Arlene Foster tells of tears for 'tender, caring' young nun Clare Crockett killed in Ecuador quake
First Minister Arlene Foster has revealed how she was moved to tears by the death of young Londonderry nun Clare Crockett, who died in the earthquake that struck Ecuador.
Writing exclusively in today's Belfast Telegraph, the DUP leader says: "On Tuesday morning I was moved to tears by the story of Clare Theresa Crockett.
"This young lady gave up everything in order to devote her life to helping other people.
"She was a talented actress and could have done anything with her life, yet she decided to become a nun working amongst the poor and needy.
"Her tragic death in Ecuador at the young age of just 33 robbed her family and the world of a tender, caring person."
In her article, Mrs Foster also pays tribute to the life and work of Congo missionary Maud Kells, who she said was an extraordinary example of someone driven by their faith to engage in the service of other people.
"For nearly 50 years Maud, who trained as a nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital, has lived out her practical faith in Congo.
"Not content with helping others, Maud shared her nursing skills with local people and trained others in nursing.
"At 75 she was shot by bandits in the country. This did not harden her heart toward the people of Congo and she continues to labour there in the service of other people.
"These are two high-profile examples that many people will have heard about but there are literally thousands of smaller ones all over Northern Ireland of people helping their neighbours and friends as a living, breathing part of their faith."
Funeral arrangements for earthquake victim Clare have not yet been finalised.
Last night the Kevin Bell Trust - which helps families repatriate the remains of their loved ones who have died overseas - said her body was not expected to leave Ecuador for Northern Ireland until next Wednesday at the earliest.