In a town in western Ireland, where castle ruins pepper green landscapes, there’s a six-foot stone wall that once surrounded a place called the Home. Between 1925 and 1961, thousands of “fallen women” and their “illegitimate” children passed through the Home, run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam.
Many of the women, after paying a penance of indentured servitude for their out-of-wedlock pregnancy, left the Home for work and lives in other parts of Ireland and beyond. Some of their children we not so fortunate.
More than five decades after the Home was closed and destroyed — where a housing development and children’s playground now stands — what happened to nearly 800 of those abandoned children has now emerged: Their bodies were piled into a massive septic tank sitting in the back of the structure and forgotten, with neither gravestones nor coffins.
Part of the Roman Catholic Church, “Bon Secours” means “good help” in French. As usual, whatever an organization uses as a motto is the very thing they are most worried about (a good modern example is Philips “let’s make things better”).
Here’s a quote from their home page:
Since 1824 the Sisters of Bon Secours have brought compassion, healing, and liberation to those they serve.
Whether in healthcare, education or social services, in hospitals, clinics or parishes, in towns and cities or isolated villages, Bon Secours responds to a universal need: To provide to all who suffer a reason to live and a reason to hope.