Mass and video tribute offered in memory of late Sister Clare Crockett

The Home of the Mother community has shared a video in tribute to the late Sister Clare Crockett from Londonderry, who was tragically killed in the earthquake in Ecuador at the weekend.

The video was shared after a mass was celebrated by Father Rafael Alonso, the founder of the Home of the Mother, and offered up for the souls of Sister Clare, Jazmina, Mayra, María Augusta, Valeria and Catalina on Monday.

Sister Clare was in her residence on the third floor of one of the buildings of the Colegio Sagrada Familia in Playa Prieta when the devastating earthquake struck at around 7pm local time on Saturday, April 16.

Four Sisters, including Clare and seven postulants, who were in the building at the time, were buried under the rubble.

An impromptu rescue team, later supported by groups of lay men and women who made a four-hour car ride in the middle of the night in order to reach Playa Prieta, risked their lives amid aftershocks to try to rescue the trapped nuns and candidates.

The extent of the devastation across Ecuador was manifest by the fact that the nearest hospital, in Portoviejo, the largest city in the area, had collapsed.

By Sunday, the Ecuadorian Army had joined the rescue effort but according to Home of the Mother aftershocks further destabilised the Collegio Sagrada Familia building as the rescuers tried to reach Sister Clare and her friends.

“The hours passed and worries increased as no voices of Sisters were heard from underneath the rubble. There was particular concern when a fairly intense aftershock toppled what was left standing of the building,” a community bulletin explained.

At 1am on Monday, April 18, the bodies of Sister Clare and her friends were located, and the shocking news began filtering through to her home town of Londonderry.