Location: Sts. Anna & Joachim Catholic Church 5202 – 25th St. Fargo, ND
“St. Bakhita’s Community was formed in 2004. With the help of Monsignor Val Gross and the approval of Bishop Samuel Aquila, the community was able to start it’s activities here at Sts. Anne & Joachim church. The community was named after the well known Sudanese, Saint Josephine Bakhita…. The name Bakhita in Arabic means “The Lucky One.” St. Bakhita’s Community started with about 30 registered families. This number has doubled over the past four years. It was initially formed by Sudanese who were resettled in Fargo. The community has since been joined by other African neighboring communities such as Burundi, Tanzania, and Congo. The first Mass, which involved a Baptism, was conducted on December 12, 2004 by Monsignor Val Gross. St. Bakhita’s Sunday Mass is offered at 12:30 p.m.” stsaaj.org/st-bakhitas-community
Biography of Bakhita
“Born to a wealthy Sudanese family, she was kidnapped by slave-traders at age 9, and given the name Bakhita (lucky) by them. Sold and resold in the markets at El Obeid and Khartoum, finally purchased in 1883 by Callisto Legnani, Italian consul who planned to free her. She accompanied Legnani to Italy in 1885, and worked as a nanny for the family of Augusto Michieli. She was treated well in Italy and grew to love the country. An adult convert the Christianity, she joined the Church on 9 January 1890, she took the name of Josephine as a symbol of her new life.
She entered the Institute of Canossian Daughters of Charity in Venice, Italy in 1893, taking her vows on 8 December 1896 in Verona, Italy and serving as a Canossian Sister for the next fifty years. Her gentle presence, her warm, amiable voice, and her willingness to help with any menial task were a comfort to the poor and suffering people who came to the door of the Institute. After a biography of her was published in 1930, she became a noted and sought after speaker, raising funds to support missions.
Her feast has been designated the International Day of Prayer to Stop Human Trafficking.”
- 1 October 2000 by Pope John Paul II at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy catholicsaints.info/saint-josephine-bakhita/
Zanini, Roberto Italo. Bakhita: From Slave to Saint. Ignatius Press, 2013.
Photo credits: Sts. Anna & Joachim Catholic Church