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.