The Celebration of St Josephine Bakhita in 2021
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 14, 2021 at 2.30pm. Approximately 160 people gathered to celebrate this important Feast Day Mass organized by the African community, and coordinated by Clement Kuek, together with the Events office of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.
Archbishop Patrick O’Regan celebrated the Mass with several Priests and Deacons of the Archdiocese of Adelaide to honour St Josephine Bakhita, recognizing her life, her faith, and her mission filled with love and mercy for the people she served.
St Josephine Bakhita is a very special saint to our African Catholic Community. As the patron saint of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking; St Bakhita is a model of faith and courage in adversity and her legacy lives on, as many of the prayers read, centred on bringing awareness to the work that is needed to be done to eradicate modern slavery in the world today.
St Bakhita’s life was turned from cruelty to ‘fortune’ (the meaning of her name) when she joined the Canossan Sisters in Italy in 1893, once it was decided she could not be held as a slave, by law. Consequently, St Bakhita holds a special place in the hearts of the Canossan sisters around the world.
At the celebration, Sr Amelia Fatima, carried the Saint Bakhita banner proudly, joined at the Mass by her Canossan sisters, Sr Elda Sbarra and Sr Valeria Pedrolini.
The African Choir were amazing, singing the Baptismal hymn “Uniwoshe Kwa Maji” (‘give me living water’), with joy as Archbishop Patrick baptised 6 young people and anointed nine, who renewed their baptismal promises and were confirmed in their faith, at this special celebration.
The Feast of St Bakhita is always celebrated as a very special event not only for the African Catholic Community but for the whole Archdiocese of Adelaide every year.
Please view the photos of the celebration below for your enjoyment.