All or Nothing: Sr. Clare Crockett (Full Movie)


At 3 o’clock in the morning, the phone rang. It was the community in Guayaquil and they told us
that there had been a really big earthquake, that the school building in Playa Prieta
had collapsed with the Sisters inside. The first thing that came to my mind was: I have to wake up all the Sisters to pray. The next day, we first received news
that they were all out. But later, in another phone call we were told
that not all of the Sisters were out, but only three Sisters and two girls. And that five girls and Sr. Clare were still missing. When I heard that she was the only one missing, I said, “They’re not going to find her alive,” because you could tell that she was already prepared, that her heart was no longer attached to
the things down here. She was way above all this. So many memories come to mind:
when she first arrived to the community, her novitiate, her first vows,
her time in the different communities… There are so many memories that come to mind. Ever since I met Sr. Clare,
I was always impressed by how clearly she would hear the voice of God
speaking in her heart, in her soul, and also how quickly and with what
generosity she responded to Him. She couldn’t do things halfway. When she did something,
she did it to the best of her ability, with all of her strength, keeping nothing back for herself. When I saw Sr. Clare do things,
she really was “all or nothing.”
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My name is Sr. Clare. I’m from Ireland, from a wee town called Derry. Ever since I was little, I don’t know why, but I always had this desire
to be famous. I wrote theater. I directed. Clare was a drama queen, always was, from the day and hour she was born. Brilliant. She got on with anybody. She could mix with anybody in the world. Just so kind and very good personality, always had people all around her, always. She had the best personality, full of life. If you met her, you just got on with her straight away. Nothing bothered her. She just took everything in her stride. She was so lively, bubbly, always upbeat. When she was in a class, she had a way… Her presence just took over the class. Everyone enjoyed her.
Everyone wanted and loved to be in her company. I’m from Catholic Derry but my family aren’t Catholic for religious reasons. It’s for political reasons. Because, in the North of Ireland, well, there’s a lot of problems. Catholics against the Protestants. But they’re not fighting for religious reasons; they fight politically, because the Catholics want a united Ireland
and the Protestants want to be joined on to Britain. It’s more a question of politics. I’m Irish too, same as Sr. Clare. I’m a lot older than her. She was born in Derry city, in the North of Ireland; I was born in Cork city in the south of Ireland. Even in my own childhood, I remember I would have
been seven when Bloody Sunday happened. And the tension in the air, I remember that clearly. In 1980, I would have been 15, and we lived
the hunger strike of the Republican Catholic prisoners looking for political status as prisoners,
which was denied to them. I remember there was a lot of anger,
murderous hatred that was in the air at the time. And the two centers of tension,
the two great centers of tension, would have been the Falls Road in Belfast
and the Bogside in Derry, which is right next to the Brandy Well,
which is where Sister Clare was from. There was a lot of violence here and you couldn’t just walk down the street. If you heard shooting, you knew that they knew to lie down on the ground. And if you heard a bomb go off and it seemed to be close, their father used to go out and get them. Because you didn’t know, you didn’t know just what could happen. And Clare saw a soldier being blown up, when she was coming from school. So that’s the environment. The statistics are, of sociological studies and so on, that the rates of vandalism,
of illiteracy, of violence, of unemployment, of homelessness,
among the youths and young adults of Derry throughout that time were higher than anywhere else in Ireland or Britain. So the legacy of destruction is something
that she would have lived very close up. What I find extraordinary is that
she transcended all of that, just on a natural level, just by the sheer talent,
abundance of natural talent, she succeeded in opening her wings, so to speak, and surpassing all of that, escaping it. At school, everybody talked about… You know, in school shows and school gigs, because she was always brilliant. She always had the lead role. But she was brilliant. She loved her acting. Everything was about her acting. Every day of her life was about being an actress. It’s not something that just happened. It was done her whole life. That was her. And then she was doing something at school. And there was an agent that was up at the school and saw her. And he said, “Would you come and do my acting classes?” And she went and she got parts in films and advertisements. At the age of 15,
she had that position as a presenter on a program for young people
on Channel Four, out of nothing. Nowadays it’s kind of a closed shop. Often the children of famous people get to
become actors and singers and so on, just kind of feeding off the legacy
of those who went before them and kind of blazed the trail. But in Sister Clare’s case it was pure,
natural talent, and lots of it. And not only as acting, singing and comedy…
She had it all. How did she walk away from all of that? That why I mention this,
because it becomes even more amazing: the fact that having escaped difficult circumstances
because of her talent, and having gotten on that inside track
to fame and success and prosperity, money, and lots of it, and attention, that she was able to walk away from all of that. either a famous actress or nothing, either white or black. And you can also say that I have searched for love in places where I haven’t found it. I have had boyfriends, lots of friends… a lot of success in the world of theater. I did a film, worked as a presenter, etc.
But I felt that this did not fill me. In the late 1990’s, the year 2000, around that time, the Home of the Mother asked could they come and speak to our youth group. So I agreed instantly, that the priests and Sisters could come and speak to our group. As a result of that, Sr. Clare was invited to go to Spain. When I was 17, I started drinking. I liked to party, I smoked, all that kind of stuff. And one time, one of my friends, her name is Sharon, she called me up and she said, ‘Clare, do you want to go to Spain?’ Because there was this free trip to Spain. And she told me that there was going to be a group of people that were going. She said, ‘All the people that are going to go to Spain are going to meet up in this house next week.’ I said that I would go, that I was going to go to Spain, and I thought we were going to go to Spain to party, that’s what I thought. I thought we were going to a place called Ibiza She didn’t say that to me, but that’s what I thought in my head, that we were going to go there, we were going to party, going to drink, all that kind of stuff. A few weeks before the trip, everything was booked and arranged, and a few weeks before, my appendix perforated helping my mommy put up curtains. I wasn’t able to go, obviously, I was in recovery. So, I decided… One of them approached me and said, “Would you like anyone to go in your place?” So the first person that came to mind was Clare. She thought it was party, party, party. My mommy’s not here. My daddy’s not here. We went to Ireland to meet with
a group of people from Derry who were going to come to our Holy Week retreat. It was during this meeting in Derry
with us that she realized that it was a pilgrimage and not
a tourist trip to Spain. He opened the door and there was this group of people, about 20-30 people, they were 40, 50, 60 years old, all sitting there with rosaries. ‘Are you all going to Spain?’ They said, ‘Yes, we’re going on the pilgrimage.’
