Derry retreat to celebrate life of Sister Clare Crockett

A week-long retreat to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Sister Clare Crockett will be held at St Columba’s Church, Long Tower, from Monday, April 19 to Sunday, April 25.

Mural of Sister Clare Crockett in the Brandywell.
Mural of Sister Clare Crockett in the Brandywell.

Sister Clare, aged just 33, died on April 16, 2016, when an earthquake hit the home and school of the Servant Sisters of the Mother in Playa Prieta, Ecuador,

where Clare had been working for two years helping the poorer children of the region receive a higher standard of education.

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Her death touched thousands across the world and,, especially in her hometown of Derry

Since then, a mural has been painted on the gable wall at the junction of Deanery Street and Lecky Road, close to Sr. Clare’s family home, and a monthly Mass has been celebrated at the Carmelite Priory and Retreat Centre at Termonbacca. 

Her sister, Megan Nicell, says the family has been overwhelmed by the many messages of prayer and support it has received, as well as the testimonies

from those who draw daily support from their devotion to the Derry nun.

She said: “This is an important anniversary for us; it marks five years since we lost Clare and we want this retreat to be a celebration of the life that she led and the great devotion that so many have to her.”

“The retreat will very much be focussed on Sr. Clare’s life, from her childhood growing up in Derry, her friendships, her great love of acting and drama, and

her vocation and life with the Servant Sisters of the Mother. The Retreat will include a healing Mass on the Thursday night and Bishop Donal McKeown will celebrate the final evening on the Sunday. Each evening will have a different priest leading the service.

“We know there will be a huge demand for tickets and we will do our best to accommodate everyone, but we’d also encourage people to watch the Retreat from their own homes as it will be available online.”

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Father Stephen Quinn, from Termonbacca, who has been the driving force behind the Retreat, along with the committee, said the seven days of worship

will be an opportunity for people to “come to know the Lord in a more profound way, with the help and example of Sr. Clare.”

He added: “This Retreat allows us to draw attention to Sr. Clare’s life and the holiness she showed in that life. It’s astonishing to see the devotion to Sr. Clare and how much her life, and all she did, has been an example to others. We will come together to remember Sr. Clare on this special anniversary.”

The retreat will take place at 7.30pm each night at Long Tower church (if places of worship are open by that date). Due to Covid regulations, this will be a ticket-only event.

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Tickets will be available on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 23 and 24, between 6pm and 9pm., by ringing 07594849704, 07754360176, or 07594849689.

Please note, these lines will not be open until these designated times and dates. People are asked not to call Long Tower parochial house or Long Tower Church regarding tickets.

The event will be streamed live at and on the Long Tower Church Facebook page