By Ann Marie Foley - 15 August, 2019
Nora Quoirin was a regular attender at Mass and a devout person, according to her parish priest Father Marcus Holden.
“Nora brought a great gift to the parish as well. She was loved in the need that she had, and she blessed us in the time she had with us, albeit too short,” Fr Holden said.
The body of Nora, 15, was found on the afternoon of 13th August in the jungle near the Malaysian resort where she had been staying with her family. She had been missing for 10 days. Investigations into the cause of her death are ongoing.
Nora lived in London but was from an Irish–French family.
Speaking on RTE Radio 1’s Drivetime, Fr Holden said Nora had attended the infants and junior school in the parish, and her entire family were very involved in parish life at St Bede’s in Clapham.
“To a situation like this we cannot give easy glib answers, but we do have a strong faith and conviction. We really do believe that the situation is not hopeless, no matter how difficult it is, and that Nora is in the hands of our loving Father in Heaven,” he said.
St Bede’s is holding a special remembrance Mass for Nora this evening (15th August) at 8pm.
St Bede’s is part of the Archdiocese of Southwark and its bishop, Patrick Lynch, issued a statement on 13th August: “Little can take away the desolation that is experienced at the loss of a loved one. However, at this most painful of times the Catholic community wishes to extend its prayerful support to Nora’s family in heartfelt love and compassion: we walk alongside them as they grieve her loss.
“Mindful of their sadness, we also pray for the comfort of those who have been involved in the search for Nora, the parishioners of St Bede’s RC Church, Clapham Park, where the family attend Mass, as well as school friends and staff.”
At St Brigid’s Church in Belfast, where Nora’s grandparents attend, a statement by the Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor, was read out during Mass. In it the bishop said that Nora and the Quoirin-Agnew family had been very much in his thoughts and prayers since the news of her disappearance broke.
He noted the “courage, faith, hope and resolve” of Nora’s family, and praised the commitment of the authorities and local community in Malaysia. He stressed that everyone’s thoughts and prayers were with the Quoirin family at this “desperately difficult” time.
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh tweeted: “We especially reach out in love and prayer to the heartbroken family and friends of Nora Quoirin. God grant them strength and comfort.”
A local Nilai Malaysia news outlet reported on 9 August that residents around Pekan Pantai held a solat hajat (prayer of need) after the Friday prayers, seeking divine intervention for the return of teenager after she had been missing for six days.
The Imam II of the Pantai Kariah Mosque, Mohd Taufek Awaludin, led the prayers. He was joined by Nilai district police chief superintendent Mohd Nor Marzukee Besar, as well as an estimated 300 residents from the area.
He said that as Nora’s disappearance happened in their village area, they hoped that Allah would help the search operations. This was the first ever “special prayers” in the village in a missing person’s case.