“Do not be afraid to take charge”: Cardinal at Episcopal Consecration in Mauritius

Credit: Diocese of Port Louis

Maurice Cardinal Piat has invited the new Vicar Apostolic of the Apostolic Vicariate of Rodrigues in Mauritius not to be afraid in leading the people of God in his Episcopal See.

In his homily during the Episcopal Consecration of Mons. Michel Moura, Cardinal Piat reminded the new Vicar Apostolic that “to be a shepherd is truly a story of love.”

“Do not be afraid to take charge of the Church in Rodrigues. The Lord has entrusted it to you,” Cardinal Piat who retired as Local Ordinary of Port Louis Diocese in May 2023 said during the Tuesday, March 19 event that was held at St. Gabriel Cathedral of the Apostolic Vicariate of Rodrigues.

He added, “Like Joseph, the righteous man, trust in the Lord, for the Holy Spirit who gave birth to Jesus in Mary's womb is the same Spirit who gave birth to the Church in Rodrigues; it is the Spirit who gives the people of Rodrigues faith in Jesus, and gives them the courage to bear witness to the Gospel in Rodrigues society.”

He encouraged Mons. Moura to get to know the Church in Rodrigues, and love the people he had been called to shepherd, sharing in their concerns, hope, joy and suffering.


Cardinal Piat told Mons. Moura that it would only be by being patient that the monsignor would discover the Diocese’s “hidden treasure of a generous humanity and a deep faith.”

The Cardinal called on Mons. Moura to “trust in the Spirit that dwells in the people of Rodrigues”.

“There will be times when you'll have to walk in the middle of the flock to listen to the people, to participate in their life; but there will also be times when you'll have to walk behind the flock, to support the weakest and make sure that no one is left by the wayside; and there will be times when you'll have to walk in front, to point the way, help to stay on course, and give courage to those who hesitate,” Cardinal Piat said.

He said, “Being a pastor according to God's heart is not a job, it's a love story. The people of Rodrigues are Jesus' sheep, the ones he entrusts to you today. Jesus gave his life for them, and he invites you to share his passion for his sheep, to give your life too, so that the sheep may have life, and have it in abundance.”

“Like Jesus, accompany them with the same patience, put on your apron and wash their feet, nourish them with the Word of God and the Eucharist. Support them when they stumble, heal them when they hurt themselves, go in search of them when they're lost; lift them up when they can't stand it any longer, rekindle hope in them. Listen to them too,” Cardinal Piat said.

More in Africa

Ordained a Priest for the Diocese of Port-Louis in August 2006, Mons. Moura was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Rodrigues in December 2023.

In his March 19 homily, Cardinal Piat urged the people of God in Rodrigues to welcome their new Bishop with confidence.

“Take advantage of the arrival of your new bishop to resolutely take the path of synodality that Pope Francis recommends to the whole Church,” he said.

The Mauritian Cardinal added, “Seize the opportunity to deepen the spirituality that underpins this way of walking together and give it its strength; practice at all levels of Church life, listening to one another to seek to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church of Rodrigues today.”

“Your bishop is not a superman. He can't work miracles. He comes more simply as a shepherd who reaches out to the flock wherever they are on their journey. He needs you, just as you need him, to discern which direction to take and how to move forward together,” Cardinal Piat said.


Bishop Moura will serve as the second Apostolic Vicar of the Vicariate that was erected from the Diocese of Port-Louis in October 2002. 

Rodrigues Vicariate has a population of 39,400 Catholics, according to 2020 statistics.

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.