I said, ‘You’re going on the what?’ Now looking back in hindsight, it was not a coincidence. It was definitely a God-incidence that she was a last-minute replacement. In the Home of the Mother, we usually have
what we call a “Holy Week Encounter.” That year, we got together in Priego, Spain and small group of young girls came from Ireland. One of them was Clare Crockett: a very lively girl, very energetic,
and very sure of herself. Rambunctious, very rowdy
and she loved to make others laugh, but she didn’t like to think. I looked out the window and I saw
Clare Crockett there, sunbathing. And it wasn’t even hot. But I do remember how the first impression
you might of had of her of being superficial… wasn’t authentic; rather, she was a person
that truly sought the truth. Whenever Fr. Rafael would speak,
she was completely receptive. She was really listening. Good Friday came and they said, ‘Clare you have to go, today is Good Friday. Our Lord died for you. You have to go…’ So I went in and said, ‘Fine.’ I sat on the back bench of the Church And they said, ‘Clare, you have to get up, and kiss the cross. You know, everyone’s doing it. Get up. Get up, Clare, you have to kiss the cross.’ So, I got up because everyone else was doing it and I remember standing in line, waiting to kiss the cross. It didn’t mean anything to me. I went up and as I went
to kiss the feet of Our Lord, I remember looking at Him and in that moment
I just felt the mercy of God and I saw that it was my sins that nailed
Our Lord to the cross. No one had ever told me that,
but looking at Our Lord on the cross, I just saw that my sins had nailed Him to the cross. And I just started crying and crying. For my drunkenness, for my impurity, for my vanity, for everything, I’ve seen Him nailed on the Cross for that, that these were the nails, that I nailed Him to the cross, that it was my fault. And seeing this and seeing the love that He had for me, dying on the Cross for me, I was like, “I have to change. I can’t go on living the way I’m living.” I went up to her and I asked her
how she was doing. She looked at me and she responded,
“He loves me. He died for me.” And I asked her, “Are you okay?” And she kept repeating that over and over again. So I asked her if she wanted to speak
with Fr. Rafael and she said yes. We went to the sacristy and it was then
that I asked her. And right away she said that
she wanted to be a nun. I told her that to become a nun like the Sisters,
that she would have to come back. And she said, “Well, I’ll come back.” But she had a problem,
because she also wanted to be famous. So she said that she could be a famous nun.
Later she told everyone this. Today we were talking about vocations and I was thinking, “Oh my God, I’ve got a vocation.” But I want to become famous. An hour ago, I was all, “I want to become a nun too.” So then I said to myself, “I’ll become a famous nun.” So I don’t know what to do with myself now. I could become really famous and be really rich. Or I could come here… and I’m praying to God that I make the right decision. Gracias! Initially, she struggled with her two vocations, “Because I have to be a nun
and I have to be famous, so the solution is I’m going
to be a famous nun.” But as she went further and further into the journey, the whole “fame” thing became
less and less important to her, and it was totally eclipsed
by the vocation to just love, and to live and proclaim the truth,
and that was all she cared about in the end. She went back to Ireland, of course,
when Holy Week was over and some of the Sisters said, “She won’t come back,” but I said, “Yes, she’ll come back.” Afterwards, she came on a pilgrimage
to Rome that Father invited her to. He was very interested in her coming and he invited her
and she came on the pilgrimage to Rome, and of course, she came with the attitude
of a normal girl… superficial and fooling around. She spoke about vocation and what surprised me
the most was that Fr. Rafael took her seriously. He saw something in her and trusted in her,
and he really did believe she had a vocation. Are you “camera-ing” me? Can you see me now? Can you hear this? Hola! That’s all! Is that alright? We ended up going to the Home of the Mother together on a pilgrimage for three weeks. And I feel very privileged because I was there for what I think was the light bulb moment in Clare’s journey. St. Clare of Assisi Today is her Saint It’s my saint’s feast day today, St. Clare of Assisi. Adios!
Our Lord said to me, ‘Clare, I want you to live like one of the Sisters. I want you to live in poverty, chastity and obedience.’ I think it was that moment that
my eye started twitching like that. I said, ‘Lord, I can’t do that. I can’t… I can’t be poor… I can’t… And I was giving Him all these reasons that I actually couldn’t live like a Sister, I couldn’t do that, that it was impossible. I was going to be famous. ‘God, did you not know I was going to be famous?’ And I remember Our Lord saying to me, ‘If I ask you to do this, I’ll give you the strength and the grace to be able to do it.’ That light bulb moment was the start of her realizing that this was something within her that she really desired, that this was what her life purpose was. I remember one of the Sisters telling us about how, before she had become a nun, she had gone out with boys and done the whole thing and I remember that being a great giggle between us, because Clare was fond of the boys and having a wee drink as well, and having a wee smoke, and it was like, Oh God, I’m going to have to give all this up! I don’t know if this is going to be as easy as I thought! She came every two seconds,
and since I didn’t know English, Sr. Elena came to translate. Then, she came smoking and she smoked like this… And said, “I… I’m going to become a nun
and I’m going to become a famous nun.” I told her, “Well, yes. I think that
you’re going to become a famous nun, but to become a famous nun
you will have to be the most humble, and to be the most humble,
you will have to learn to obey.” Then, she took a puff of her cigarette
and said, “Well then, I’ll obey.” That was the kind of character that Sister had.
You see? She had a character of totality. And again I said, during this pilgrimage, I was like: “I am changing” and then I went home and I didn’t change. So for a year then, I was living… This year then, when I went home and I said I was going to change, this is the year that I lived the worst because this is the year where I got drunk… I got drunk every Saturday or whatever and then it turned into getting drunk every day and then it turned into I had to go to the hospital because I got drunk. I wanted the world and I wanted to live my life but God wouldn’t let me. He was like, “I don’t want you there, I want you for me. I want you to live in poverty, chastity and obedience.” Now, when I look back on it, I thought that I was happy, but I wasn’t happy. And there was one night that I was there and I was drinking. I went into the bathroom and I remember I was sitting in the cubicle thing in the bathroom. I remember looking down because
I thought I was going to be sick. I was drunk. I felt all of a sudden
that someone was looking at me. The presence that I felt was so strong
that I remember looking up because I thought that there was someone
in the other toilet cubicle looking over at me. I remember looking up and going,
“Who is looking at me?” And all of a sudden I felt strongly these words
in my heart, “Why do you keep hurting me?” I knew that Our Lord was
right there looking at me and I saw once again that I was crucifying
Our Lord with all the sins, with my drunkenness, with all the mortal sins
that I was committing, that I was nailing Our Lord
once again to the cross. Another experience that was very strong that I had
was when I was doing the movie… I had to go to England to do it. Now when you’re doing a movie,
you have a lady who does your make-up, a lady who opens the car door for you,
another one who puts on your coat, and all that. They put you up in the best hotels, take you
to the best restaurants, I had all that. At night time what we would do,
we go out with the directors and actors and we could go out to a restaurant
and we would eat and stuff. Because I had gotten so drunk the night before,
I decided not to go out the next night. I went back to my hotel room.
I remember sitting on top of my hotel bed… and looking at my schedule
for the next day that said that… the chauffeur would come
and pick me up at 7:30 and all that. I remember looking at it and I started crying and crying. I remember crying for hours and hours
and I couldn’t stop.
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I was thinking to myself, ‘Why am I crying? Why are you crying, Clare? You know what? You’ve got everything!’ I knew that by doing this part in the movie, that I could, you know, go up this ladder of success, that I was going to get more parts, I knew that. But I thought that I had achieved everything and at the same time, I had nothing, I had nothing within me. I knew that I had to change my life. I knew that I had to cut with
everything that was taking me away from God. I knew that only by doing what He told me to do, what He asked of me, that was the only way
that I was going to fill that hole. That was the only way I was going to fill it up. And so she completely cut with making films,
which was the great immolation of her life. The great immolation of her life was to say, “Either God or the world.
