Derry’s Diocesan Administrator Very Rev. Francis Bradley has paid tribute to members of the city’s Pioneer Association for their dedication in preventing excessive consumption of alcohol which he said “wreaks havoc in the lives of so many people.”
Speaking at the annual Derry Diocesan Pioneer Mass last Sunday celebrated in St Columb’s Church, Waterside, which was attended by members and friends from across Derry, Tyrone and Inishowen, Father Bradley said: “It is a great joy for me to celebrate this Mass with you today especially in this Year of Faith.
“The very notion of faith surely demands faithfulness, and faithfulness demands effort and self sacrifice, perseverance and determination.
“And all of these attributes are to be found in abundance in the life of members of the Pioneer Association.
“The Pioneer Association is much more than a Temperance movement focussed not on the abolition or prohibition of alcohol but on the prevention of its excessive consumption which wreaks havoc on the lives of so many people.
“As members of the association through the daily prayer of the heroic offering we know that we need the help of God to remain faithful to the pledge we’ve made and we know too that in this we cannot be focused on ourselves and our self righteousness, the so called goody two shoes approach, rather we need to have our hearts and souls and the efforts and sacrifices we make focussed on others, especially the most vulnerable.”
Before the conclusion of the Mass Father John Downey thanked Father Bradley for celebrating the Mass and his “inspiring homily.”
He also thanked Father Michael Canny for all his help and co-operation, the reader, those who brought up the gifts, Noel Martin and the choir for the beautiful music and the altar servers.
Before the final blessing Fr Bradley was delighted to congratulate Charlie McLaughlin, Waterside and present him with the Gold Pioneer pin and certificate which acknowledge his membership of the Pioneer Association for more than 50 years.