“Never regretted it”: Cardinal in Mauritius on Call to Ministry as Priest, Bishop

Maurice Cardinal Piat, Bishop Emeritus of Port-Louis in Mauritius. Credit: Port Louis Diocese

On the occasion of his 32nd Episcopal anniversary, Maurice Cardinal Piat has said he “never regretted” answering God’s call to the Priesthood ministry, and later Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Port Louis in the Indian Ocean Island nation of Mauritius.

In his homily during the Sunday, July 16 event, Cardinal Piat who retired as Local Ordinary of Port Louis on May 19 thanked the people of God in the Mauritian Diocese for their support during his 32 years as the shepherd. 

“I can testify that ever since I heard Christ's call around the age of 17-18 and really decided to follow him, first as a Priest in the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), then as Bishop of the Diocese for the past 32 years, I've never regretted it,” the Mauritian Cardinal said during the event attended by hundreds of people at Thabor.

He added, “Despite the difficult choices I had to make in the beginning, such as giving up a girlfriend I liked, giving up a profession I was very interested in, becoming an architect, leaving my family, and going off to study for a long time, Christ never abandoned me.”

Jesus Christ, the Cardinal continued, “always put real joy in my heart, not a flash in the pan joy that lights up quickly and goes out quickly, but an ember joy that lasts a long time.”


“There have also been trials and difficult moments in my life as a Priest or Bishop. But Christ has always been there, like a solid rock on which I could lean,” Cardinal Piat went on to say during the July 16 Eucharistic celebration that also marked the gift of vocations among the people of God in Mauritius (feast of vocations).

He continued in reference to the Lord, Jesus Christ, “Little by little, He made me discover the beautiful figure of the suffering servant that He Himself was, this servant who assumes his sufferings with patience because he is willing to suffer for those he loves, those for whom he gave his life.”

“There's only one vocation that counts in life, you know, whether we're spouses, parents, Priests or Nuns: it's the call to love to the end those entrusted to us,” Cardinal Piat said.

He went on to explain the call of the people of God, saying, “The mission of the Church in the world, and the role of each one of us, is to make the Gospel resonate in society. The Church's mission is to make this music resound in the world as hope; our role is to live this joy, to share it, to make it known to all those around us.”

“On the day of my episcopal ordination, I said that the Church is like a great orchestra, where everyone – parents Priests, Religious or Lay people, children, young people, adults or the elderly – are like musical instruments with a particular note to be heard, a unique sound that only we can bring, a sound that, by joining with the others, creates a beautiful harmony,” Cardinal Piat further said. 

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He went on to thank the people of God who were under his pastoral care, who he said contributed to the spread of the Gospel in the Island nation.

“I would first and foremost like to express my gratitude to all of you, the valiant and faithful musicians, dancers, and singers of the Diocese, you have made the Gospel resound in Mauritian society as music that invites us to live in fraternity, in solidarity with the less privileged, those who suffer in their corner, to collaborate with our brothers from other communities for the greater good of all Mauritians,” the Spiritan Cardinal said.

He continued, “Thank you to the Priests who have been my first collaborators during these 32 years; those who are still alive, and those who have passed away and are praying for us. You have been faithful and creative in making this music more accessible, more lively.”

“I pray with you and I am confident that, under the leadership of Mons. Jean Michaël Durhône, the music of the Gospel will continue to resound in our midst and even in the farthest peripheries, in the midst of the poor and the excluded,” the 81-year-old Cardinal said during the July 16 event.

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.