Like Jesus, Have “a shepherd’s heart”: Cardinal in Mauritius to New Bishop of Port Louis

Bishop Jean Michaël Durhône of Port Louis in Mauritius. Credit: Défi Plus

Maurice Cardinal Piat has invited the new Bishop of Port Louis in Mauritius to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in his Episcopal Ministry, serving the people of God with “a shepherd’s heart”.

In his homily during the Sunday, August 20 Episcopal Ordination of Mons. Jean Michaël Durhône, Cardinal Piat said, “Jesus not only acted as a shepherd; he also had a shepherd's heart. Through his gestures and words, we can hear the beating heart of a shepherd who cares for his sheep, feeds them and leads them.”

“Put yourself in the school of Jesus your elder brother; be like Him, the servant of the people entrusted to you; love these people as they are, where they have arrived, love them like Jesus to the point of giving your life,” Cardinal Piat who retired as Local Ordinary of Port Louis on May 19 said.

The Mauritian Cardinal encouraged his successor to take upon himself “the yoke that Jesus invites you to carry with Him, and carry it like Jesus, with gentleness and humility.”

“Then you will find relief for your soul. Remember, if Jesus invites you to be his friend, it's so that his joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete,” the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) said.


He continued in reference to Jesus Christ, “By giving his life in the service of the men and women of his time, he reveals to us God's mercy, which extends to men and women of all times. It is this merciful God, full of patience and fidelity, who today calls and sends Jean Michaël to be Pastor of the Diocese of Port-Louis.”

Pope Francis appointed Mons. Durhône as Bishop for Port Louis Diocese on 19 May 2023.

Born in June 1973 in the Diocese of Port-Louis, the newly consecrated Mauritian Bishop was ordained a Priest for the same Diocese in August 2005 after completing his priestly formation at the Seminary des Pays-de-la-Loire in the Catholic Diocese of Nantes in France.

In his maiden speech during the August 19 Episcopal Ordination, Bishop Durhône said, “I turn first to the one to whom I owe everything today, Jesus Christ. Without Him there would be no call, and without the call to follow Him there would be no ordination. Thank you, Lord.”

“I received it freely in order to give it freely to Catholics, but also to the people of Mauritius, along with the various religious denominations that have welcomed and supported me since my appointment as Bishop of Port-Louis on Friday May 19, 2023,” he further said. 

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“I did not receive a promotion, but as Psalm 130 says: I am not proud of my heart nor ambitious,” Bishop Durhône went on to say, adding, “This mother is the Church and my country, which includes Mauritius, the Chagos and Agalega islands, not forgetting our brothers and sisters in Rodrigues. You will teach me to become a bishop according to the heart of Jesus the Good Shepherd.”

He thanked his predecessor, Cardinal Piat, “for showing your fraternity as soon as I was appointed, even before it was official.”

“I know I can count on you, as an elder brother, as a guide,” the 50-year-old Bishop said.

He added, “Thank you to each of my brother Bishops who have come to support me in prayer. You will teach me to become the Bishop the Church needs.”

“Thank you to the Priests and my Deacon brothers for your presence, your prayer and your support. I pray for you all and thank the Lord for each one of you,” he said.


Bishop Durhône is expected to oversee Port Louis Diocese, which has an estimated population of 331,713 Catholics representing 26 percent of the total population in the Diocese, according to 2021 statistics.

The 1,882 square-kilometer Diocese that was erected as Vicariate Apostolic of Mauritius in June 1837 was elevated to a Diocese in December 1847.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.