about to vomit," she told those gathered around her.

"Because I drank so much, I didn't know when to stop. So I almost always ended up in a pretty bad state.

"And many nights I was in the street - 18-years-old, a very poor girl, in a sad, sad state.

"So one night, I was there in the bathroom of a club, inside of me I felt strongly the Lord's Gaze. Inside me I felt the Lord saying 'why do you keep wounding me?'

Later she talks of working on a movie - with lots of famous people - and feeling that she had nothing and that nothing that could fill her, not fame, success, money or human love and she knew she was being called by God.

It was then that she said "enough is enough".

She said when she told her friends at school there was a roar of laughter that "would make you deaf".

And when she told her family, she did so with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Belfast Telegraph

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