At first the Seminary started as apostolic school. In 1957 it was changed to St. John’s Seminary Rakwaro when it was opened by Arch Bishop Knox, the Apostolic delegate. The pioneer staff consisted of Father Wolf as the Rector and Father Sharky. The four lay teachers were Cosmas Makhanu who was the head teacher. He was the one who came with the twenty two boys from Misikhu. He is one person who devoted his life to the development of this institution. A part from teaching he was instrumental in the improvement of the compound and provision of basic facilities needed. Mr. Francis Omburo a native of Gem location Asumbi was the second teacher. He was the choirmaster, games master, and was in charge of catering. Mr. Sylvester C. Sulwe a native of central Nyanza Ugenya who later joined priesthood was the third teacher. Mr. Nicholas Outa whose compound neighbours the Southern end of the school was the fourth teacher. He had earlier been with Mr. Sulwe in the same teacher’s training college at Asumbi.

In 1958 Hillary Makhamu, the brother of Cosmas Makhamu joined the teaching staff. It is interesting to note that their younger brother Maurice Makhamu was also a pupil at the Seminary by then. He later joined the Civil Service and rose to the rank of Provincial Commissioner and later the Member of Parliament before he retired. In the same year Fr. Paschal Okwachi who was at Nyamagwa Parish was posted to teach Maths and Latin. He had been ordained a priest in 1955. The first batch of pupils under the supervision of Cosmas Makhamu started the tireless task of turning the compound into what we see today. Many tree trunks were uprooted. Lanes were constructed running into every street in the compound. The bushes were cleared and in the process one hundred and seventy – two snakes were killed. There were nine buildings all together. These were the tuition block, refectory, dormitory, store and office, two teachers houses, one kitchen for the teachers, school kitchen and food stores. The teachers houses were situated on the western end of the compound. In the same year the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, Asumbi started a convent at the Seminary. Mother Teresa Nyondeng’e was the mother superior. Others were; - Sr. Raphael who was the nurse, Sr. Mariata and Sr. Celestine Anyango. At the same time they opened a maternity ward. Right in the centre of the boy’s compound was the shrine with the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There were two football pitches which were on the present site of the permanent buildings. The Rakwaro primary school was still in the Seminary compound. The subordinate staff consisted of Venantishas Wao as the supervisor (Nyapara) of the workmen. Ignatius Okeyo, Toto, Chrisantus Nyanjanga, Obuto and Ochola worked in the kitchen. Joseph Obuogo and Ojuok were employed as watchmen. The former had been in the army during the Second World War. Despite the initial successes, the Seminary encountered several misfortunes. Father Schett who joined the Seminary from Rapogi succumbered to heart attack in 1961. In 1962 sister Caroline Akeyo was struck to death by lightning. Joseph Okelo a student from Enanga Mission died at Kisumu general hospital the same year.

By 1962 they were over three hundred and twenty boys, six African teachers, five sisters, four brothers, two African fathers, two missionary fathers and the Rector. The fathers were Hawes Ouro, Okwachi, Schett and Wolf. The brothers were Savio, Assisus and Henry. Two more lay teachers Daniel Namudiro from Bukhayo and Charles Katambo from South Bukusu joined the staff. Ogalo Zacharia was employed as the driver of the school tractor. The same year 12th March the first African Bishop in Kenya Maurice Otunga visited the Seminary after his consecration.

The St. John's Seminary Experience

Admission to the Seminary

Admission to the Seminary

Aspiring to join St. John's Seminary Rakwaro? Here is what you need to know, the requirements by the individual and from your Parish.

Academics at the Seminary

Academics at the Seminary

The lifestyle of St. John's Seminary Rakwaro is different from your ordinary high school. Get insights into the student life, academis and extracurricular activities.