Sisters of Bon Secours in France
History and Origin
France is the founding country of Congregation of the Sisters of Bon Secours, because of the origin of our first sisters: Mother Josephine Potel and Mother Angelique Geay.
Joséphine Potel was born in Somme at Bécordel and Angélique Geay in Champagne at Harazée.
Between the years 1821 and 1823, twelve young women gathered in Paris to care for the ill in their homes, to accompany them in their last days and to witness the Love of God to them.
They lived in a very modest apartment on Cassette Street, very near the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris.
On January 24, 1824, Monsignor de Quelen, Archbishop of Paris, accepted their vows and gave them the name of the Bon Secours Sisters of Paris.
The Charism of Bon Secours is: Compassion, Healing and Liberation.
Brought together by Christ as loving communities, the Sisters, whatever their tasks or apostolates are, dedicate themselves through prayer, welcoming, accompaniment and service to others.
Today, the Sisters of Bon Secours minister in France in the following areas:
- Surgical and medical clinic,
- Care for the disabled,
- Care for the elderly in retirement homes, and
- as volunteers in parish Associations and activities.
Between 1980 and 1985 the Associate group began with two people, one being the general supervisor at Notre Dame D’Annay High School in Lille and the other a young single woman in Abbeville. They were soon joined by two couples from the Paris region. A Sister of Bon Secours introduced them to the spirit and charism of the Congregation. Their first meetings took place at the Mother House in Paris.
Little by little the group increased in size and was more diversified. They continued to be accompanied by a Sister of Bon Secours and would gather to reflect, to pray and to live peak moments with the nearest community of sisters so that they could live according to our spirituality in all aspects of their lives: family, professional, social and ecclesial.
These “associates” may choose to make a promise of commitment or to remain “supporters.”
Each one contributes according to her age, her “professional” status and particularly according to her/his possibilities with the familial, professional, parochial and regional settings.
Two of us work with the young in a school: liturgical team, catechesis, organizing activities related to the promotion of religious vocations (ex: a commitment forum for 17-20 year olds), providing leadership for a team of Young Missionaries composed of students 13 years of age and older.
Others work with residents in a retirement home (leading a choral group) and with the elderly in their neighborhood by visiting them and rendering service.
Another is part of a team for arranging funeral services in the parish and others are greeters in their parish.
One of the Associates belongs to the International Membership Committee of the Congregation and works with a Sister to promote vocations by visiting schools and parish youth groups in their diocese.