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Sister Clare Theresa Crockett: The teen who gave up an acting career and life of partying to follow God

By Donna Deeney

Sister Clare Crockett gave up a self-confessed wild teenage lifestyle and a budding acting career to work with some of the world's poorest children.

Growing up in Derry her main focus in life was no different than any other typical teenage girl.

She looked forward to partying with her friends at the weekend and dreamt of having a successful career as an actress.

In her own testimony on the Home of the Mother Order website, Clare explained how a trip to Spain changed her life.

"Ever since I was little I always wanted to be an actress. When I was around 15 I joined an acting agency and had a manager," she wrote.

"I was a presenter for some television programmes, I wrote plays, did a lot of stage acting, won awards and when I was 18 I had a small part in a movie.

"I liked to party a lot. My weekends, since I was 16-17, consisted in getting drunk with my friends. I wasted all my money on alcohol and cigarettes.

"One day one of my friends called me. 'Clare', she said, 'do you want to go on a free trip to Spain?'

"'Free trip to Spain?' I thought. Ten days of partying in sunny Spain - of course I wanted to go! She told me that all the people who were going were going to meet together the next week.

"The next week came, and I walked into a room and it was filled with people around the age of 40 and 50 and they all had rosary beads in their hands.

"Are you all going on the trip to Spain?" I asked them, almost afraid that they were going to say when they all responded enthusiastically three seconds later: 'Yes... we're going on the pilgrimage'." She admitted she tried to get out of the trip, but it wasn't to be, and she found herself on a flight that transformed her for ever.

She added: "I now see that it was Our Lady's way of bringing me back Home, back to Her and Her Son.

"I said: 'I can't be a nun! I can't leave drinking, cigarettes, partying, my career and my family.'"

Filled with doubt and indecision the young woman was finally convinced that the religious life was her destiny sitting in a hotel bedroom in England.

Sister Clare explained: "After I knew what He was calling me to do, the Lord gave me another big grace when I was filming a movie in England.

"I saw that even though it seemed that I had everything, in reality I had nothing.

"I felt a great emptiness as I sat on top of my bed in the hotel room. All that I had ever wanted I seemed to be achieving and I wasn't happy.

"I knew that I would only be truly happy by doing what God wanted of me. Our Lord showed me that my wild lifestyle deeply hurt His Sacred Heart."

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