Requiem Mass for the 16-year-old teenager took place on Wednesday at St Joseph’s Church, Galliagh following her death suddenly last week.
Speaking at the mass, parish priest Fr. Michael McCaughey said Caitlin lived a “short but full life” and was someone “loved and respected within a family, within a school community and within friends”.
He also noted how there was a deep sense of shock within the local community, with many local schools coming together to pay tribute to the popular girl.
“Her death coming suddenly and late on Saturday night creates shock and sadness and pain,” said Fr McCaughey.
“Not alone for her family but also many friends. Without the slightest warning and the chance to prepare ourselves, a family and community are plunged into darkness.
“Nothing can save us from the pain and tears and heartbreak of the last few days. A stunned silence at a wake house is what I have observed.
“We ask why Caitlin and of course those questions we cannot answer.
“At her baptism 16 years ago a light was lit as she began her earthly journey. Once again we light that candle reminding us of a new beginning for Caitlin.”
He added: “We think of what she has achieved in her short and full life. A typical teenager who loved the joy of being outside and with her friends. When she comes home she didn’t want to do any work, instead just be at home.
“She was a daughter and a typical teenager but also a loving sister. A young person with a smile that would melt you, were the words I heard.
“Caitlin was someone who made others laugh and enjoyed her music, techno and Ben Nicky. As someone said she was one of a kind.
“Today we give her back to God a short but full earthly life. A life of memories that influenced so many.”
Following the 1.30 pm Requiem Mass, Caitlin will be laid to rest in the City Cemetery.
Caitlin was from the Skeoge area of the city, was the ‘beloved daughter’ of Leeann and Seamus, and stepdaughter of Elsayed and Aisling.
She was one of nine siblings and is survived by seven, having previously lost her late brother Kyle.
Paying tribute to Caitlin in a social media post, St Cecilia’s College, where Caitlin was a student, said: “In loving memory of Caitlin. Caitlin was a kind and gentle pupil, so it comes as no surprise that she had a wide social circle.
“She was loved by staff and pupils, each of whom held a firm belief in her potential. The entire school community is deeply saddened by her loss and our thoughts and prayers remain with her family and friends at this time.
“May her gentle soul rest in peace.”
Her former primary school, St Thérèse’s, Lenamore, also posted condolences saying: “Our entire school community is devastated to hear of the untimely passing of past pupil, Caitlin McLaughlin.
“Every member of staff remembers her as a kind, caring, beautiful and fun girl.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this heartbreaking time. May she rest in peace.”Tags: