Could You Do the Pioneers’ Challenge?
The Pioneer Association is making its annual appeal to Irish people, asking them to take a short term pledge for the Lenten season which begins on Ash Wednesday 5 March, 2014.
They hope that by signing up to their Lenten challenge the general public will take time to reflect on the negative role that alcohol often plays in our society and help to start the change in society’s often over-indulgent attitude towards it.
Raymond O’Connor, Publicity officer for the Pioneers says “The new phenomenon of Neknomination, which has already led to several deaths, has added a fresh hazard to the abuse of alcohol.” He quoted RTE presenter John Creedon who was so concerned about the present binge drinking culture that he tweeted:
“NEK Nominations, Arthur’s Day, Messy Monday, 12 pubs, If you are dreading our national holiday, fight back. Join me in an alcohol-free St.Patrick’s Day.”
“Well the Pioneers are asking Irish people to consider taking a break from alcohol not just for one day but for the six weeks of Lent so that they can give themselves time to reflect on their relationship with it: and this not just to avoid abuse, but to claim the bonus of improved physical and mental health.”
He says people of all faiths and none know now on this island the dangers of alcohol abuse and he believes there are few who would deny that we have to seriously face up to the way we tolerate and excuse drunkenness and ignore all the problems that flow from it including violence and alcohol related deaths.
“We are not anti- alcohol in the Pioneers,’ he adds, ‘But we are anti the abuse of alcohol and we believe as a society we have to acknowledge that whilst alcohol may be legal it is also a drug which can have really harmful consequences when abused, especially for young people.
Parents and older adults can give a powerful message by taking a break from the regular glass of wine or the pint in the local and perhaps even start a conversation around our attitudes to drink and the proper use or enjoyment of it.”
Ray O’Connor says that Christians could offer the challenge up as a prayer for someone they know who has a problem with alcohol or other drugs and he encouraged those who were willing to take up to the Lenten challenge to ‘visit our website, (www.pioneerassociation.ie), complete the process on-line and spread the word!”
For further information contact:
Ms Pat Coyle
Jesuit Communications Ireland
Irish Jesuit Provincialate
Direct line: 353 1 4987372
Mobile: 086 8190029