Sr. Clare Crockett’s motto, which she would write in letters to the children and teens with whom she worked, was “All or Nothing.” The film about her will be released on YouTube Nov. 14.
Sr. Clare Crockett’s motto, which she would write in letters to the children and teens with whom she worked, was “All or Nothing.” The film about her will be released on YouTube Nov. 14.
There are moments of recognition for anyone watching “All or Nothing,” the documentary about Sister Clare Crockett, an Irish Servant Sister of the Home of the Mother. The realization begins as a musing thought that grows until most viewers — Catholic or not — understand that this is what a saint looks like.

That, at any rate, was the audience’s experience at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Portland last week. The group of about 40 saw a preview of the film that is to be released on YouTube and in a DVD on Nov. 14.

“I was profoundly moved by her joy and humanity,” said Archbishop Alexander Sample. He explained that sometimes we overcomplicate the core of our faith, which is to love Jesus in the Eucharist and to love our holy Mother.

Sister Clare was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1982, during The Troubles. Derry was a hot point in the guerilla war there that debased the lives of many young people who witnessed the partisan-stoked hatred that played out in bombings, assassinations and militarized policing. “There was no room for God in a society dominated by hatred,” she wrote.

Amidst that backdrop, young Clare Crockett just wanted to be famous. She had the looks, the confidence and a comic’s timing that landed her as a host on a television show. She had an agent and a part in a film. But when a free trip to Spain presented itself, she went, thinking she would party on the beaches of Ibiza.

It was a pilgrimage to a 16th-century monastery. Sister Clare gave up her acting career — and smoking and drinking. “I kissed the nail that went through the feet of Jesus and received the grace to see that God had died for me on the Cross.”

Sister Clare put her immense gifts to work for Jesus and Mary, gifts that were not only comedic and musical but an ebullience, grace and good humor that won over shy children and damaged teens alike. Many of those children and teens, notably from Florida and Ecuador, spoke about her in the film.

Sister Clare liked to say that she was signing a blank check for the Lord every morning, agreeing to cheerfully do whatever was asked of her.

Sister Clare was killed April 16, 2016, in an earthquake in Ecuador that flattened the four-story concrete-walled school where she taught. She was 33. She was singing with a group of students just before the earthquake struck. “She sang until she lost her voice; she gave everything,” one of her fellow sisters said of her.

Two Servant Sisters who knew Sister Clare brought the film to the pastoral center: Sisters Grace Silao and Kelai Reno. Sister Kelai is from Newport. Oregon has another connection with the sisters: Todd Cooper’s stepdaughter, Elisabeth, joined the order five years ago. Cooper is director of special projects for the archbishop and serves on staff for the Oregon Catholic Conference.

Sister Kelai said it was impossible to put into words Sister Clare’s generosity of spirit. Few outside the order, for instance, knew that she suffered migraines so debilitating that at times she would have to leave the room to vomit every 15 minutes or so. She didn’t wait until she was better to get back to work, but came back immediately to whatever she was doing. The last time Sister Kelai saw her, she said Sister Clare’s holiness stood out.

Since her death the sisters have been made aware of all the people who pray to Sister Clare. They are documenting spiritual and physical miracles associated with her, a young woman who turned her back on narcissism and fame to serve Christ.