Since I prefer God, I don’t want anything else.” Because I fell in love with God, I fell in love with Jesus Christ, I fell in love with Him. Because, what can I say? That He stole my heart. And my motivation was this:
To be united with God forever. With a cigarette in this hand and a beer in the other,
‘So, guess what! I’m going to be a nun.’ A shock, just a total shock with her, because of the way she lived her life. You know what I mean? And I always thought that she would be on film somewhere, on another lane in life. We laughed it off. We thought, “She’s going to go there. She’ll be back next week. She’ll never last.” We actually came up with a few things, that she was away to party and she was letting on to us. Or that she met somebody and she’s away to live in Spain. We never actually believed she was going to be a nun. We didn’t want her to go to Spain. We wanted her here. You know… I remember saying to her, “You’re ruining your life!” See the day she was going out the door to go to Spain, you know, to be a nun, I was down on my hands and knees, begging her, begging her! Please don’t go. And she said, “I’m going.” I saw that Our Lord called me to leave everything and with His strength and His grace and with the intercession and the help of Our Holy Mother, I was able to do that. Of course, you love your country, you love your family,
but God is worth all of that. Even when I felt that Our Lord
was asking me to go to Spain! But I remember saying to Our Lord,
“Why are you taking me out of my country? I can’t speak the language!
And my mom, she was so upset about it. You know, one day I want to be
a famous actress and the next day I want to be a nun and she was like,
“What is going on with my daughter?” And I remember saying to Our Lord, “What’s happening?
I have to leave everything?” And He said, “You leave everything
so that you’ll find me. But I will be your mother, your father,
your language and your country. In other words, I will be everything for you.” When Sr. Clare arrived and entered as a candidate,
her spiritual and human formation began. She learned Spanish and she did so with great facility
because it’s true, she had a very good ear. And in the candidacy, well,
she received the formation of a candidate. She found it difficult. It wasn’t that she entered
and that straight away she was very holy.. she came here with all her worldly vices. For example, with regards to work,
she wasn’t very big into physical work. She had grown up in an environment
of hatred and violence and had to go from violence
to love, serenity and peace. That isn’t done from one day to another, just as the conversion of a woman who had high hopes
of becoming a famous Hollywood actress doesn’t happen from one day to another. She was a docile soul
and so we saw how the Lord worked in her and took away from her everything
that wasn’t proper of a religious, and then all of the virtues began to grow,
all of the gifts that she had. I remember how at the beginning
she loved to draw attention to herself. We would all be talking and all of the sudden,
she would walk into the dining room and “Hey, here I am,” because Sr. Clare had arrived. But later on, gradually all of that started to disappear
and, on the contrary… she always wanted to go unnoticed. One of the things that Sr. Clare always had,
even as a candidate, even though it was more purified because
maybe there was pride involved as a candidate, but she was so strong willed
and she was so determined. When she saw something, she went for it. Right after Sr. Clare arrived in Spain,
her manager called her several times, trying to convince her to come back. He told her to come back
because she was wasting her life… Her manager was very convinced of her talent,
that she could reach Hollywood. And she spoke about it with a sense of humor, but you could tell that it was a battle for her. She always, always, remained faithful and it was very difficult for her because
there were still a lot of ties… of affection and experiences, and it was such that it
attracted her and wanted to lead her to the other side. At the beginning, I had the temptation to look back and say: “I want it again.” But I understood that I had found a greater love. I met Sister Clare when I was 14 years old. I was 7 and it was during the
Home of the Mother summer camp in 2002. She was always fooling around. She always encouraged me in everything,
even when she saw that I had distanced myself a little… from the other girls because
I missed my parents and all that… And she, without asking me or anything,
realized what was wrong. During one of the campfires,
since she didn’t know Spanish, she couldn’t be in the skit or anything,
but she played the role of a hen… a real hen! She gave us acting classes and we had to
act out scenes from everyday life with little sacrifices we could make
for Jesus and the Virgin Mary. And she added a touch of humor to it
and made everything really fun, even though it was really embarrassing to do
at that moment and I didn’t feel like it, in the end, I had a great time. Anytime you were with Sr. Clare,
there was always a laugh. There was always a joke. She brought joy to all our conversations. You were always guaranteed to have
a good time with Sister Clare. She played the role of two characters
and it was great. One was a little boy and the other a little girl. We were amazed by the gestures.
She used to act like a boy… from a sketchy neighborhood, with a runny nose. And I spoke with her, with Carlitos, the role she played. And I would say things like,
“Carlitos, where have you been today?” And then she was begin to tell me, and it was hilarious. Carlitos, are you going to say something
to the Sisters who are leaving? Sisters, you have to be really good in Ecuador. And also, when you go to Ecuador,
can you buy us some gifts? After two years she entered the novitiate,
a ceremony in which the habit is received and one begins to live, in a clearer way,
the consecrated life is as a Servant Sister. She was available for any kind of work. iene cosas para guardar en el archivo de la TV. And since she had a good disposition,
if you told her, “No, not like that!” She would joke about it,
but then she would do it. She changed and did what she had to do. Precisely by assuming all of those things
that were so different from her way of being, you could see that she was willing to die to herself
and take on her new way of life, what the Lord was asking of her. During the novitiate,
there is always a month of Spiritual Exercises. And so, during the month of Exercises,
she received a very big grace, which was to be fully aware
of the fact that she was nothing, that she was nothing
and He was everything. He’s God. And so, that grace was what later on helped her
to put all of the gifts that she had, that she had received from God, obviously… well, to put them all at the service of God. After the novitiate, she took her first vows:
of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and in the Servant Sisters we take a fourth vow
of defending the Eucharist in and with our life,
and of defending the honor of Our Mother, especially in the privilege of her virginity,
in and with our life.
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I just made vows for the first year and I am very happy. And I truly have to thank God for the great gift He has given me: my vocation,
especially with the Servant Sisters. The day right after making her vows,
she went to her first assignment. She spent a few months
in our community in Belmonte and I have to say that I was very
impressed by the way she acted there, because it made me realize that she had truly adapted
to what our life is as Servant Sisters, in the way she treated the girls, in how she led
the catechism classes that she was asked to give. In October, we founded a new community
in the United States, in Jacksonville. Sister Clare was among the four Sisters that we had that began the ministry here for our school. We’ve recently, actually, just come to
Assumption Parish, at the Catholic school, Assumption Catholic School.
We’re helping the kids out there, giving spiritual formation. During the religion classes we go in
and talk to the kids and stuff like that. The first impression I had of Sr. Clare
was just exuberant joy. There was no way that you could not
be impacted by her contagious smile and her love of the Lord,
and her love of Our Blessed Mother. And she came into the classroom and
she wanted to be able to relate to these children. So she would come up with different songs,
and she would play games with them. She would do retreats with the girls as well. I was very impressed by the way
she treated the children and how much they loved her. Many times, she came back home with her habit
all stained by the dirty hands of the children. Through her, the children grew closer
to Jesus and to Mama Mary. I first met Sr. Clare when I was in first grade. Six years old. Seven years old, in second grade. We always looked forward to Sr. Clare’s class. All the kids loved her, so it was fun. Just seeing how lively and energetic she was
really helped me to learn more about Christ. I wanted to be like her; I wanted to show
my love just like she did, through being joyful. You just wanted what she had.
She was just so happy and so joyful. I just wanted it; I just desired it.
I think a lot of us did. I’ll never forget all the Sister retreats,
all the times after Mass when I would run to the back of the church
to go see Sr. Clare at the table. When Sr. Clare came to Assumption,
she initiated taking the classes to adoration, and we started practicing how to genuflect
and how to kneel in the church before you went into the adoration chapel. And they would sing and they would pray! The enthusiasm she had for Eucharist
was caught by the kids. She exuded that enthusiasm for the Lord. And after you’ve been exposed to her,
you know that you have to pick up that enthusiasm. It was just so catchy! We put them in front of Our Lord and we say, “You know what? Don’t say anything
for three minutes. Don’t look anywhere. Don’t start counting the flowers; don’t start
looking at your neighbor’s nose. Just for three minutes!
