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Holy Family parishioner to fulfil childhood desire to be Christ’s Bride

A BEAUTIFUL soul is set to become Christ's Bride, with Holy Family parishioner, Shauna Clifford to take the Rite of Consecration in a ceremony to be celebrated by Bishop Donal in St Joseph's Church, Galliagh, on Friday, 10 February 2023, at 11:00am.
Taking time out from the preparations for her special day, Shauna shared the journey of faith she has been on since a wonderful experience during a pilgrimage to Lourdes as a five-year-old.

Originally from the Creggan, she has lived over 30 years in the Holy Family Parish, Ballymagroarty, with her family moving to live in Barr's Lane, Hazelbank, when she was a child. The second of three children born to the late Daniel and Bernadette Clifford, Shauna has suffered quadriplegia from birth, with impairment of her muscles in both her arms and legs. 

Accepting of her condition, she remarked: "I am not paralysed, but because of the way my muscles are impacted, it is difficult for me to move. I remember when I was younger, wanting to move and being frustrated that I couldn't. "And, just before Christmas, I was diagnosed with Arthritis, which has impacted on my mobility now to a certain extent.

There are challenges in life; it is not a smooth run." Only five years old when her mother took her to Lourdes, Shauna remarked: "I don't remember much about the pilgrimage because of my age, but I remember my mother telling me about it and showing me a photograph. "She had taken me to the Baths one day, and when we got back to our hotel she put me down on the carpeted floor, and I got up on my knees and crawled for the first time ever. I can remember
making continuous progress after that, to the point that I could usea rollator frame when I was about 10 years old.

"I felt really good about this, as the doctors had said when I was really young that, because of the impact on my muscles, I wouldn't ever be able to use a walking frame. The starting point of all this was in Lourdes. Our Lady and Jesus did what they had to do and then I was able to continue to make progress and keep going forward."

She added: "I always had a strong faith as a young girl. I have an awareness that I started praying to Our Lady when I was five years old. I didn't pray to Jesus right away, so I think what they say, 'To Jesus through Mary', is correct. As time went on and I read the Bible and other religious books, I got to know Jesus personally, through spending time with Him in prayer.

God's Will
"As my relationship with Jesus and Our Lady developed over time, every decision I made in my life, I took it to prayer. When I was younger and got ideas in my head that I wanted to do, I told God about it, but when I got older it wasn't so much that I was telling God but more that I was asking Him if it was His Will for me to do whatever I had in my head to do."

When Shauna was 16, she left school and went on to a training scheme, and then spent over four years with the Health
Service... Read all of Shauna's story on the Diocese of Derry monthy magazine ‘The Net’
I know now that this is where God wants me to be -...

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