St. Augustine’s Senior Seminary
The first institution set up at Mabanga was an Agricultural School, under the supervision of the Brothers of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Briefly the buildings housed Forms V and VI students for St. Peter’s Minor Seminary-Diocese of Kakamega. In 1974 Tindinyo College took up the function of being the high school of St. Peter’s Minor Seminary of Kakamega and the buildings at Mabanga were briefly converted to be the novitiate of the Sisters of Mary of Kakamega Diocese. This new arrangement only lasted for six months.
In the same year St. Augustine’s Senior Seminary was established and opened its doors for the first time on 1st August 1974 to 37 seminarians from the then 11 dioceses of Kenya. These seminarians began their studies with a staff of three resident and two visiting Professors. The first rector was His Grace Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kisumu followed by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue, Archbishop emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nairobi. Since then the Seminary has grown and now accommodates close to 250 seminarians drawn from most of the 26 Kenyan Dioceses. The number of staff members has gradually grown to the current 10 resident professors. To date the seminary has produced several Bishops and many priests.
St. Augustine’s Senior Seminary – Mabanga, is the only National Diocesan Philosophical Seminary for the Catholic Church of Kenya. In accordance with the prescriptions of Canon Law and with the Charter of Priestly Formation in Kenya, St. Augustine’s Senior Seminary is part of the national plan for priestly formation for all the dioceses of Kenya. The Seminary receives the seminarians from St. Mary’s Propaedeutic Seminary after their spiritual year of formation. While at St. Augustine’s Seminary, a full course of philosophy lasting three years is followed in accordance with the norms of the Church’s teaching and of the Pontifical Urban University in Rome to which the Seminary is affiliated. The affiliation to Urban University gives a chance to the students to be awarded a Baccalaureate in Philosophy. Upon successful completion of the three year cycle, the students join either St. Thomas Aquinas Senior Seminary or St. Mathias Mulumba Senior Seminary for theological studies. All the four national seminaries are run by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops through the Seminaries Episcopal Commission.
The Court of Arms: The coat of arms of St. Augustine’s Senior Seminary – Mabanga is a shield that is divided into four sectors. On the left lower sector, there are the symbols of wheat and grapes, which represent the Holy Eucharist, the center of priestly life and ministry. The open book found at the top left sector symbolizes a place of study and academic excellence. Next to the book, on the top right sector of the logo, is the chapel whichis the privileged place of personal and communal prayer. The banana tree in the fourth and last sector symbolizes the staple food in Bukusu land, where St. Augustine’s Seminary is situated.
The motto: The words ‘Fecisti nos ad te’ are taken from the famous phrase of St. Augustine of Hippo: “Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum cor nostrum donec requiescat in te.” (“You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and restless is our heart until it rests in You.”),The Confessions, Bk. I.1.1. St. Augustine is the patron of the Seminary.
“Before seminarians commence their specific ecclesiastical studies, they should already have received literary and scientific education, which is a prerequisite to higher studies in their country” (Vatican II: Optatam Totius, no. 13)
Before joining St. Augustine’s Senior Seminary, the candidates must have satisfactorily completed the propaedeutic year of formation and must be recommended by the relevant authority.
Since St. Augustine’s Senior Seminary is a recognized Philosophicum for priestly formation, it is expected that at least 80% of the total subjects covered should be philosophical courses.
Academic reports are sent to each student’s Bishop at the end of each semester.