Just look at the Blessed Sacrament, because in those three minutes,
Our Lord can touch you. I see that. And Our Lord, I’m sure He gives
a lot of graces to the hearts of the kids. Before the bell rang for the end of school,
we would like to go there and just spend a few minutes with God,
and having our own personal conversation. She would just always remind us,
“Listen to what Jesus has to tell you. Of course, talk to Him and everything,
but make sure you listen.” She was with the children preparing
for their First Communion. She would come at least once a week
and teach us about the Sacrament and what we were preparing ourselves for. She really drove in deep the meaning of the Eucharist, and how it really is Jesus’ body,
blood, soul, and divinity. We’re not just receiving a piece of bread: because that was a lot for us to get at the time. She emphasized the importance
of making our souls real clean before we received Jesus,
and going to confession. And not just because you have to;
it’s because you want to. You want to be forgiven,
you want to receive Jesus respectfully. She put in terms that our soul is a house
and when Jesus comes and visits us, we want to clear out all the cobwebs
and clean up the house the best we can. And she really emphasized how
important it was to avoid sin at all cost. If there’s one thing I remember, it’s just
how she would wave her finger and just say, “You should never commit mortal sin!” Because of the way that she talked about Jesus
in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it just made me thirst for Him.
I just wanted Him. But Sr. Clare really taught us that
it was very important… to be reverent and very respectful. Their devotion was very surprising. She had spoken to them about not
giving importance to the pictures, not to look at Mom or Dad. Those children, when they went up
to receive Communion, when they processed in,
I’ve never seen anything like it. It was like the Holy Spirit came over them. And they hung their heads,
and they walked in so humble! A group of the boys and girls in second grade, they wanted to do something more
for the love of Mary. Sr. Clare loved to pray the rosary,
so me and a couple of the kids that were really close with her,
we would go after school, for 20 or 30 minutes, and we’d pray the rosary. And it was me and a few of my other friends, and then we got a lot of other kids to come. The rosary club definitely helped me
grow closer to Momma Mary. Everybody usually loved to look forward to it. I remember her racing us in the field,
where we actually used to do these sprints to the Mother Mary statue out under the tree. I think being there, and just saying it aloud
with all the other kids really helped. Doing Rosary club every week,
I’d go to my mom and I’d be like, “Mom, we need to start praying the Rosary.” So all the things that my family does now is because
of what Sister Clare instilled in me when I was young. OK, this is a message
for Mr. Jacob Wagner, my long-time pal. the Sisters told me
you’re not in Assumption anymore, but that the Rosary club goes on. I want you to remember, Mr. Wagner,
that you are the founder of the Rosary club. I don’t know if you remember
when you were little, how you used to stand outside the door and be
like the bodyguard of the chapel, you know? Jacob Wagner, this is my message for you: Be faithful to what you know you have to do
deep in your heart. Peace out. It was awesome to know that
she still remembered. Our summers were always full of activities
to bring young people to Jesus Christ. It was great doing apostolate with Sr. Clare
because she had a really big and generous heart. My first encounter with Sister Clare
was when I was thirteen and I went to a summer camp. When I was eleven years old… I was thirteen… She definitely made me feel welcome. And just her life, and her joy,
and the way she could just make anyone laugh… Her example, and some of the other Sisters,
just being so down to earth and funny… made you want to come back. But they also could relate to you
and be real with you, and were not what the media
portrays Sisters and Nuns to be. Just watching her is just an
incredible experience, because she’s such a holy, full of life,
full of love, fully of laughter person, that she just automatically
draws everybody around her. OK, ladies and gentlemen! Our skit is called the “Georgia Photo Album!” And he took a picture of the Sisters,
and our reaction? This was the photo! The end! My favorite memory of Sister Clare was in 2008, I was able to do a pilgrimage with the Sisters. We went to New York, Canada, and Philadelphia. Can you tell us what this is over here? Here’s the Niagara Falls and we’re getting a little bit wet here… You’ve heard it here, first: if you bring clothes
that you need to wash as you travel along, bring them here, to Niagara Falls,
and you can wash them. I had felt very strongly God’s call to enter
as a Servant Sister… I was fighting with that decision and on the car rides
I would talk a lot with Sister Clare. Just seeing how happy she was
in her surrender to the Lord and with what strength she was living it,
was a huge help for me; it was a wake-up call. Here we are, live again.
We are not now in Niagara Falls, we are not eating, but we are here,
outside this beautiful house, with our dear friends. We just arrived in our vehicle. I drove this… So one night, at the dinner table,
we were talking about the activities… we were going to do the following year. And all of a sudden, we thought of Ireland! Sr. Clare, why not do a pilgrimage to Ireland?
All the American girls love Ireland. She was just really fun to be around.
I loved it when she was with us. She was just so selfless and energetic,
and entertaining… She just never thought about herself. In addition to leading you to God,
she made herself very approachable, so that you could talk to her
about whatever you wanted. To begin with, you didn’t feel judged when
you told her about anything. She had no problem saying things the way they were. I remember how in Ireland,
she spoke to us a lot about chastity and above all, about thinking more
about others than yourself. Where she saw sin, she would say, “No!” And she was very clear; she was very clear. And one might think that the girls
would have gotten frightened, or might have said,
“Well, she’s too intense! or over the top.” And on the contrary, the girls were always gathered
around her any chance they had. But not because she was looking to be the center,
but because I think she was a light for them. I remember all of Ireland was so beautiful
and green and mountainous, and then we get to Derry,
and there’s graffiti everywhere, and all the fences are covered in barbed wire… She introduced us to her family:
to her sisters, her mother, her father. I couldn’t understand at all;
I had to have Sister Clare translate English for me! This is in this small house. They were under the stairs, they were in the back hall, they were everywhere! And Sister Clare was so touched
by seeing all her family members. She started crying, so we just all started
singing a song for everyone. And then she shared her story with her family. And that was the first time Clare spoke about her call, spoke about being a nun, how she came to be a nun. But from that, you kind of get a wee bit of comfort. We never really got used to the idea.
But we knew why she went then. After that, I asked her, “Don’t you worry
about your family? Because you’re not with them… And she just repeated the words that God
said to St. Catherine of Siena, He said, “If you take care of my things,
I’ll take care of your things.” And she was like, “I’m taking care
of God’s things now, and so I’m not worried at all:
He’s going to take care of all my things. And now I am going to make perpetual vows. And this shows us that the Lord is faithful. And He is calling me to faithfulness in love forever. And I am willing to love Him forever. Even though my love is very poor and weak, I know that if I place myself in His hands, He will give me the strength to love Him as I should and give my life for Him. I, Sr. Clare Maria of the Trinity and of the Heart of Mary, consecrate myself totally to the Lord Just as I am, I give myself to You now and always
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as a Servant Sister of the Home of the Mother. Your motto is going to be this:
Alone with Christ Alone. “Alone with Christ Alone” is because she was
the only one who took perpetual vows that year, but it also has another connotation
because in the encounter she had, that Good Friday with Christ Crucified,
she was with Him alone, only with Him. I’ve seen what He did for me and I say, ‘Lord, you leave me speechless.’ If you have died for me, how can I not die to myself? She was well happy. She was, she was really happy. And we thought then, she cried a while all through her vows so after, we cried… and then we thought, “Oh, I wonder if she’s crying because she’s regretting this.” But then she told us that… She said, “I said I was never going to cry.” But she said, “I cried because I was so happy that I was doing it. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was just crying because I was finally getting to do it,”
and how happy she was doing it. Sr. Clare was extremely generous.
