“I was delighted to find the parishioners”: Mauritian Cleric at Resumption of Public Mass

Fr. Yudesch Arnachellum who ministers in the parish of Saint-Esprit, Bel Air, Port-Louis diocese.

A Priest serving in the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius has expressed joy interacting with the faithful of his Parish on Holy Trinity Sunday, June 7, the first Eucharistic celebration since the resumption of public Mass in the country after more than two months of a nationwide lockdown.

“I was delighted to find the parishioners, despite all the sanitary measures to be respected. It was funny,” Fr. Yudesch Arnachellum who ministers at Saint-Esprit, Bel Air Parish in the diocese of Port-Louis said.

Fr. Yudesch went on to express his excitement saying, “What a joy to meet the parishioners! Social networks have helped a lot to keep in touch with the faithful, but it's not the same when I celebrate with the parishioners,”

In the reflection published Monday, June 8 by Port-Louis Diocese, the Mauritian Cleric said that the faithful seemed to have been “impatiently awaiting” the reopening of churches for Holy Eucharist “because they had this desire to meet God through communion.”

On the observance of precautionary measures, the Priest notes that the Christians were cautious and adapted well COVID-19 measures including markings on the floor of the church to aid in physical distancing.


“For communion, we conformed to the sanitary protocol, cleaning the hands before giving communion,” Fr. Yudesch recalled in the report by the diocese.

He regarded the experiences lived these days as an opportunity for the people of God to appreciate the value of life and fellowship and prayed that the Lord gives “us the grace of prudence in the face of this pandemic.”

On May 30, Mauritius’ Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth announced the end of the national lockdown that had been in place since March 20,  thereby allowing places of worship to reopen starting Sunday, May 31 under certain restrictions.

However, in order to put COVID-19 sanitation protocols in place, the Local Ordinary of Port-Louis diocese, Maurice Cardinal Piat postponed the reopening of churches to Tuesday June 2.

With 337 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 324 recoveries and 10 related deaths, only three people in Mauritius are receiving care for the virus.

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Meanwhile, the leadership of Diocesan Service of Catechesis and Catechumenate in the diocese of Port-Louis has assured catechumens who have completed their instructions that they will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the course of the year on a date yet to be given.

“As we are still in a time of progressive deconfinement and we still have to take into account strict sanitary measures, we await the continuation of the deconfinement before communicating on the subject and giving specific dates,” the leadership of the Catechesis and Catechumenate Service has been quoted as saying.