A special memorial Mass for Derry nun Sister Clare Crockett will be celebrated in America tomorrow.
Sister Clare Theresa Crockett, a member of the Home of the Mother Order, died in last weekend’s Ecuador earthquake crash which has now claimed the lives of 650 people.
The nun, who was devoted to her religious order, was shepherding a group out of a school in Playa Prieta when the staircase they were walking down collapsed due to the force of the earthquake.
The reverberations of Sister Clare’s death has not only been felt in her home city of Derry but around the world.
But her death especially mourned in Jacksonville in Florida where she was one of four Sisters who started a convent there for the local Assumption Catholic School.
She was assigned to the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother order’s convent at his church from 2006 to 2010.
The memorial Mass will be celebrated on Monday, April 25, at 7 pm in the Assumption Catholic Church at 2403 Atlantic Boulevard, Jacksonville.
Rev Frederick Parke has paid tribute to Sister Clare.
“Sister Clare is gone doing something she wanted to do and for God, and that is how we are supposed to go. Our sisters think of it that way,” Rev Parke said.
He said he thinks that for a person of faith, death is never a surprise.
“Sister Clare died doing what she was supposed to be doing, and they are very much at peace with that,” Parke said of her fellow nuns. “They are sad, but they are at peace.”
The Rev. John Gillespie of San Sebastian said her death “leaves us to reflect a bit more on the mortality of life vs. their ministries.
Added Rev Parke: “Our convent had closed many years ago and the other Order of Sisters had left many years before I became pastor.
“As pastor, I am so pleased to have the Home of the Mother Sisters here.
“They came in 2006. Sister Clare was here four years and made a lasting impression on us all.
“This Monday, the 25th,, our parish will gather with the ten Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother to have a Memorial Mass.
“I am sure she is with the Lord. She was an absolute delight and a blessing.
“Today, our catholic school is the largest in the Diocese of St. Augustine, with 640 students and we are currently building a 24 classroom expansion which will bring our numbers to 780 children.
“It was the presence of these Sisters which brought so much life to this parish.”
As Catholics in Florida prepare to remember Sister Clare at the memorial Mass, her family back home in Derry are waiting for the remains of their daughter and sister to return home.
Her remains are expected to be repatriated this week to her family home in the Brandywell before Requiem Mass is held.
On Friday night, a book of condolence to Sister Clare was opened in St Columba’s Church, Long Tower.