Diocese of Port Louis
This diocese comprises the islands of Mauritius, Rodriguez, Chagos, and Diego Garcia. The Island of Mauritius was discovered by the Portuguese about 1507, but no settlement was formed. The Dutch who visited it in 1598 called it Mauritius in honour of the Stadtholder, Maurice of Nassau; they sent a colony there in 1644 but abandoned the island in 1710 or 1712. When the French took possession in 1715 they changed the name to Ile de France. It was long a French trading centre, and in 1789 became the seat of the French Government in the East. It was captured by the English in 1810, being formally ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1814. The French language and law have been preserved, but the ancient name was restored by the British Government. Port Louis, the capital, on the north-west coast, is the seat of the Catholic and Anglican bishoprics, and also the residence of the colonial governor, at present (1911) Sir Cavendish Boyle, K. C. M. G. The census of 1901 gave the total population of the island as 373,336, of whom 113,244 were Catholics, and that of the town of Port Louis as 52,740. There are Government schools and denominational schools aided by the State; Catholics constitute 64.71 per cent of the pupils.
In 1712 a prefecture Apostolic, including the islands of Madagascar, Réunion (then Bourbon), Mauritius etc., was established in the Indian Ocean and confided to the Congregation of St. Vincent de Paul . By a Brief of 6 October, 1740, Benedict XIV made the mission dependent on the Archdiocese of Paris . After the British occupation of Mauritius a vicariate Apostolic was established which, by a Decree of 21 January, 1819, was confided to Rt. Rev. Edward Bede Slater, Vicar Apostolic of the Cape of Good Hope and the Island of Madagascar ; shortly afterwards the region of New Holland was annexed to the vicariate. In 1829 the Island of Madagascar was separated from the vicariate, and in 1834 the district of New Holland was suppressed. The Cape of Good Hope, the Island of St. Helena, and the Seychelles Islands were cut off from the mission of Mauritius in 1837, 1851, and 1852 respectively, the Diocese of Port Louis having been erected by a Decree of 1 December, 1847. The present bishop, Rt. Rev. James R. Bilsborrow, elected to the see on 13 Sept., 1910, succeeded the Rt. Rev. Peter Augustus O'Neill (born at Liverpool 22 Dec., 1841; made his profession as a Benedictine at Douai 10 Dec., 1861; was ordained 6 April, 1867; elevated to the episcopate 22 May, 1896, consecrated 29 June of that year). The present Catholic population of the diocese is 119,000; there are 52 priests, 27 churches, and 40 chapels. Religious orders include Jesuits and Fathers of the Holy Ghost, Loreto Sisters, Sisters of Charity of Perpetual Help, and the Daughters of Mary.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online