Northern Ireland

Sister Clare Crockett: Funeral for Londonderry nun killed in Ecuador earthquake

Funeral Long Tower
Image caption The funeral mass is taking place at Long Tower Church

The funeral of a nun who was killed in the Ecuador earthquake has taken place in Londonderry.

Sister Clare Theresa Crockett, 33, who was from the Long Tower area of the city, died when a school collapsed in Playa Prieta.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed at least 480 people, and left more than 4,000 injured and 231 missing.

Her funeral Mass was held at Long Tower Church in Derry.

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Hundreds attended the funeral service at the Long Tower church

Fr Eamon Graham, who led the service, described Sr Clare as "a striking example of Derry womanhood".

"Clare asked herself what she could do to make the world a better place and how she could serve God and help the most vulnerable," said Fr Graham.

"To do that, she went to the far end of the earth and she took her goodness with her."

Some members of Sr Clare's order - the Home of the Mother - were also in attendance.

Image copyright Home of the Mother
Image caption Sr Crockett was known for her love of music

The Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, told BBC Radio Foyle he has been comforting Sr Clare's family.

"They've lost a daughter, a beautiful daughter and the first born of their family as I understand. That's bound to be an awful loss particularly for any parent to see the burial of their child.

"On the other hand, they've been hearing stories about what she did and what a wonderful person she was," Bishop McKeown said.

"I'm sure the family have got some consolation simply from the wonderful member of their family that people are so proud of."

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Fr Eamon Graham, who led the service, described Sr Clare as "a striking example of Derry womanhood"

Sr Karen McMahon travelled to Derry with two other nuns from the Home of the Mother Order.

"She was our sister, she was a wonderful person," said Sr McMahon.

"She gave her whole life to God. When she discovered our Lord, he was the centre of her life and everything she did revolved around him.

"All the good she did, always her goal was to bring souls to heaven. For us it's a grace to be here today."

The three sisters paid tribute to their friend by singing hymns during the service.

Image copyright Home of the Mother
Image caption Sr Crockett was one of five women killed in the school when the earthquake hit

In his homily, Fr Eamon Graham expressed his deepest sympathies to the Crockett family.

"Words are really not adequate because you're having to deal with an unimaginable cross. Its not the way things should be, that parents bury their children," he said.

"We've asked many questions about God and his ways. We've felt feeling of anger and bewilderment and we haven't had too many answers.

"But one thing has emerged in this past fortnight, we've received an insight into Clare's life and motivation."

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