Vicar General of Mauritius’ Port Louis Diocese to Administer Rodrigues Vicariate

Fr. Jean Maurice Labour appointed “delegate with full powers” to administer the Apostolic Vicariate of Rodrigues in Mauritius.

The Vicar General of Mauritius’ Port Louis Diocese has been appointed as a “delegate with full powers” to administer the Apostolic Vicariate of Rodrigues in the same country, until an Apostolic Administrator is appointed.

Fr. Jean Maurice Labour has been appointed to the position by the Bishop of Port Louis, Maurice Cardinal Piat, at the request of the Holy See’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, a Monday, October 19 announcement on the website of the Diocese indicates.

The Apostolic Vicariate of Rodrigues has been vacant since September 10 after Pope Francis appointed its Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Alain Harel as the Bishop of Seychelles’ only Diocese, Port Victoria.

The 70-year-old Bishop is expected to leave for Port Victoria on October 30, with a farewell Mass scheduled for October 28 at the Cathedral of St. Gabriel in Rodrigues, an autonomous island of Mauritius.

During the October 28 celebration, Fr. Jean Maurice is expected to be officially presented as the Delegate, according to the October 19 announcement.


“I am happy to go to Rodrigues but I have a feeling in my heart for my parish too and the many initiatives I have taken in the field of ecology, community gardens, parish projects, responsibilities to Catholic life etc.,” Fr. Jean Maurice says in his October 19 video message published soon after news of his appointment was made public.

He terms his new assignment as an “excellent opportunity” to put into practice what he has always wanted, that is, “to be at the service of my church and to be available,” he says in the video message published on the Facebook page of Port Louis Diocese.

He adds, “I am happy that the church trusts me to fulfil this mission on Rodrigues Island, which I love very much.”

“The first step of my presence there will be to accompany these people who are saddened by the departure of their Bishop,” Fr. Jean Maurice says referencing Bishop Harel who he describes as “a great Bishop and a great turning point for Rodrigues Island because of his administrative autonomy and his accession to the Apostolic Vicariate.”

Besides accompanying the people of God in Rodrigues amid the “difficult moment” of the departure of their Bishop, Fr. Jean Maurice says that he will also be accompanying the “beautiful pastoral work accomplished by the church of Rodrigues.”

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“I will do it with great joy since I already know this island where I served for eight years,” he says, noting that things might have changed since then as he has been away for about 15 years.

“It will be necessary to take time to understand, accept their differences, accept their originality and accompany them in this transition,” he says in his October 19 video message.

Reacting to Fr. Jean Maurice’s appointment, Marie Annette Olivier said on Facebook, “Thank you to the Lord for his grace, which he continues to pour out on his people. Thanks for the missionaries who exchange countries for the good functioning of the church and for the good governance of your people.”

She adds, “May the grace of God continue to bear fruit through you and together with us. Bishop Harel and Vicar Jean Maurice Labour, good luck for your new mission.”

“May the Holy Spirit guide you in your new responsibilities. We keep you in our prayers so that the Lord will grant you strength, health, courage to carry out your new mission. Congratulations,” Serge Goder says on Facebook.


Joana Mohun Ah-foo thanks Fr. Jean Maurice for “always being available to serve” and adds, “Come back to us soon. If not, we miss you."

Erected on October 31, 2002, the Apostolic Vicariate of Rodrigues measures 104 square kilometers. It has a population of 38,714 Catholics, according to 2017 statistics.