On Mauritius’ “feast of vocations,” Cardinal Likens Priests, Religious, Laity to Musicians

Bishop of Mauritius' Port Louis Diocese, Maurice Cardinal Piat during Holy Mass marking the diocesan Feast of Vocations, August 2.

On the day set aside for the celebration of the gift of various vocations in Mauritius (feast of vocations) marked on Sunday, August 2, the head of the Catholic Church in the Indian Ocean island nation likened followers of Jesus Christ including Priests, Religious and Laity to musicians who have answered the call to dance to the music of the Gospel, advocating for a collaborative ministry akin to that of an orchestra.

“Jesus himself compares the Gospel to music he plays in the marketplace to invite people to dance,” the Bishop of Port-Louis Diocese, Maurice Cardinal Piat said in his homily during the diocesan “feast of vocations.”

He added during the August 2 event, “This music of the Gospel is so beautiful, so catchy that it takes several musicians, Priests, Laity, Religious who play together so that it can resonate in the hearts of people and make them want to dance, and maybe also to join the orchestra, to play an instrument too.”

The Cardinal, a member of the Religious and Missionary Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), thanked God for the “musicians” He gifted the church in the religiously-diverse  nation  “to make the Gospel resonate in Mauritian society.”


The music, the Mauritian Cardinal said, “is not mine; it is given to us; the musicians are not chosen by me; they are given to us; as a Bishop, I welcome with gratitude the music that the Lord asks us to play; I welcome with joy the musicians he gives me to play this music in Mauritius.”

He expressed his gratitude to God for the Clerics who, together with him, were marking their jubilee celebrations as Priests saying, “Thank you for these musicians ... each with his own unique personality, each with his life given to Christ on the day of his ordination, each with his talents to make the Gospel resonate in an original way and adapted to the four corners of the world. ” 

“What would I be without all these musicians? If they weren't there to play, the poor conductor would only beat the cream, and the music of the Gospel couldn't resonate,” the79-year-old Prelate reflected during the August 2 event.

He advocated for a collaborative ministry saying, “Likewise, each Priest, in his own way, is also a conductor in his parish. He cannot play music on his own; he needs musicians who are also nuns, lay people so that the gospel can resonate in the hearts of the faithful and invite them to dance to this music.”

“It is a gospel lived together, danced together with brothers and sisters, which can challenge, attract, (and) lead others to dance too, to live it too,” he added.

More in Africa

During the event attended by hundreds of people at Thabor, the Mauritian Cardinal challenged the Priests to be like Jesus who saw the hungry crowd in the Gospel of Matthew not as people who had physical hunger only, but as sheep who had no shepherd - “seeking meaning in their life.”

“Today let us ask Jesus to teach us to look at our compatriots and to see like him if many of them are not yet sheep without a shepherd,” he said and added, “For example, young people who do not have many people to listen to them and to offer them a direction for their life.”

He also implored God’s graces toward “families who can't get along and get divided; parents who are harassed by their drug addicted children who steal everything in the house when they are in need; (and) people who today are losing their job or half their salary and who no longer know how to make ends meet.”

“On this feast of vocations let us pray for our contemporaries who are still like sheep who have no shepherd. Let us pray that the Lord will call young people who will be ready to proclaim the Gospel, not a theoretical gospel but a gospel lived humbly like Jesus, the Gospel of one who does not seek to be served but to serve and give his life,” Cardinal Piat further implored.


“So many people seek this gospel music, not only to listen to it, but also to play it and dance to it. I hope and pray that young people will volunteer to make this music resonate in Mauritius today,” he concluded.