PIONEERS MEET IN BELFAST TO MARK 120TH ANNIVERSARY
Bishop Anthony Farquhar, auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, will lead the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association’s (PTAA’s) celebrations of the 120th anniversary of its Heroic Offering at St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast on Sunday 27 September 2009.
The Heroic Offering is the main prayer of many thousands of PTAA members worldwide who have been using it daily for over 100 years when they pray for those suffering because of alcohol abuse . Next month’s celebrations will be held in St Peter’s Cathedral which is the site where PTAA founder, Fr James Cullen, SJ, first cited the Heroic Offering during a mission held in the church in 1889, ten years before the offering was officially adopted by the Pioneer Association.
“Commenting on the forthcoming anniversary celebrations, Frances Doole, Vice-Chairperson of the Down and Connor Diocesan Pioneer Council who are hosts for the event said:
“This anniversary is a very important event for our Association and I would encourage as many members and non-members as possible to support us by joining with us in our celebrations. The fact that our offering continues to be used 120 years after its inception is a wonderful tribute to our founder, Fr Cullen, S.J. and to the many loyal Pioneer members who actively cherish the prayer. It has given solid direction and focus to our Association which, although scattered across the globe, remains steadfast in its belief in the offering. It lies at the core of our members’ spiritual beliefs which are based on prayer, self denial and reparation. The offering has given, and continues to offer, comfort and hope to generations of families whose lives have been, and perhaps still are, affected by alcohol and drug abuse. Through our Heroic Offering we try to reach out and help people who are suffering because of their own or others excess consumption of alcohol. The 120th anniversary is a watershed for the Pioneers who look forward to continuing with their mission and work in the years to come.”
Bishop Anthony Farquhar, auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor will be the main celebrant on the day of the anniversary with mass being held at 3.00 pm. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Maureen Sheehan Centre, opposite the cathedral.
New members are always welcome to join the Association. The 120th anniversary celebrations are a key event in the Pioneer calendar. For further information on the PTAA and its activities for 2009/2010 visit www.pioneerassociation.ie .