Pope Francis Appoints Bishop in Mauritius, Auxiliary Bishop in Madagascar

Mons. Jean Michaël Durhône, appointed Bishop for Port-Louis Diocese in Mauritius. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Pope Francis has appointed Mons. Jean Michaël Durhône as the Local Ordinary for Port-Louis Diocese in Mauritius, and Mons. Jean Nicolas Rakotojaona as the Auxiliary Bishop for Madagascar’s Morondava Diocese

In the latest administrative changes made public by the Holy See Press Office on Friday, May 19, the Holy Father also accepted the retirement of Maurice Evenor Cardinal Piat from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Port-Louis.

Born in June 1973 in the Diocese of Port-Louis, the Mauritian Bishop-elect 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.

The alumnus of the Belgium-based Lumen Vitae Institute where he obtained a licentiate in Moral Theology, Pastoral, and Catechesis has been serving as Secretary General of the Episcopal Conferences of Indian Ocean (CEDOI).

Since his ordination to the Priesthood, Mons. Durhône has previously served in various positions, including Vicar of St. Louis Cathedral of Port-Louis Diocese; Diocesan Chaplain of the Young Christian Workers Movement; and Diocesan Head of Catechesis.


He also served as the Parish Vicar of Sainte-Hélène, Curepipe, and Saint-Sauveur, Bambous.

Outside the Indian Ocean Island nation, the Mauritian Bishop-elect served as the Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Visitation parish in France.

Once ordained Bishop to succeed Cardinal Piat, a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans/Holy Ghost Fathers), Mons. Durhône is expected to administer as the 14th Local Ordinary of the Mauritian 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.

In the May 19 administrative changes in Madagascar, Mons. Rakotojaona, who has been assigned the Titular See of Dragonara is set to assist the 55-year-old Bishop Marie Fabien Raharilamboniaina to shepherd the people of God in Morondava Catholic Diocese.

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Born in January 1973 in the Archdiocese of Antananarivo, the Bishop-elect was ordained a Priest for the same Archdiocese in August 2002 after completing his philosophical and theological studies at St. Paul the Apostle Major Seminary of Philosophy and St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Major Seminary respectively.

The alumnus of the Catholic University of Madagascar (UCM) where he obtained a Master's degree in Philosophy of Religion is the Rector of the Major Seminary of Philosophy of St. Paul the Apostle.

Since his ordination as a Priest, Mons. Rakotojaona has served as Parish Vicar of Ihazolava; Vicar in Andohatapenaka and Ampefiloha; Parish Priest in Ambanidia, and Rector of the Propaedeutic Seminary Victoire Rasoamanarivo.

The holder of a Doctorate in Theology from Switzerland-based University of Fribourg has also served as a lecturer of the Social Doctrine of the Church at the Higher Institute of Technology in Antananarivo and of Philosophy in the Minor Seminary.

Once ordained Bishop, he is expected to assist Bishop Raharilamboniaina to shepherd the people of God in Morondava Diocese, which has an estimated population of 78,798 Catholics representing 8.6 percent of the total population in the Diocese, according to 2021 statistics.


The 46,121 square-kilometer Diocese that was erected in May 1938 is part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Toliara.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.