She was a great soul. We could say that she was magnanimous.
There was nothing that held her back. We were about to open a new house in Valencia
and so she went with three other Sisters. In Valencia, she had
already made her perpetual vows and she had done so with, with a seriousness,
shall we say, typical of how she was. She was, she was very authentic. During that time, I especially remember
her obedience and willingness. She always said that in the morning,
she signed a blank check for the Lord and that on that blank check, He could
write what He wanted and break her plans. And another thing she used to say,
that really caught my attention, was that sometimes I had to ask her
for something that I knew could… change a little her plans or
that could be particularly difficult: “Sr. Clare, could you do this?”
Her answer was: “Of course!” as though to say, “Obviously
God can ask me anything at any time.” The Archbishop had given us the assignment
to help as chaplains in some of the hospitals, and she helped in one of the hospitals
for long-term and terminal illnesses. They open doors for us. Because there are
patients that, when they see a chaplain… they get a little scared. On the other hand,
to see some young Sisters, it seems like it is easier
for them to accept them. From the time she came,
she brought some joy to the patients because we have patients
that arrive on the point of death. She was a Sister completely in love with the Lord
and she transmitted this. She transmitted this with great simplicity, very naturally. Sometimes even with her daring sense of humor,
she transmitted the Lord. She was a revolutionary, to tell you the truth, because she arrived here,
the people were a little sad, and when she left, everyone was happy… In the hospital, there was a case
that impacted us a lot. There was a man that was sick with AIDS in the last stages. And in addition to his illness, well,
he obviously had had a very difficult past. He had been in jail… he said that he didn’t have any ambition, any hope. He didn’t want to live. And Sr. Clare started to tell him stories
about her family, about Sr. Clare’s own family, And in that way, she was able
to open that man’s heart. So, we insisted: Hey Paco, when was the last time you went to confession? 20 years ago.
Well, it’s about time to begin, isn’t it? Gradually, although rather quickly,
she was able to get him to confess, help the man want to go to confession. He confessed and then, from that moment,
he started to receive Communion every day.
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And now the center of this man’s life is the Eucharist. We come in, “Good morning! Good morning!”
And he says, “Have you brought Communion?” The center of his life is the Eucharist and we asked him the other day, “Paco, why do you want to receive the Eucharist?” And he said, “Because it gives me life!” Yesterday I asked him, “Hey, do you want to listen to some music?” And he told me, “No, because it takes time from prayer.” He’s all pious now! This man’s conversion is amazing. I would love for you all to be able to see this man, in bed, with his tattoos. It’s amazing. This is one case that we have seen in the hospital, but there are many more.
This is just one case that especially stands out. We were both assigned
to the same community in Belmonte. We have a boarding school that is run by charity, and we take care of the education
of the girls that go there. They are girls that have different kinds of difficulties,
including family difficulties, economic difficulties… So we look after them.
Basically we play the role of their mothers there, and they love us a lot,
and we love those girls a lot as well. Sr. Clare was a constant surprise. We were always laughing,
doing activities, joking… I never saw her sad. I never saw her upset. I don’t know how she did it,
but she was always happy. One thing that really caught my attention
and that for me, was exemplary and still is, was her obedience.
I was really impressed that a Sister… that had been a Servant Sister
for many more years than me, professed for a longer time, that knew more
than me about everything, everything… And yet, I never saw anything
that she disagreed about… something that she didn’t want to do. As a matter of fact, when the year was over, I still didn’t know what she liked to do
and what she didn’t like… I could never tell! And when I asked her to do something,
she not only replied, “Of course,” but she was also always observing
to see what she could help with. We went to Lourdes and it was a very long bus trip. So, as always, she made an effort to talk to the girls,
create a good atmosphere, and sing. She started to tell stories
about when she was little, and to change her name
so that we wouldn’t realize that it was her. She started saying that
it was about a nun named Sor Clor. She disguised everything as if
she were a ridiculous hero, named Sor Clor. …than a white buffalo, jumps higher than a rabbit. She’s more intelligent than the prince of the forest. She’s sporty. She’s cool. There are a lot of cool people, but no one like Sor Clor! Super cool! She herself would say that she felt that
Our Blessed Mother wanted her to clown around… for her Sisters and for others. Someone could think that
she wanted to be the center of attention, but that’s not how it was, because she said that she
would have liked to have gone unnoticed. However, she felt that her friendly nature,
her sense of humor and everything she had… as a gift of God, had to put it at the service
of God and her brothers and sisters. When I arrived, I was totally depressed. In fact, later she told me that
she thought I didn’t know how to smile. And it didn’t matter if she found you sad
or if you were having a bad day, or were angry… I don’t know how she did it,
but she always made you happy. When she made you laugh,
it was as if everything else disappeared. She was very unselfish.
She herself didn’t matter. It didn’t matter how she felt at any given moment. No one noticed it,
but she had very frequent migraines. And I first found out because I found her
throwing up in the bathroom. “No, it doesn’t matter, Sister,
there’s a lot of work to do. Don’t worry.” But you would see her singing,
playing the guitar, and playing with the girls, and I knew that she had a migraine. She did things as soon as she could. She didn’t wait to feel better to do things.
She just did them! I was also in Spain at that time,
when we would spend our summers in activities, with young people, helping out in Zurita… We had several construction projects. She was always, always, always
willing to do any type of work. In the summer of 2012, I remember,
right before going to Ecuador, we re-did the roof of our first house
and there she worked with all of us, making everyone laugh and smile
with her sense of humor.
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Good afternoon. Here we are in Zurita. Today we are going to ask the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother what a “funcho” is. “Zuncho” Ok, what a “Zuncho” is What do you think a “zuncho” is? A tree? A tree. Okay, very good. Something very big that is going to sustain the house. Okay. She has no idea. When something is going to break and there’s a space in between. That’s it. Okay. Thank you. That’s tape. Let’s see if we can find more people. Oh! Here’s a person. What do you think a “zuncho” is? We know that “zuncho” is a Chinese word which means “yogurt”.
Can I have yogurt? In October 2012, a month before she went to Ecuador, we were going to go on
a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. She wasn’t going to participate in the trip initially, but she said to those of us who were going, “You’re so lucky, you’re going to the Lord’s land.
If I could go, I would die of joy.” A couple that was going to go on
that pilgrimage had some difficulties and could not go. They said that they wanted
to give their spots to two Sisters. ln the end, we decided to draw names from a hat and the names we drew were Sr. Therese and Sr. Clare. And, of course, when we told her,
she couldn’t believe it. She was so happy to be able to go to the Holy Land.
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Today in Mass, after the homily, All the Servant Sisters and Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother we have renewed our “yes” in Our Lady’s house. This was an immense grace: to be able to say “yes” where Our Lady said “yes”. And even though we are only 9 Sisters here, we have a paper here, by the way, with all the names of the Sisters. All the names of the Sisters. I am touching this to all the different sites. It has touched Our Lady’s house. It has touched the synagogue, where Our Lord preached. It has touched the “Mensa Christi”, where Our Lord prepared breakfast for His apostles. All this is so that, when we go there, we don’t say, “We pray for the Sisters,” but rather, for each one of you. For each one of you. When I entered as a Sister
in the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother, I did so to dedicate my life to God
and I knew that I had to… be open to whatever the Lord asked of me. So when I was told that I was going to go to Ecuador,
then I put my life in God’s hands and totally accepted it. We had been doing apostolic work
here in Guayaquil for a year. And Sr. Clare’s arrival filled us with joy, because with the gifts, with the charism,
and all the graces that she had, it was going to be a great asset
for the community. I remember that everything impressed her
a lot, especially the poverty. From the beginning, we were entrusted
with two schools that are in very poor areas. Another big task that we have
is teaching catechism in the parish, and of course we have the group of the
Home of the Mother and organize retreats, camps, get-togethers, and weekly meetings. I remember how when we organized
the catechism groups, when we got to the names
of the most problematic children, we sent them with Sr. Clare. She was able to get the children
really interested in catechism It was something amazing, because not
all of the children came with a desire to be there. I really liked the songs that she taught us. She taught us about who God is, stories about Him, she took us to the chapel,
she brought me to confession and… her smile.
