Prayers were being offered in Belfast and London yesterday for the family of Nora Quoirin.
Just hours before her body was found in the Malaysian jungle a Mass was held at St Brigid’s Church in south Belfast, where Nora was baptised in August 2004 and where her grandparents are parishioners.
Parish priest Fr Eddie O’Donnell described Nora as “a child of our faith community”.
He said: “Hearts are filled with pain, but we realise that the sum total of all our pain does not even begin to approximate the pain of Nora’s mum and dad Meabh and Sebastien, and that of her grandparents and those of the immediate family circle.”
In a statement read out at the Mass, Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor said Nora and the Quoirin-Agnew family had been “very much” in his thoughts and prayers since her disappearance on August 4 from the Dusun resort.
He praised the “courage, faith, hope and resolve” of Nora’s family, adding that he was “mindful of the goodwill and commitment of the authorities and local community in Malaysia”.
He said the thoughts and prayers of all were with the Quoirin family at this “desperately difficult” time.
At Nora’s home parish of St Bede’s in Clapham Park, south London, vigils have been held since her disappearance.
A vigil of prayer and reflection will be held there at 8pm tonight, followed by a public Mass for Nora tomorrow at 8pm.
Parish priest Father Marcus Holden said yesterday: “We have been informed that Nora Quoirin’s life on Earth has ended.
“We now keep the repose of Nora’s soul in our prayers, confident that she is in the safe hands of Our Father in Heaven. We pray also for her family at this time of profound tragedy.
“May she rest in peace and rise in glory.”
The nearby St Bede’s School which Nora attended also opened its doors to allow the community “to join in prayer for Nora and her family… in this heartbreaking and horrific moment”.
The Archdiocese of Southwark in London said in a statement: “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.
“God is in all things and His grace is with us in all circumstances.
“We commend Nora to God’s tender care, asking him also to pour out peace, consolation and healing on those that mourn her this day.
“We respectfully ask that the family and friends of Nora are granted privacy at this time.”