African community celebrates Feast of St Josephine Bakhita
The Feast of St Josephine Bakhita was held in St Francis Xavier's Cathedral on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 2:30pm. About 300 people attended the celebration, most of whom were from African community and others from different communities of the Archdiocese of Adelaide. There were two main parts of the celebration, the Holy Mass in the Cathedral and the refreshment in the Cathedral Hall. Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Rev Philip Wilson presided the Mass and other priests and deacons were the concelebrants. The Mass began with a joyful hymn sang by the African Catholic choirs with African traditional musical instruments. In this special Mass to commemorate St Bakhita, the Catholic Church also welcomed eight African members who received Baptism and Confirmation. Towards the end of the Mass Archbishop congratulated the children and their families on their Baptism and Confirmation. He also thanked the African community and showed his appreciation to them for bringing the richness of African culture and faith tradition to the Catholic Church in Adelaide.
St Josephine Bakhita was born in Southern Sudan in 1869. At the age of eight, she was kidnapped and sold many times for slavery in Sudan and Italy. After regaining her freedom, Josephine Bakhita became a Canossian sister dedicating her life to God in the service of the poor and suffering. She died on February 8, 1947. She was canonised in 2000.
The second part of the program was a gathering in the Cathedral Hall where the African community had an opportunity to express their sincere thanks to Archbishop Wilson for his ongoing support to their community. A group of young people performed a play on the life of Josephine Bakhita and finally a delicious meal with African food was served among all the attendees.