I’ll never forget her smile. And when you finished giving classes,
you were exhausted. It was really exhausting because of the heat and the constant effort of having to raise
your voice and control 40 children. And during recess, what you wanted to do was
get back and drink a glass of water and rest a bit. Well, it was amazing how Sr. Clare
spent the majority of the recesses… in the patio still playing with the children. My first week here in Ecuador,
I read an anecdote about St. John Paul II, where he was on an apostolic visit
and they asked him, after a long day of different activities,
“Holy Father, are you tired?” And the response of John Paul II
has given me a lot of light. They asked him, “Your Holiness, are you tired?
And he answered, “I don’t know.” So, that is an example of a man
who has totally forgotten about himself to give himself to others. Sometimes you get tired, of course. The work makes you tired. But, even though I am tired, I hope to not feel sorry for myself and to continue giving myself to God. She started to direct the choir. What she most wanted in the first place
was for us to be in the state of grace, because if we weren’t in grace,
she said, “This is no good.” Secondly, she always reminded us,
“This isn’t a stage… If you’ve come here to stand out,
it would be better to get your things and go.” You have to sing for God. You don’t have
to sing for the world or for yourselves. And you could tell that when she sang, she really sang
to God and Our Lady. You could tell. She expressed herself through song and
also when she sang you could tell… It was as if she came alive! She sang with all her heart,
all her strength, until she lost her voice. And for me, that was how she lived. She lived
giving of herself until there was nothing left, until she had no voice left, but with her life. She used to say, “It’s because I can’t sing
in a low voice. I just can’t do it.” And it’s also a reflection of her life:
she couldn’t do things half-way. When she did something, she did it to the max. She did it with all her strength and kept nothing back. And so, when she sang, she kept nothing back
and when she lived, she kept nothing back. Everyone knows how she encouraged,
told jokes, and how she would come out of
difficult situations and make us all laugh. But at least while she was here in Guayaquil,
which we could say were the last years of her life, it was really hard
for her to do these kinds of things. She was always willing to help out,
but if she could remain hidden… she preferred to remain hidden. I remember how she looked for silence and she always
looked for times to be alone with the Lord. She was known for creating a good environment
within the community. I don’t know, sometimes, maybe,
it’s easier to create a good environment outside, with the young people, with the guitar,
when you’re in a meeting with girls. And sometimes, when you go back to the community, it seems like you have a bit of a right
to sit back and relax, but no. She dedicated herself to creating
that good environment within the community. When I arrived in Ecuador,
I was sent to the community in Guayaquil to take the place of Sr. Clare
so that Sr. Clare could go to Playa Prieta. In the community of Playa Prieta,
we run a school that has children from the age
of three up through High School. She was my teacher and taught me English. And we would laugh… She taught me how to say “mother” in English. And she would teach us some games. After recess, during the last class periods,
when the kids were all wound up, and wanted to go home and all that…
Sr. Clare would come in and with all the songs that
she would start to sing with the guitar the kids would calm down, calm down, and when they were all calm and tranquil,
she would talk, and talk, and talk. Sr. Clare would sing to us… About the shepherd that lost his sheep. She taught us religion and English. She always looked for a way
to help you understand. “If you make up your mind to learn English,
you can do it. You’ll speak better than Americans.”
She always told us that. A very good teacher. She called us by our last names. She was happy about everything. We looked forward to Sr. Clare’s classes. We didn’t want the class to end.
We made the most of it and on top of it, we learned. I remember seeing her walking during recess
and the children behind her. And they would always grab
the back part of her scapular. She always gave a pencil or notebook
to each one of the kids… so that they could follow along with her
and, seriously, the children loved her. She never generalized,
she always focused on the individual. If she was with the children,
for her, that one child was that child. She would dedicate time to that specific child. Many times, at the end of the day, she had lost her voice
because she was talking and singing so much. She was in charge of a very difficult class. They were teenagers, 14-15 year olds,
teens that were getting bad grades, getting involved in impurity. She was our tutor. She tried to unite our class. She called them “my chickens,” “my little chickens.” For us, Sister Clare was like a mother. She made us laugh about any funny thing, she would even juggle with a water bottle
by moving it all over the place. According to her, she was juggling “full-scale.” She put up with us a lot because we were really
lazy and had a low academic level. She said, “I think that what they’re missing
is a motivation so that they can give more.” She proposed to us a trip,
but only if we started getting better grades. And that class started to get better grades. The whole class passed that semester. We said to ourselves: how is she doing it? She prepared us with a novena
to St. Narcisa before going there. So, we did the novena, went there,
and went to the shrine where she was. We thanked her a lot for having taken us there because it also helped us a lot.
Since then my spiritual life has taken a 180 degree turn. When they were with her,
they started to bring up all their doubts. She encouraged us to go to confession
and that changed my life. We all loved her a lot, even though
sometimes she had to strongly correct us. She spoke to us really strongly
about how we had to change this, that, the other… Yes, she always pushed for more,
to give to the max, to give everything. She said, “You know that I’m radical.
Yes or no. Everything or nothing. White or black… but nothing halfway. No.” No, she didn’t like mediocrity.
She gave everything and more. She gave it all. She said, “You’re not getting and you don’t understand
how important the life of grace is. We can’t put on a face in front of someone
and a different one with others, even here with your classmates or your teachers. You can’t appear one way in front of your teacher
and then later be someone else. She was convinced that every day you have to
give everything and say yes to the Lord, because He asks you for something every day. Sr. Estela, one of the Sisters in the community
of Playa Prieta, wrote some poems. And she asked Sr. Clare to put
music to some of them. “I prefer Paradise” is one of these poems
that Sr. Clare wrote the music for. And she said, “All of the sudden, the music
came to me and I knew that it had to be like that,” as though she heard it in her head
and knew that that’s how it had to be. A few months before the earthquake, we had
a conversation in the community about death. And I remember that we said,
“Who will be the first Sister to die? And what will her death be like? I could never have imagined that it would be the Sister
who was in front of me at the table that day. She knew that she was going to die young, even though I said to her, “But how do you know? You’re so much younger than me
and I’m going to die before you.” But she always insisted:
“No, I’m going to die young… Maybe I’ll die when I’m 33, the same age as Jesus.” She said, “And lastly, I’m going to die young. But I’m not worried about dying young.
I’m worried about dying without having served, without serving, without giving all of myself,
which is what the Lord has called me to do.” She approached the Sacrament of confession with
an extraordinary purity and great humility. My fondest memory of Sr. Clare is her love for Jesus and her desire for a greater perfection,
that she knew didn’t depend on her own effort, but that she wanted to give out of love. She desired to love Jesus more, more, and more. During Christmas of 2015, the community
of Jacksonville, we went down to Ecuador and there were 10 Sisters. We had a sort of premonition.
