The nuns left their cells last month for the last time. Since the 19th century the Sisters of Marie-Joseph and Mercy have lived with female prisoners on Ile de la Cité in the 'Depot' so called for the cells under the the Tribunal which hold prisoners in transit between custody and possible incarceration. For 148 years this order of nuns have cared for female inmates and lived next to them in the holding cells.
The five remaining nuns lived in the same spartan cells, caring for women who awaited charges before a magistrate.
But with the crisis of vocations and an aging congregation, they couldn't find the necessary recruits.
On 23 April, they were treated to a final tribute, in the chapel of the 'Depot', where Cardinal Vingt-Trois, celebrated a mass for them saying "Where no one has voluntarily gone, we celebrate the service of those who have willingly gone out of love for others."