Origin and History

In 1861, four sisters arrived in Dublin from Paris. They were Mother Fabian, Superior; Mother Hedwige, Assistant Superior; Sr. Mary Luke & Sr. Mary Gonzaga. The Sisters were invited by Ms. Catherine O’Ferrall who came to know Bon Secours while on a visit in Paris.

The apostolate of Good Help was as startling an innovation in Dublin in 1861, as it had been 37 years before in Paris. It was a new experience to see women in religious dress walking the streets of Dublin and its suburbs on their own, or spending lone night vigils at the bedside of the sick and dying.

Within the family environment, the Sisters had a chance to address themselves not only to the physical illness but to the spiritual and emotional needs of the family as well. Their ministry was much appreciated by doctors and clergy alike. Before long it became apparent that these spiritual women devoted their care to all. News of the ministry and mission of Bon Secours spread throughout Ireland and Sisters were invited to work in a number of Dioceses.

The sisters established their first hospital in Cork in 1915. Later other hospitals were opened in Tralee, Glasnevin and Galway, and a long term care facility in in Cork. Bon Secours Health System was formed in 1993 to coordinate the health care facilities in Ireland and continue the mission of Good Help by providing quality care with our traditional values.

Ministry Today

Today, the Sisters of Bon Secours in Ireland minister in the Dioceses of Cork and Ross, Cloyne, Kerry, Galway, Kildare/Leighlin, Down/Connor and the Archdiocese of Dublin. Areas of ministry include:

  • Healthcare: hospitals, long term care, hospital chaplaincy, home nursing, pastoral services
  • Social Services: addiction counseling, adult literacy
  • Parish Ministry: parish sisters, evangelization, home visitation


Bon Secours Associates in Ireland feel called by God to share in the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Bon Secours. Through collaboration with Sisters in mission and deepening the relationship with God through prayer and faith sharing, Associates commit to a way of life designed to foster a deeper relationship with God through living out the charism of Bon Secours – being good help to those in need.

Associates in Ireland have been founded in Cork, Cobh and Tralee.