We were all like, “Why are all 10 of us going?” This had never happened before. We just kept asking ourselves: Why did Our Lady
do this? Why did she make it possible? It’s not something normal for Sisters
to just hop on a plane and go visit other Sisters for Christmas,
and especially not 10 of us. So, I think that made us live our time in Ecuador
in a very special way, because we realized it was
a really big gift from Our Lady. The last time that I saw Sr. Clare, when I saw her, I remember thinking that she had changed a lot. She had completely transformed. It seemed
like she was on a different level spiritually. To see her was like an examination of conscience and I remember thinking, “Am I giving
myself totally to the Lord like she is?” I looked at her with admiration and I said, “Sr. Clare, you are really, really giving
your life here for Jesus Christ.” She looked at me and without wavering said,
“Sister, aren’t we the spouses of Christ crucified?” Finally the trip came to an end, and we said our
good-bye’s to all the Sisters in Playa Prieta and then we went off to Guayaquil. And all of a sudden in Mass that evening
I turned around and there was Sr. Teresa and Sr. Clare. School had already started in Playa Prieta,
but Sr. Clare didn’t feel well and so she had to go see a doctor. And when Sr. Clare came home, she called me to tell me that they
had to give her an IV, they had to give her a shot. And she said to me, “Oh, Sister, it was
really hard. It was a really difficult situation.” And she said, “But you know what? Do you know what
happened to me this morning? This morning, when I came out of prayer,
I said to Our Lady, “Mom, today, everything.
Today, you can ask me for everything.” Afterwards, she went to one of the rooms.
One of the candidates gave her the shot, the medicine that she had to take, etc. When she came out,
with a face as though nothing had happened, one of the girls asked her
to start singing, and Sister grabbed the guitar. And so, in that moment, I was going to ask
another Sister if she could play, because I knew how she was feeling,
but I didn’t have time. Sr. Clare took the guitar and started to sing. And I would say, even more than sing, she shouted. I mean, she was again giving of herself totally. And I, when I saw this,
I was touched to see her surrender, and tears came to my eyes
like now, when I remember it. And I remember that was the last night
that I saw Sr. Clare. And it was very hard to say good-bye. All of us were a little emotional
and my last memory of Sr. Clare is her giving me a hug good-bye
and saying, “Until Heaven.” On April 11, 2016, the school was flooded. It was caused by a ton of branches that
blocked up the flow of a river. They took the branches out and the entire area
of Playa Prieta was flooded in ten minutes. What started at ankle length,
not higher than that, started to quickly rise. At that moment, Sr. Clare’s face was that of:
“I can’t believe this is happening,” because the benches in the chapel were floating… That week, which was spent cleaning,
I consider to be “the week of gifts.” We were cleaning.
We were cleaning the whole school because classes were going to start soon. As always, Sr. Clare made herself available 100% with joy, with an energy that
I don’t know where it came from… Well, of course, it came from the Lord. She started to clean, clean, and clean
and I was amazed at how quickly she did it. They had lent us a pump
and we had to clean the playing court. Sr. Clare had made a board with heavy stick nailed to it and it helped to push out the mud
as they added water to it. So, I was looking out from the window
and all of the sudden, one of the men said, “Sisters, on the count of three,
you all have to go at the same rhythm,” along with the Candidates and that were there. And I saw how Sr. Clare went running first,
she was the first to run… to grab the heavy board, to take on the most difficult, the heavy board which is
the most difficult thing to push, and start to clean out the mud. But you can imagine: of course, you’re exhausted! It was almost time for lunch
and they had been working all day long to get the mud out from all these other
different places in the school, cleaning seats, cleaning tables…
I mean, you’re exhausted! But you could see them with a joy, singing
and laughing and saying, “Let’s save souls! Come on, let’s offer this for the souls in purgatory,
for so and so.” And it was something that made you say: It was a week that the Lord gave to them
so that they could be prepared and go to Heaven. Our community of Sisters from Chone
had spent the day with the Sisters in Playa Prieta. There had been a lot of families
that had lost practically everything. And so we gathered supplies to take to the families. And there the candidates,
the Sisters, were working very hard. When we went up to the house,
that’s when I saw Sr. Clare and her face caught my attention.
She was really beautiful. I don’t know how to explain it. I remember that her face really drew my attention, not just because of her joy,
but because she possessed a special beauty. April 16th, the day of the earthquake,
was a normal day. We were finishing cleaning the little that was left. One of the library bookshelves
fell on top of two of the girls. And so they were in a lot of pain that day. And during lunch, Sr. Estela said, “What would
have happened if you had died today?” We were talking about death during lunch
and whether we were afraid to die. Sr. Clare said, “Well, I’m not afraid to die. Why should I be afraid of death, if death
is the encounter with Christ who is the One that I have always
desired to be with?” I said to her, “No, not me, please. Not yet.
I need to go to confession first.” After lunch, we went to Mass
and after Mass we came back home. And right away, Sister said that we had guitar class. For a few weeks, Sr. Clare had been
teaching the girls how to play the guitar. That night, I was going to sleep over,
but I decided to leave and then come back later. Sr. Clare was on the second floor with four girls. Sr. Estella, Sr. Therese, 3 girls, and myself
were on the third floor where our house is. Then next, I looked into the room
and that was the last time I saw them. I only heard the song they were singing,
which was “I prefer Paradise,” just a few minutes beforehand… I just remember their smiles, singing and laughing. The school is just 5 minutes from my house. Only two minutes were left for everyone
to go down to the second floor to pray the rosary. I arrived at my house and the earthquake started. We started to notice that there was a quake. Sr. Estela said, “We have to get out.
We have to get out.” The house started moving more, more and more. Sr. Estela went running to save the Blessed Sacrament. I got to the doorframe, but didn’t go out. I saw how the stairs started to give way,
as though someone were hitting them with a hammer. You couldn’t stand on your feet and
so I grabbed the door. And all of the sudden, everything started to fall down. And in that moment, no one screamed,
no one said anything. And we heard really loudly: tra-tra-tra. And the fall wasn’t all at once,
but was little by little. And everything was silent and so I started to shout,
“Girls? Sisters?” But there was no response. We were outside the Church, standing there, All of a sudden, the earthquake occurred
and the Sisters’ building completely collapsed. I said to myself, “I’m going to the building right now.” There was no electricty or anything. It was dangerous. The roads were really bad… and the only thing I saw was the terrace. It was as though a four story building
had never existed, as though only the terrace had existed. I just started to cry at that moment.
I didn’t know what to do. We started to call out to see if anyone was alive
and then Sr. Estela answered. She said, “Calm down, calm down.
Sr. Therese is with me. She’s fine. She’s fine. Calm down. Don’t cry. Instead of us calming her down, she was calming us down. And in that moment, we started
to look for a way to get in and save her. We called the Sisters in Guayaquil. We told them
the news that the building had collapsed and that the Sisters were trapped inside
and we didn’t know what to do. You believe it because you’re hearing it,
but it seems like a mistake. We said that we were on our way,
that we were going to get the Sisters out, that they needed us
and that we were on our way. We went running to our home.
We gathered medicines, some food, water. And all of the sudden I felt really strongly:
“Sr. Clare, Sr. Clare.” I felt as though she was saying to me,
“I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. I’m just fine.” And of course, then I started to get worried. And I started to speak to
Our Blessed Mother in my heart saying, “Return her soul to her body.
