“A wonderful adventure”: Cardinal in Mauritius on 30 Years as Bishop of Port Louis Diocese

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

Maurice Cardinal Piat has described his 30 years as Bishop of Port Louis Diocese in Mauritius as “a wonderful experience.”

Cardinal Piat is handing over the leadership of Port-Louis Diocese to Mons. Jean Michaël Durhône, who was appointed May 19.  Mons. Durhône’s Episcopal Ordination is scheduled for August 20 at the Mary Queen of Peace Cathedral of Port Louis Diocese.

In an interview with Défi Plus published Tuesday, August 15, Cardinal Piat said, “I leave my responsibility as Bishop of Port-Louis with a feeling of great gratitude.”

He added, “It's been a wonderful adventure serving the Church and the country.”

“I've received a lot from all the people I've worked with, priests, nuns and lay people in the diocesan services and parishes. Of course, I had to give certain guidelines, but when it came to putting these guidelines into practice, I saw a great deal of creativity, missionary drive and generosity,” the Bishop emeritus of Port Louis Diocese said.


The member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) continued, “Of course, there were problems and difficulties, but these were largely offset by the joy of working together to proclaim the Gospel.”

Cardinal Piat highlighted the Synod on Synodality in Mauritius and the 2014-2016 Kleopas development project as two great initiatives that marked his episcopate.

“Our synod was a great consultation of all Christians who wanted to express themselves on what they appreciated in the Church, but also on what they felt needed to be improved,” he said, and added, “I have fond memories of these debates, which were sometimes heated, but which also showed a great interest in the Church's efforts to better meet the aspirations of Mauritians and share with them the treasure of the Gospel.”

He continued, “It was there that the preferential option for the poor was adopted, it was there that the translation of the Bible into Creole was encouraged, and it was there that structures were created for the collaboration and participation of the laity, and in particular young people, in the mission of the Church at various levels.”

Cardinal Piat said the Kleopas project “was once again a major consultation, but on a specific point: how to concretely imagine and organize catechesis, that is, to find suitable ways to bring about and grow faith in Jesus Christ in children, young people and adults.”

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In the August 15 interview, Cardinal Piat shared some challenges his successor is expected to face.

“The country's challenges are also the Church's challenges, because the joys and hopes of contemporary man are also the joys and hopes of Christians. One of the great challenges facing both the country and the Church is young people,” he said.

Cardinal Piat continued, “Year after year, 25 percent of young people fail their primary and Grade 9 exams. Unemployment affects 24 percent of the country's young people. This makes young people even more vulnerable to drugs. The challenge is to assume our responsibility as parents, citizens, politicians and men of the Church to enable young people to develop as human beings and arm themselves against anything that can destroy their lives.”

On what he intends to do after August 20, Cardinal Piat said, “I need to take some time before deciding what I intend to do. After 30 years of active life and great responsibilities, it's necessary to take time to re-read one's life and discern the type of service I can offer.”

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.