President calls for young blood to join Pioneer Association

Presentation made to Fr Small

The Annual Kilmore Diocesan PTAA mass took place in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Belturbet on Sunday and the President of the Association, Matt Boylan reached out to young people, with a call to consider joining the Association.

Speaking at the Belturbet Railway Station, where people had gathered for after Mass for refreshments, Matt Boylan told the members there was a need to explain to young people today about the Association and invite them to join.

“We have got to get out there and communicate with the youth of today and also set an example in our daily lives,” said Mr Boylan.

The President of the Kilmore Diocese PTAA pointed out that the Association “needs to reach out to more young people and actively create new beginnings to attract new people.

“There are also people in parishes that have never consumed a drink. With an enlightened approach, many of those people could become part of the association in the future,” he asserted.

Mr Boylan appealed to people to consider coming on board and lending a hand to reach out to young people, particularly in Third Level Colleges.

After receiving an inscribed piece of wood from Hugh Farrell of the PTAA in the Kilmore Diocese as a gift to mark his ordination to the priesthood, Fr Thomas Small, CC thanked the committee for “such a thoughtful present on this day”.

Fr Thomas Small, CC Cavan Cathedral cutting a celebratory cake to mark the joy of the Kilmore Diocese of the PTAA at his ordination to the Priesthood and celebrating his first annual PTAA Diocesan Mass in his home town of Belturbet on last Sunday.

No regrets

He said it has been an interesting two years in the priesthood so far. “It commenced in the middle of Covid and I felt that I was almost ordained in secret,” he recalled.

Fr Small, who is a member of the PTAA, also said more priests were needed.

“Thank God for my colleague Fr Peter in Cavan, who has come from Africa and Fr Anthony in Shercock has come all the way from India. In our new missionary times, I guess we are really a missionary church once more in Ireland. It is no bad thing – I think it helps us to focus on the things that are important and what our faith means to us.”

Fr Small said that the Pioneers have been a huge part of his life all along the way and “that fraternity has stood by me”.

Hugh Farrell, President of the Kilmore Diocesan PTAA making a presentation of a specially commissioned piece of wood, depicting Drumlane Abbey and the famed Robinson Brothers premises in Milltown to Fr Thomas Small, CC and Cathedral Cavan. Fr Small is a native of Belturbet and was ordained two years ago.

“Somebody asked me the other day, ‘Have you any regrets in regard to becoming a priest?’

“No, I have absolutely none. I'm not saying everyday is an easy one - of course not. Some days can be quite challenging.

“Definitely I have had the confirmation that this was the right decision. It took a while to be honest, but at no time over the past two years have I regretted it. Please God I will go to my grave serving the good people of God in Kilmore Diocese.”