Five years on from her death, devotion to Derry nun Sr Clare Crockett continues to grow, as hope increases the Church will soon open her canonisation cause.
On April 16, the five-year waiting period required by the Vatican before a potential cause can be considered for the sister – who died in an earthquake in Ecuador bringing orphans to safety in 2016 – will have elapsed.
Since her death, people have witnessed to their belief that Sr Clare lived a saintly life and reports of favours granted through her intercession have also been made.
Fr Stephen Quinn OCD of Termonbacca, Derry, who has walked closely with the family over the past five years, says he is very hopeful ecclesiastical authorities will begin the process to have her declared a saint.
“It would be very foolish for us not to consider it [the cause for canonisation] because it’s unlike anything I’ve seen in the Irish Church for any person,” Fr Quinn told The Irish Catholic of the devotion evident to Sr Clare.
“Even if you consider it to Matt Talbot or Blessed John Sullivan – even Frank Duff. You compare it to those causes and it’s unrecognisable in terms of how many pick it up, how many people use the candles, how many people use the devotion.
“It’s blowing me away. Every time I think it’s run its course, it gets another set of legs and goes again.”
Sr Clare’s sister Shauna Gill said she has been overwhelmed by the “non-stop” contact the family have had regarding their sister: “It has been fairly non-stop with people contacting us to say that they have had favours granted after asking Clare to intercede, especially about infertility and cancer”.
It was speculated earlier this year that her order, the Servants of the Home of the Mother, would be announcing the opening of her cause April 16. However, the congregation later clarified this would not be the case. It is now up to the Church in Ecuador to further the process.
Fr Quinn believes it’s an important time to consider her cause, as the Irish Church seeks to reach out to younger people, for whom she has a strong draw.
“All comparisons are odious, but the only thing I can put it to is Thérése or Teresa of the Andes or in Chile where people have picked up this odour of sanctity. You look at the video or read the book, there’s an authenticity that speaks of Christ, it speaks of holiness.”
Devotion to Sr Clare continues to rise and St Columba’s Church Longtower in Derry reported that their retreat for Sr Clare, beginning April 19, was booked out in a matter of hours.
Ms Gill, who will be speaking at the retreat, said in a statement that “this is a very special time for the family, and everyone who is devoted to Clare as it marks the fifth anniversary of her death”.