The positive contributions of religious sisters and priests in helping women in unplanned pregnancies has been “largely forgotten”, according to a retired teacher who specialised in Relationships and Sexuality Education.
Stephanie Walsh and her husband gave refuge to many pregnant girls and women in the 1970s at the request of Limerick Diocesan social services.
Writing in the Irish Times, she said it was her experience that “church women and men provided more assistance to women in need in the ’70s than did the secular community. Most of the social workers who contacted our family were religious Sisters; many of the women in trouble were referred by priests”.
“Is it counter cultural to feel sympathy for those who provided a service in an area of life that then was unpopular only to find their work so little appreciated and frequently reviled now?,” she concluded.