The Feast of St Josephine Bakhita 2023

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 12, 2023 at 2.30pm. Approximately 300 people gathered to celebrate this important Feast Day Mass for the Patron Saint of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking; organized by the African community, and coordinated by Mr Clement Kuek, together with the Events Office of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.

Only just landing in Adelaide at midnight from the Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania in Fiji, the Archbishop of Adelaide did not want to miss celebrating this special Mass with the community.  Joined by African Priests, Father Paul Mwaura Gicheha and Father Dominick Awiti Okwadha; along with Administrator to the Cathedral Parish, Father Anthoni Adimai with devoted servers, this Mass recognized St Bakhita’s life and deep faith.   

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan baptised 3 young people at this special celebration and confirmed 9 candidates for confirmation and first Holy Communion, all seeking to take on the charisms of the Saint they were confirmed in.

The Canossian Sisters were a ‘saving grace’ to the life of St Bakhita. Our Canossian sisters in Adelaide; Sr Elda Sbarra, Sr My Vu, and Sr Jessika joined in the entrance procession. Other guests included, Centacare’s Directors, Ms Leanne Haddad and Ms Pauline Connelly; as well as the ACRATH Team (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking. in Humans) of Sr Meredith Evans RSM, Ms Angela Hart and Ms Teresa Lynch joining in prayer and hope with the intercession of St Bakhita that we can eradicate modern slavery still prevalent in our society today.

As always the African Choir were amazing! And the African youth participated with beautiful liturgical dance parts throughout this colourful and very beautiful and meaningful Mass celebration.

The Archbishop gave a beautiful homily reminding us we all have a choice to do good.

The Feast of St Bakhita is a very special event not only for the African Catholic Community but for the whole Archdiocese of Adelaide every year and this year was no different. After the Mass, everyone enjoyed some good African food from South Sudan, Kenya and Burundi – some good chakula!

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