The Celebration of St Josephine Bakhita

with the African Catholic Community


The Feast of St Josephine Bakhita of South Sudan was held in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral on Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 2.30pm. More than 200 people gathered to celebrate this important Feast Day Mass organized by the African community, and coordinated by Clement Kuek, together with the Multicultural Office and the Events Team of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.

The main celebrant, Fr Philip Marshall celebrated the Mass with Monsignor Robert Egar and priests of the Archdiocese namely Fr. Michael Odiwa; Fr Denis Ssemuju; Fr. Dominick Okwadha and Deacon Alfred Donat.   

Only 20 years since her canonization, this was a special celebration to honour St Bakhita, the patron saint of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking; Herself, a model of strength and faith in adversity. 

Heading the entrance procession, Sr Amelia Fatima, of Salisbury, proudly carried the blue silk banner of Saint Josephine Bakhita, her Canossian sister. Also joining the congregation and welcomed by Fr. Philip, were Canossian sisters, Sr Rosa Vazzano and Sr Valeria Pedrolini.

It was with great enthusiasm the congregation remembered this beautiful saint through worship and song. The African Choir were outstanding as usual, singing with joyfulness and harmony especially the Thanksgiving Hymn “Saint Bakhita you are Holy”.

Father Philip’s homily centred on the theme of God’s love and tenderness. Inspired by the scripture of Matthew and Isaiah, he reminded us what it means to ‘shine our light’, showing solidarity with one another, sharing our bread with the hungry, clothing the naked, and especially not turning from our own kin. 
An African Celebration is never complete without a shared meal!  Everyone was invited to enjoy the delicious food from this amazing continent. So much to be thankful for!

Please view the photos of the celebration below for your enjoyment.