“If I’d to do it all over again, I would not hesitate”: Mauritian Cardinal on His Jubilee

From left : Fr.Sylvio Lodoïska and Fr. Eddy Coosnapen set to celebrate their priestly silver jubilee and Fr. Gérard Sullivan and Maurice Cardinal Piat who will be celebrating their golden priestly jubilee on August 2.

Ahead of celebrations to mark his golden jubilee as a priest, the head of the Catholic Church in the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius has described his priesthood journey as “a road worth taking” and one he “would not hesitate” to take again despite the hardships encountered over the last five decades.

“Personally, when I look back 50 years, I tell myself that if I had to do it all over again, I would not hesitate,” the Bishop of Port-Louis Diocese, Maurice Cardinal Piat said in a video reflection published on the website of his Diocese Monday, July 20.

“That doesn't mean that there haven't been difficulties, that there haven't been hardships, but I believe that this journey is worth taking. It's a road worth taking,” the Cardinal, a member of the Religious and Missionary Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) adds.

Born in July 1941 in Mauritius, Cardinal Piat was ordained a priest in 1971. He was appointed the Coadjutor Bishop of Port Louis diocese in January 1991.

In February 1993, he succeeded the late Jean Cardinal Margeot.


He was elevated to the rank of a Cardinal in November 2016 and subsequently appointed the Cardinal-Priest of Italy’s St. Teresa of Avila Church in Corso d'Italia.

Cardinal Piat is set to mark his Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the Priesthood during the diocesan “Feast of Vocations,” August 2 alongside Fr. Gerald Sullivan. Two other clerics will celebrate their Priestly Silver Jubilees.

“Vocations Day is giving thanks to the Lord for all the priestly and religious vocations he has given to the diocese for a long time,” Cardinal Piat reflects in the video post.

During the August 2 event, Catholics in the religiously-diverse nation are also set to celebrate the vocations of three “young people” who will be joining the seminary in September “for the first time in a long time,” a moment the Cardinal says is “very beautiful to see how the Lord is faithful to his promise.”

The 79-year-old Prelate explains in reference to God, “He said I will give you pastors according to my heart. And now he is giving us young people, old people, the middle-aged, who have known the joy of the Gospel and who are passionate about sharing it as far as possible with others.”

More in Africa

To be marked under the day's theme, “Give thanks for the jubilees, pray for new vocations. ‘Give them yourselves to eat’ (Mt 14, 16),” the event will have the faithful also pray for vocations in the one-diocese Island country.

The people of God in the country will also take part in the annual fundraising campaign for seminarians who are undergoing their formation to the Priesthood abroad.

Bringing together 47 parishes of the Catholic Church in the 1.2 million-populated nation, the diocese of Port Louis reportedly has 92 priests, 348 nuns, and 135 religious.

Catholicism is the dominant Christian denomination with 26.2 percent followers who are spread across the Diocese of Port-louis and the Apostolic Vicariate of Rodrigues.

Famous for its beaches, reefs, coastal lagoons and mountainous interior such as Black River Gorges National Park with waterfalls, wildlife, rainforests, and hiking trails, the Indian Ocean Island nation, which is located about 1,930 kilometers off the coast of Africa, relies on tourism as one of the main sources of income alongside agriculture.


The well over 40,000 people directly employed in the tourism sector have had their income threatened due to COVID-19 restrictions, including the ban on international travel.

The Diocese of Port-Louis has a Diocesan Tourism Commission, which is set to accompany tourism sector employees affected by COVID-19 pandemic in a “new spiritual journey” dubbed “The Miracle of Gratitude.”

Fr. Lionel Dalle, a Catholic priest ministering in France’s Fréjus-Toulon Diocese developed the spiritual program.

Explaining why the spiritual journey is important, officials of the Tourism Commission have been quoted as saying, “the effects of gratitude are simply astounding. They are numerous; they are durable; they are scientifically proven.”

Another reason for the spiritual journey, they have said, is because “gratitude is an attitude at the heart of the Christian faith. Eucharist = to give thanks = to thank. Mass is a great prayer of gratitude to Jesus who gave us everything, who died for us, who saved us by giving his life.”

(Story continues below)

Set to start on August 1, the “journey” will take place once a month from August to December, and will be animated by the Commission’s Chaplain, Fr. Philippe Goupille with the support of “committed laymen.”