Pioneers Group

The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association was founded by Fr James Cullen in Dublin, on 28 December 1898. Fr Cullen was always concerned with social issues, and his motivation in setting up the Pioneers was to address the enormous damage that he saw excess alcohol was doing in the Ireland of his times. Many workers were heavy drinkers, and alcohol was the greatest drain on the weekly earnings of the family.

He had four co-founders: Mrs Egan, Mrs Bury, Mrs Sullivan, and Miss Power. All of them were women, as Fr Cullen's early vision was of an all-female organisation which, through its prayers and sacrifice in pledging to abstain from alcohol for life, would provide spiritual support for people to abstain from alcohol. A very short time into the organisation, after much pressure from men to join, Fr Cullen extended the membership to all.

From the beginning, members, who joined in their thousands, pledged three things: to abstain from alcohol for life (which Fr Cullen referred to as “The heroic sacrifice”); to say the Pioneer prayer twice a day; and to bear witness by wearing the pioneer pin at all times. The PTAA has always been underpinned by devotion to the Sacred Heart, and its emblem reflects this.

Today, PTAA members seek to address the problems in society caused by excess alcohol consumption and drug usage. We do this through:

Faith and prayer
Self denial
Activities based on presenting alternatives to individuals, particularly the young

Their vision is based on the love in the Heart of Christ, as expressed in The Gospels - to help to build a society where people live to their full potential and alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation avoiding the ills that arise in society from excess in its use.

If you would like details about this Group please contact the presbytery (parish office).