Do something, but don’t let her die.” I felt really strongly, “Sr. Clare, Sr. Clare.” When I received the news, I couldn’t believe it.
It was like a nightmare. And so we immediately went down to the chapel. I called the rest of the Sisters who were sleeping. I explained what had happened and
we immediately went to the chapel to pray. I heard a pounding on my door and
immediately I got up and went to the chapel. In February of 2016, I travelled to Spain
and my return was right on April 16th. At the time of the earthquake,
I was travelling with another Sister. My heart skipped a beat
because I immediately thought of the building. I have experienced a lot of earthquakes
in that school building and I know what it’s like when
there’s a quake and you’re on the top floor. So, I could only pray. We got there around 1 in the morning,
I think it was. The first thing they gave us was the Blessed Sacrament. We got there and they had taken out 3 Sisters and 2 girls and had taken them to a house
but Sr. Clare and 5 girls were missing. We kept looking to see if someone answered,
if someone were alive, but we didn’t hear anything. They tried to break the concrete slabs
that were intact, but it was impossible. We needed a machine to do it. And that’s how the night was spent:
without sleeping, without being able to do anything, waiting for daytime to be able
to get the machines and work through the rubble to be able to
find the Sisters, waiting to see if they were alive. And right away we went with the Sisters
who were wounded and who had been rescued… I remember how that night we prayed the rosary a lot and we didn’t stop praying the rosary because we were
thinking a lot about Sr. Clare and the girls. They care of us a little and
since we were doing really badly, they didn’t know if we had fractures or broken bones, they took us to Guayaquil for tests and everything else
necessary to attend to us. I went with another Sister and the wounded Sisters
and we took them to Guayaquil. And Sr. Mari Carmen and I stayed back
to continue looking for the Sisters. I would say that up until the last moment,
I had hopes of them coming out alive. At 5 in the morning, the earliest we could, we went in the truck to look for a machine
that could lift up the concrete slabs. We dug through rubble and more rubble. At around 1 in the afternoon,
the body of Jazmina was found. I think that for everyone, we got discouraged and time went passing until… At around 4 or 5 in the afternoon,
when it wasn’t dark yet, they found the bodies of Sr. Clare
and the girls that were together with her. We suppose that they had run from the room
where they were practicing the guitar to the stairwell to go down the stairs,
but they weren’t able to get down the stairs. Sr. Clare had a piece of the guitar in her hand. And they took Sister out
and brought her to the assembly hall, which was in a little bit better of a condition
and still standing, and we started to pray. Everyone gathered
around their bodies and we prayed. One of the priests that was there
also started to pray a psalm. And seeing them there at that moment, dead,
I couldn’t believe it. The truth is that I couldn’t register that Sister was dead. I was looking at her… at the last moment,
well, I grabbed her hand. I thought about Sr. Clare, and how
she was there, even though she was with the girls, and the majority of them were candidates. But I did think how she was there alone.
There was no Sister left there. The others, thanks be to God, we could rescue. And I thought about her motto
for perpetual vows: “Alone with Christ Alone.” And I thought that the Lord had wanted her death
to also be like that. Sr. Clare belonged to Him and in a way,
she lived that motto: “Alone with Christ Alone.” And at the hour of death too. Like Jesus, she died young. And because of Jesus, we believe that a life
given in loving sacrifice is never wasted. Derry is a couple of troubles in stuff. There is a lot of depression in the town and there’s a lot of issues with drinking alcohol and drugs and whatever else and for somebody to grow up in that and then to become such a vibrant person… This city needs something. It needs something that they can say: “This belongs to us.” When you hear about stories about great people, you’re thinking, “Oh, they’re great. I could never do what they do.” But when you see someone like Clare, who grew up in the same streets as me…
And if she could do it, why can’t I do it? And Sr. Clare affected everyone in this city with so much joy. Because they say, every city, every town has someone of their own. And the fact that Sr. Clare actually was one of our own, people are actually saying, “We actually pray to Sr. Clare.” And to be honest with you, I’ve done it myself. You go up to the grave… Every day we go up to the grave and there is something new. You don’t know, you never know who’s going to be at the grave. There’s a stronger relationship maybe now than there had been in the years when she was away that I hadn’t seen her. She’s sick looking at me up there asking her for stuff. Everytime I’m up, I’m asking her for something. I ask her to help people and to help me. Clare knows that I was never a Mass-goer. Even when we were younger, I was always the first to fall asleep. But she always told me I needed to go back to God. I even started taking the wee ones to Mass. I never went to Mass before. She might have to drag me out some Saturday nights, but I still go. So I’m going to Mass now and that’s all down to her. What has happened with the school in Playa is like
a parable of what has occurred in the life of Sr. Clare. The school was destroyed. It was
all desolate when I was there the first time. It was a sight to see all of the buildings in ruins. And now, after having returned
and having seen how it’s all been rebuilt, you can see how it’s
even more beautiful than before. It’s a place of peace, of serenity, of beauty, and for me it was a parable of what
has occurred with the lives of the Sisters: how apparently, their death was a destruction, and
yet, God has taken out unimaginable spiritual fruits. We have received a lot of graces here in Playa Prieta, conversions, people are getting closer to the Lord. And we have the Servant Brothers here and daily Mass. In the school in Playa Prieta,
it is very easy to feel Sr. Clare close to us, since she spent the last years of her life here. I remember her a lot
and I ask her for help, to give myself as I saw that she gave herself to the Lord. And I asked her like Elisha asked Elijah,
“Give me two thirds of your spirit.” And I felt that she said to me,
“Look at the heart of our Blessed Mother, which is what I always did.”
And that has helped me a lot. I feel her very close to me.
Above all, when I went to Playa Prieta. I felt as if she were still alive.
And she has helped me a lot. If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have gone to Ecuador
and right now I would be totally lost. This little Sister who always wanted to be
famous in another way, is touching hearts, many more hearts after she died,
than she ever could while she was alive. I can just feel her listening.
I can’t even describe it. I just know she is listening. Life is so short and the way she lived it,
that’s how we have to live… every day on fire for love of Christ. Because Sr. Clare lived that way,
that inspires me to live that way. We are constantly receiving news here from people… that, since they have gotten to know
about the life of Sr. Clare, they have become her friends,
and they have taken her as a protector… of their life and their family.
A lot of people… We decided to name our little girl after Sr. Clare. The death of Sr. Clare is a seed planted
in the ground, that is just now showing itself. We are made to go to Heaven and so the fact that
there are Sisters that have already taken the path, and that by the mercy of God we hope are in Heaven… Well, for me it’s a great joy. I told the Sisters that we have to be happy
because now we have a foundation in Heaven. We have a community in Heaven and I jokingly said to them
that I have named Sr. Clare as superior… so that she can take care of the rest of her Sisters. Look at Clare Crockett. A beautiful girl from Derry,
who left everything to follow Jesus and died tragically in the earthquake in Ecuador. A girl whose life was totally
transformed by her Catholic Faith She was changed by that Faith
and made her radiant and beautiful, made her someone we can all consider
an example to be followed and perhaps a Saint to be prayed to. This is something that the Lord has taught me. The person who loses his life, and forgets oneself and dies to self is happy. And this is the truth. This is the truth. ♫ In the cold night ♫ of the dormant soul ♫ who laments her defiance, ♫ a “yes” enlightens the darkness. ♫ The young heart, ♫ that trembled in the face of surrender, ♫ became strong ♫ at the touch of your caress. ♫ And morning came, ♫ clearer than ever before, ♫ under the protection of a Mother

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