Origin and History
Our Sisters of Bon Secours Ireland, once again inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, joyfully heeded the call to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mk 16:15). Moved by this call and with an open heart, they embarked into a new mission perspective in Latin America in 1966. The sisters were called to alleviate human suffering and to bring the message of hope to the poor in the District of La Esperanza, Province of Trujillo Department of La Libertad. The pioneers in this noble mission were: Mary de Sales Humphereys, Columba Mary Byrne, and Mary Felim Duignan y Joseph Finbarr O’ Sullivan.
They began their apostolate dedicating themselves to the care of mothers and children, health care, social work, religious instruction, and all forms of support to the poorest of the poor, especially the sick and dying following the words of Mother Geay, “What shall we do for the poor? My greatest distress is the suffering of the poor.”
This labor of love as well as availability, courage, solidarity, reconciliation, justice, service, compassion, respect, joy, charity, simplicity and all the values nurtured by our sisters soon attracted the hearts of young women who also wished to consecrate themselves to the Good God, devoting their lives to the service of the needy.
The Sisters in Peru began to grow in numbers and expanded the ministry into new communities. Included were:
- 1979 in Casa Betel in Lima and in Urbanización Sol de Oro district of San Martin de Porres.
- 1986 the Salitral mission in Piura was opened. This was later transferred to the Ranchos community.
- 1991 the Josefina Potel community was opened in Wichanzao, Trujillo
- 1993 the Mére Geay community was established in Lima, and
- 2004, the new community Columba Mary was established in La Esperanza, Trujillo
- 2005, the sisters embarked on a new mission in the District of Macate, Provincia del Santa, Ancash,
- 2005, the sisters arrived in the community of Azapamapa, District of Chilca, Huancayo in response to the invitation of the Church under Monsignior Pedro Barreto Jimeno, and
- 2013, “SILOÉ”, a shelter for children at risk was opened in Trujillo.
Under the advocacy of Our Lady of Good Help, Mary continues to reveal Jesus to the Sisters of Bon Secours in Peru and to the people they serve, helping promote the virtues and values of Bon Secours.
Through a testimony of faith and service in Peru, Bon Secours assumes an increasingly prophetic and evangelizing role in the world.
We, Sisters of Bon Secours, continue acknowledging and responding to the action and guide of the Holy Spirit evident in the face of the suffering, and in the places and people entrusted to us through our ministries.
- Defense of Ecology, Environment, Defense of Life
- Accompanying the Sick and Dying
- Youth Leadership – Gangs
The associate movement in the congregation began in 1999 with 12 lay persons who were engaged in pastoral work. Coordinated by Sr. Leonila Vega, the group first met in the central house of Trujillo and later expanded to the other cities of the country where the sisters work. We are at present 30 nationwide and there are another 20 in preparation.
1. Prayer Life
We have enriched our spiritual life through prayer:
- We often pray with the Sisters (mass, holy hour, we adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, retreat)
- Every year we make a retreat; this year 2012, our retreat will be with a Jesuit in November and we will use clay.
- Pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady.
- Participation in peak moments of the Church (Holy week, Corpus Christi, Christmas)
- We pray for more religious vocations and vocations for more committed associates.
2. Apostolic Life
- Home visits to the ill in their communities and in hospitals.
- Assist the very poor to obtain medications.
- We work with the priest and apostolic groups to administer the sacraments.
- We provide spiritual and emotional help to strengthen the ill.
- We share the word of God by praying the rosary, scriptural readings and hymns.
- We visit families for purposes of evangelization.
- We detect children at risk (abandoned, malnourished, abused women, the elderly, referring them to institutions that can offer them assistance and resolve their situations.)
- We promote religious vocations for the congregation, for the church and for associates.
3. Community Life
- We celebrate our birthdays together
- We celebrate together peak moments : Christmas, congregation feasts
- We participate in events or celebrations of our sisters
- We plan, execute and evaluate the work of the group.
4. Formation Life and Ongoing Formation
- A one year preparation for aspirant associates using the manual for associate members as a guide
- We have the support of a theologian, skilled laypeople, priests and sisters who direct the associate groups
- We are trained in the priorities of the congregation according to the mission focus.