Northern Ireland news

Sister Clare Crockett's sister to address anniversary retreat

Sister Clare Crockett died in an earthquake in Ecuador on April 16 2016.
Seamus McKinney

A sister of tragic Derry nun Sister Clare Crockett is among the speakers scheduled to take part in a retreat marking the fifth anniversary of her death.

From the city’s Brandywell, she was killed when the building in which she was teaching music collapsed in an earthquake in Ecuador on April 16, 2016.

Following her death, a large number of video recordings and other documents compiled by Sister Clare (33) came to light in which she revealed an unusual path to the clerical life. In 2004, Sister Clare revealed she had originally wanted to become a movie star. She also revealed she had announced her plans to take Holy Orders “with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other”.

Her grave at Derry city cemetery has become a place of pilgrimage for a growing number of people who have ascribed miracles to her intercession. Earlier this year, supporters of the nun called for the cause for her beatification to be formally opened.

The fifth anniversary of Sister Clare’s death takes place on Friday and will be marked by a week-long retreat, starting next Monday at St Columba’s church, Long Tower, her home parish.

Her sister Shauna Gill will be the first speaker at the retreat which starts at 7.30pm. In the following nights, the retreat will be addressed by her former drama teacher at St Cecilia’s College, Greta McTague, her best friend Sharon Doran, priests from Derry’s Termonbacca retreat centre and a sister from her order, the Home of the Mother. The retreat will close on Sunday 25 with an address by bishop of Derry Donal McKeown.

Ms Gill encouraged those who were unable to obtain tickets to attend the retreat in person to follow it online.

“This is a very special time for the family and everyone who is devoted to Clare as it marks the fifth anniversary of her death. We are delighted to be able to bring this retreat as we remember someone who has touched the lives of so many, both during her life and after her death.

“Our family have been inundated with stories from people across the world whose lives have been touched by Clare,” she said.

The retreat can be accessed at: http://longtowerchurch.org/webcam/

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