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The Sisters of Bon Secours

Spreading Out From France (cont.)

A decade later, Bon Secours had set up in London and another ten years later were working in Baltimore, USA. By 1900, healthcare was changing and Bon Secours changed with it. Care of the sick was moving from the homes of patients to hospitals, and so Bon Secours began to set up hospitals, together with nursing homes for elderly patients.

In 1966, when Bishop Lucey of Cork and Ross asked Bon Secours to take part in the Cork Diocesan Mission in Peru, four Irish sisters opened a mission in Trujillo, a coastal Peruvian city. They faced a grim and complex challenge. Because no hospitals served the poor, diseases went untreated and many – particularly the young and the old – died each year as a direct result. Because vital operations were not provided for children, deformity was widespread.

The Sisters developed a wide range of community health programmes, operating both in medical clinics and in the homes of the poor. But they widened their scope to respond to community need, teaching about religion, taking care of and educating people with mental disabilities. To help improve the quality of life, they undertook home economics and pastoral care, becoming deeply involved in the life of the local community. Today, thirty eight Peruvian sisters, together with five Irish sisters, continue the work initiated in the sixties.



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