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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

Published 19/04/2016

Sister Clare Theresa Crockett
Sister Clare Theresa Crockett
Sister Clare Crockett with one of the pupils
Sister Clare Theresa Crockett was based at a school in Playa Prieta with the Home of the Mother order.
Sister Clare Theresa Crockett.
Sister Clare Crockett at the school in Playa Prieta
Rescuers dig in the ruins after the earthquake
The school where nun worked

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.

Peruvian rescuers take part in the search for survivors in Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. AFP/Getty Images
Peruvian rescuers take part in the search for survivors in Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. AFP/Getty Images
Peruvian rescuers pause their search for survivors during a tremor in Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
A soldier patrols the streets of Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
A woman cries as she waits for news of her loved ones in Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Peruvian rescuers search for survivors in Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Peruvian rescuers pray as they search for survivors in Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
View of a house destroyed in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
People wait for news of their loved ones in Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers and residents search for victims in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Peruvian rescuers work after a 7.8-magnitude quake at the Tarqui Neigborhood in Manta, Ecuador on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers and residents search for victims in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Residents receive supplies in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Soldiers distributed supplies in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Soldiers distributed supplies in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers and residents search for victims in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Peruvian rescuers reast during the search for survivors in Manta, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
A man carries a sack of fruit onto a truck in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Residents evacuate their belongings in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers and residents search for victims in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
A man removes rubble in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
A Honduran military police officer carries donations to be sent to the quake victims in Ecuador, in Tegucigalpa on April 18, 2016. Honduras will send a group of specialists to Ecuador Monday to help in the rescue works. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / ORLANDO SIERRAORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images
Destroyed houses are brought down for precaution in Jama, in the Ecuadorean coastal province of Manabi, on April 18, 2016 two days after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 18, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / Juan CevallosJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
A mannequin lies amid the rubble caused by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, in La Chorrera, Ecuador, Monday, April 18, 2016. The Saturday night quake left a trail of ruin along Ecuadors normally placid Pacific Ocean coast. At least 350 people died and thousands are homeless. President Rafael Correa said early Monday that the death toll would surely rise, and in a considerable way. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
A member of Ecuador's Special Operations Group searches for survivors in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, two day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 19, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIARODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
Firefighters remove a body recovered from a destroyed building felled by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, in Portoviejo, Ecuador, Monday, April 18, 2016. The Saturday night quake left a trail of ruin along Ecuadors normally placid Pacific Ocean coast. At least 350 people died and thousands are homeless. President Rafael Correa said early Monday that the death toll would surely rise, and in a considerable way. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
Soldiers search for survivors in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, two day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 19, 2016. Rescuers and desperate families clawed through the rubble Monday to pull out survivors of an earthquake that killed 350 people and destroyed towns in a tourist area of Ecuador. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIARODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
A man, his home destroyed by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, sleeps in his uncle's boat docked along the shore, in La Chorrera, Ecuador, Monday, April 18, 2016. The Saturday night quake left a trail of ruin along Ecuadors normally placid Pacific Ocean coast. At least 350 people died and thousands are homeless. President Rafael Correa said early Monday that the death toll would surely rise, and in a considerable way. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
A man, whose wife and unborn son were killed during a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, recovers belongings from his collapsed home, in La Chorrera, Ecuador, Monday, April 18, 2016. The Saturday night quake left a trail of ruin along Ecuador's normally placid Pacific Ocean coast. At least 350 people died and thousands are homeless. President Rafael Correa said early Monday that the death toll would "surely rise, and in a considerable way." (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
TOPSHOT - Picture taken in Pedernales, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016 a day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers in Ecuador raced to dig out victims trapped under the rubble of homes and hotels on Sunday after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed at least 235. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIARODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - The sun sets in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, a day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 17, 2016. The toll from the big earthquake in Ecuador rose on Sunday to 246 dead and 2,527 people injured, the country's vice president said. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIARODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
A man and his son rest at the shelter in Manta, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016 a day after a powerful 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. The toll from the big earthquake in Ecuador rose on Sunday to 246 dead and 2,527 people injured, the country's vice president said. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Residents sleep under a makeshift tent outside the emergency center in the town of Portoviejo, Ecuador, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Parts of Ecuador have been devastated by the country's strongest earthquake in decades, as the death toll continues to rise and people left homeless prepare to sleep outside for second straight night. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Picture taken in Manta, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016 a day after a powerful 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. The toll from the big earthquake in Ecuador rose on Sunday to 246 dead and 2,527 people injured, the country's vice president said. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Picture showing the destruction in Manta, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016 a day after a powerful 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. The toll from the big earthquake in Ecuador rose on Sunday to 246 dead and 2,527 people injured, the country's vice president said. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
A vehicle rolls on a cracked route after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Chone, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 246 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN CEVALLOSJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Ecuadorean Veronica Paladines, removes rubble in search for her husband at Tarqui neigbourhood in Manta, Ecuador on April 17, 2016 a fay after a powerful quake hit the country. The toll from the big earthquake in Ecuador rose on Sunday to 246 dead and 2,527 people injured, the country's vice president said. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images
A rescuer works in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, a day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 17, 2016. Rescuers in Ecuador raced to dig out victims trapped under the rubble of homes and hotels on Sunday after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed at least 246. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIARODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
The sun sets in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, a day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 17, 2016. The toll from the big earthquake in Ecuador rose on Sunday to 246 dead and 2,527 people injured, the country's vice president said. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIARODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
A girl waits in Pedernales, Ecuador, on April 17, 2016 a day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country. Rescuers in Ecuador raced to dig out victims trapped under the rubble of homes and hotels on Sunday after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed at least 246. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIARODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
Rescue workers search the rubble after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Gauyaquil, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
A rescue worker searches the rubble after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Gauyaquil, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
Picture taken in one of Ecuador's worst-hit towns, Pedernales, a day after a 7.8-magnitude quake hit the country, on April 17, 2016. Rescuers in Ecuador raced to dig out victims trapped under the rubble of homes and hotels on Sunday after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed at least 246. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIARODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images
Buildings barely left standing after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN CEVALLOSJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
Aeril view taken by a drone after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images
Aeril view taken by a drone after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / Pablo COZZAGLIOPABLO COZZAGLIO/AFP/Getty Images
Rescue workers search the rubble after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Guayaquil, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 235 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTALUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
People watch a collapsed house in Guayaquil on April 17, 2016. At least 41 people have been killed by the powerful earthquake that struck western Ecuador on Saturday and the toll will likely rise further, the country's Vice President Jorge Glas said. / AFP PHOTO / JOSE SANCHEZ LJOSE SANCHEZ L/AFP/Getty Images
View of a fallen building after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 77 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN CEVALLOSJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images
People walk along a street after a 7.8-magnitude quake in Portoviejo, Ecuador on April 17, 2016. At least 77 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying buildings and a bridge and sending terrified residents scrambling from their homes, authorities said Sunday. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN CEVALLOSJUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images

"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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