The Munster Pioneer Committee recently held 'The Munster Gathering and spirituality Day - Rekindling the Pioneer Flame' for all pioneers in the Munster region.
The day took place on Sunday 1st October last in Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Co.Limerick. There was a very large turn out with pioneers coming from Kerry, Cork, Ennis, Tipperary town and every small parish in between.
The day was opened with thought provoking words from National PTAA President Mr. James Shevlin. Mr. Shevlin spoke about not underestimating the difference every centre was making in their community and the importance of the Pioneer's prayers and sacrifice.
This was followed by great insight and inspiration from the PTAA Central Spiritual Director Fr. Bernard McGuckian. Fr. McGuckian spoke of how important the pioneer cause is now especially in these current times of serious alcohol and drug abuse. He also emphasized how the Pioneer association has spread all across the world in its almost 120 years of existence, particularly in Africa and he has no doubt the movement will continue to grow even into the new changes of becoming a lay association of the faithful.
A wonderful testimony was then heard from a wife of a former alcohol addict, which offered great insight into what happens in a home where a member is an alcohol addict. Her story also offered hope, as in the end her husband and family found great support in the AA and their faith and found a way out of addiction and the hurt it can cause in a family. A period of prayerful, guided adoration was then had, lead by Canon Liam McNamara.
A great lunch followed and plenty of chat ensued, getting to know other pioneers from around the province. After lunch ideas, information and experiences were shared and gathered so as to best see how each centre and the association as a whole will move forward into it's new chapter. A lovely Mass was then concelebrated with Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick as the chief celebrant. He offered more encouragement and blessings on the Pioneer movement. A very informative, enjoyable day was had by all.'