Pioneer magazine

mag 250x150Now in its sixty-ninth year, Pioneer magazine is a favorite in many families. With articles on Spirituality, personalities, short stories, a crossword and games, there is something to appeal to everyone. Below find some of the recent articles and some of the highlights from the past.


june 2017FR BERNARD J McGUCKIAN SJ Central Spiritual Director, Pioneer Association, gave a talk at he Annual Divine Mercy Conference held at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) at Ballsbridge on 26 February 2017, which happened to be Temperance Sunday in Ireland. He had spoken the evious day on the connection between devotion to the Sacred Heart as revealed to St Margaret Mary in the seventeenth century and that of the Divine Mercy, revealed by the Lord Himself in private revelations to St Faustina Kowalska in the twentieth century.

The Good Samaritan

May 2017BR TOM FORDE OFM Cap has recorded his homilies for the last number of years on his blog spot, ‘Breathing with Both Lungs’. With his kind permission, we reproduce one of his insightful pieces reflecting on the parable of the Good Samaritan in St Luke’s Gospel.

I must begin with apologies to those who have heard this story before but, I find I return again and again to my Mother’s actions when one bitterly cold Christmas morning she found a young traveller boy crying outside our front door. He had sprained his ankle and my mother took him in, checked his ankle and would not let him go until she had fed him. She understood that everyone is our neighbour and she, therefore, could never pass by someone in need.

Blessed-Elect Father John Sullivan

april2017The Beatification ceremony for Father John Sullivan is in the offing.(Website editor: The date has since been confirmed - 13th May 2017 in St. Francis Xavier's Church on Gardiner Street, Dublin 1). This is a moment that has been eagerly anticipated by thousands of Irish people for well over a century. The celebration will be unique in that it will be the first beatification to take place in Ireland. In the past, beatifications always took place in Rome until a change was introduced by Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. They now may be carried out in the home country of the person being raised to the honours of the Altar.

Christian Heritage on the Edge of the World

March 2017With fact and legends colliding, SINÉAD MOLLOY takes a brief look at the history of the two Skellig Islands, the larger famous as a Christian heritage site, located in the Atlantic Sea off the coast of County Kerry.

Meetings Change Us

february2017You may be aware by now, that the Jesuits have elected a new leader to guide us. His name is Father Arturo Sosa. He was born in Venezuela and is in his sixties. Both he and Pope Francis come from Latin America and it is the first time ever for a Pope and a Jesuit General to come from Latin America!

Shame Welcomes the Light

January2017coverA Greek myth tells the story of a hero who had to roll a heavy stone to the top of a hill. The snag was that, just as the stone was teetering on the top, it would roll the whole way down to the bottom. Not just once, but time and time again. Yet, he would have to begin his task all over again.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

December2016SR THÉRÈSE MARIE OCD recalls the life of the recently canonised French saint, Elizabeth of the Trinity.

Elizabeth Catez was a Carmelite nun at Dijon in France, but if God had not called her to Carmel she might well have been a celebrated concert pianist. She had one younger sister Marguerite, known as Guite. When the little girls were aged four and seven, their father died suddenly, as the result of a heart attack, and some time afterwards their mother enrolled them both in the Dijon Conservatoire to study music. Elizabeth began her studies there when she was eight. She practised the piano for several hours each day and was an exceptionally gifted pianist. She often played in concerts and when she was thirteen she won first prize for her playing, having already won first prize for theory of music. The following year she won the much coveted Prize of Excellence for piano, but already her heart was set on God.

Jean Vianney:The Saint Who Read Souls

november2016coverDuring the nineteenth century, there lived in France a most extraordinary parish priest. At first he was noted for his lack of academic ability but later he surprised the French nation and further afield with his power of ferreting out the forgotten or hidden sins of those entering his confessional, writes PATRICK P ROWAN

Matt Talbot: An Ordinary Warrior

october2016coverANTÓIN O’CALLAGHAN addressed a gathering at the Matt Talbot Novena held in Togher earlier this year. We appreciate his permission to publish what he had to say about the Venerable Matt Talbot.

The Five Essentials of the PIONEERS in IRELAND and ZAMBIA

septembercover2016CHARLES SEARSON SJ, National Director of the Pioneer Association in Zambia and Malawi, takes a look at the essence of what it means to be a Pioneer, with love of the Sacred Heart at the core of our commitment to temperance and sobriety.

The Secret Code of Seven

july august2016About Seven
What is it about the number seven that attracts our attention? Perhaps, it has something to do with star-gazing. There are seven stars in the constellation of the Plough, which we associate with the O’Casey play The Plough and the Stars. Then again, there are seven stars in the constellation called Orion.

The Apostolate of Being

june2016When we think of the apostolate we think of action, of going and of doing. Influenced by the achievement-oriented culture in which we live we think of the indefatigable labours of Saints Paul and Francis Xavier. But strange as it may seem, the first, the last and perhaps the most effective apostolate we will ever exercise is the apostolate of being - of being me; of being happy to be me.

The Time is Ripe

may2016coverPope Francis' call to be merciful comes from the merciful loving kindness shown to us first.

By Alan Mowbray SJ

The sun now high in the heavens is warm on our backs and chestnut trees with white ‘candles’ on their branches tell us the month of May has arrived. Mother Nature is fresh and alive. Creativity is bursting out all over.  Our ancestors celebrated the source of this new birth of life by offering gifts to a goddess of spring.   However, early Christians were aware that God the Creator was the true source of all life and that Mary, mother of the Lord of Life, would give a new dimension to the month of May.

Mapping the Heart

april2016coverThere is a story about an infamous Greek innkeeper who would stand at his door and invite passers-by to stay the night at his inn. If someone said ‘yes’, the inn keeper would then invite the person to lie down on the bed. The innkeeper would measure each person’s exact height carefully to ensure that the bed and the visitor matched.   Now comes the rub!   If too tall, he would chop off the ankles; if too small, he would stretch the visitor to fit the bed. You see there was only one bed and visitors had to fit that bed. Yes, it was an Ancient Greek myth but its message was clear.

Who Are God's Children?

march2016What bells ring in our heads when we hear the word ‘mercy’? Does it suggest that we are to let people walk over us? Does the word confuse us and leave us uncertain? If we decide to have mercy on someone, is it that we just appear weak in a world that admires only the strong? asks ALAN MOWBRAY SJ

The SPIRITUALITY of the MEN of 1916

february2016Continuing on from last month, FRANK BURKE takes a look at the last days of seven more of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising