Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pioneer Total Abstinence Association

A sober Matt Talbot joined the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association after its founding in 1898 and might be considered its most well-known member worldwide. (JB)

"Promoting sobriety for a better society"

Hello and welcome to the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association online. You can use this site to keep abreast of all events and news within the Pioneer community, join the Association, purchase Pioneer pins and other merchandise or subscribe to our official publications.

Effects of Addiction

An addiction destroys not only the body but peace of mind and the human spirit as well. The will to live is weakened, hope turns to despair, joy to sadness and the world becomes a dark, bleak and dreary place. The Pioneer asks God to reach in to the depths of the afflicted soul, to fill them with love, to bring them back from the brink and to turn their lives around.

Pioneer Spirituality

The Pioneer Movement was founded by Fr. James Cullen, SJ in 1898 to address the problem of Alcohol abuse which was rampant in Irish society at that time and to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr. Cullen recognised that it was only through devotion to the Sacred Heart that the scourge of alcohol could be destroyed.

The Pioneer Association has, in over 100 years, spread throughout the world and its membership is continually growing in countries like Africa and Latin America.

The Pioneer makes a committment to abstain from alcohol for life. This represents a sacrifice by which great graces are obtained from God for those people suffering from the abuse of alcohol.

This committment and the daily Pioneer prayer is a powerful means of helping someone suffering from addiction.

An addiction is where you have no control over your life as feeding the addiction consumes your mind, body, soul and spirit. In these circumstances, a person is trapped in their addiction with little prospect of changing their life around.

The Pioneer firmly believes that by reciting the Pioneer Prayer twice daily, God, and only God can help that person to overcome their addiction. Consider any bad habits which you may have and try changing them. Is it not a difficult task?. An addiction is much more serious and can have detrimental consequences for your life.

Considering the suffering, pain and heartache inflicted on the individual,family, friends, society - surely the Pioneer 'Heroic Offering' is a wonderful way of supporting them in their needs. The realities of an addiction results in a daily struggle but the power of prayer can help them along.

The Sacred Heart made 12 promises to us. Follow the link below to view these promises.

12 Promises of the Sacred heart

How Devotion to the Sacred Heart began

Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673 in the small village of Paray le Mondial in France to reveal to the world the consecration to his Sacred Heart. Revealing to her his Divine Heart, Jesus said:

"Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself to prove to them its love.
In return, I receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude, contempt, irreverence, sacrilege, and coldness in this Sacrament of my love.
But what I feel still more is that there are hearts consecrated to me who use me thus.
Therefore I ask of you that the friday after the Octave of the Blessed Sacrament be kept as a special festival in honour of my Heart,
to make reparation for the indignities offered to It and as a Communion day,
in order to atone for the unworthy treatment It has received when exposed upon the altars.
I also promise that my Heart shall shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine love on all those who shall honour It or cause It to be so honoured."

St. Margaret Mary Alocoque was cannonised in 1920. The Sacred Heart Devotion has spread throughout the world revealing to us God's love and mercy for each and every individual.

An example of the Power of Prayer

In 1972, during Fr. McGuckian's first weeks at the Pioneer Office as assistant to Fr. Dargan, Central Director, a letter came in from a man of French-Canadian extraction living in British Columbia. He gave a brief description of his life.

Married with a wife and family, he was the senior partner in a law firm. Sometime previously he had begun drinking heavily. As a consequence, his partners left him, and eventually so did his children and his wife. After a period he somehow managed to stop drinking. His wife and children came back, and so did his partners.

At the time of writing he was trying to make sense of what had happened to him. Life for him now, from being a complete mess, had turned into something satisfying and a source of happiness. But for the life of him he could not think of any steps that he had taken to bring about the change.

Apparently, he had consulted no-one, nor joined any organisation. Yet things seemed to have just come right. He added that he read somewhere or other about a group of people called the Pioneers, mainly based in Ireland, an island he had never seen, who prayed every day for the "conversion" of people like himself with a drink problem

He had located our address, and sent the letter testifying to his conviction that Pioneer prayer must have had something to do with the remarkable turnabout in his life. He also sent a cheque for $25 as a sign of his appreciation.