Clonfert Diocesan Pioneer Celebration 2023

We invite you to join us for a special celebration of the Eucharist at 7 pm in St. Michael’s Church, Ballinasloe, on the above Feast Day, and to a Social Gathering immediately afterwards (7.50 – 8.45 pm) in Gullane’s Hotel, Main St., Ballinasloe.

Our guest presider will be Most Rev. Michael Duignan, Bishop of Clonfert and Galway dioceses and our guest homilist will be Fr. Robert McCabe, National Spiritual Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Assocation.

During our celebration of the Eucharist there will be an opportunity for existing Pioneers to renew their pledge and for children who are celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation this year to become juvenile and young pioneers.

During our Social Gathering Bishop Michael will also announce the winners and present prizes regarding the Clonfert Diocese’s Children’s Art Competition 2023.

Please Note

Children will only be granted access to the Social Gathering when accompanied by a parent or guardian or another responsible adult.


The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1898 in Gardiner Street, Dublin, by Fr James Cullen SJ, Mrs Anne Egan, Miss Lizzie Power, Mrs Mary Bury and Mrs A.M. Sullivan.

The primary aim of the Association  is the promotion of sobriety and temperance through:

  • faith and prayer;
  • self-denial leading to inner freedom;
  • setting beneficial example to others;
  • presenting alternatives to the drinking and drug scene, particularly to young people.

The duty of a Pioneer is to build a society where people live to their full potential. We reach out to those who suffer from alcohol-related harm.

The Pioneer, like all Christians, is convinced that the love of God, as revealed in Jesus, is central to their lives.

For more information please visit .


The Ballinasloe & District Centre of the PTAA is keen to evolve opportunities for older children and teenagers to socialise and enjoy one another’s company without experiencing pressure to experiment with alcohol or illegal drugs.

The idea of establishing a Ballinasloe-based PTAA Youth initiative is currently being explored, and in keeping with Safeguarding best practice, we invite parents and guardians of interested children to register their interest by contacting us via WhatsApp on 087 6171526, or by email via .

Subject to interest, an in-person or Zoom (pending when interested parents and guardians live) meeting will be convened before the end of June 2023.


School Principals, Boards of Management and Youth Group Leaders who would like to arrange an in-school / in-centre PowerPoint presentation on the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association for Sixth Class pupils or Post-Primary students are encouraged to contact the Ballinasloe PTAA centre @ 087 6171526 / .

The PowerPoint presentations, one for Primary School pupils, and another for Post-Primary students, are timed to take twenty to twenty-five minutes and can be followed with a ten-to-fifteen-minute Question & Answer session.

A PDF version of each presentation is available on request to Principals, Teachers and Youth Group Leaders interested in knowing the content of slides in advance of deciding whether to invite us to meet with your young people.

Testimonies from School Principals, Primary and Secondary Teachers who have sat in on our PowerPoint presentations

Updated: 16th March 2023