Soni Seminary started in 1975. At that time, the Diocese
of Tanga,was under Rt. Rev. Bishop
. By then, the Diocese had only 3 Diocesan Priests and
very few Seminarians in St. Peter’s junior Seminary and Kibosho
Senior Seminary. His Excellency Bishop Komba sent Rev. Fr. Gerard Chilambo
to start St. Michael Seminary at Soni. St. Michael School was already
there since 1953 run by Rosminian Fathers for British children. These
children were prepared to continue for further studies in Britain. In
1974 the school was closed, this was coursed by lack of pupils which was
forced by change of politics and educational culiculum.
In February 2, 1975, Rev. Fr. Chilambo started
the Seminary with 14 pupils. These boys were from Kwai Parish
, Gare Parish
and St. Anthony Cathedral
. Fr. Chilambo as Vocational director, Rector and the only
teacher was helped by three sisters from COLU
Because of lack of money and teachers Soni Seminary remained as
a spiritual center for one year. The Students were taught Religion,
English and Singing. Fr. Charles Mhina and Fr. Joseph Mbena are
among the first 14 pupils who started Soni Seminary.
From the beginning Rt. Rev. Bishop Maurus Komba
made sure that the Seminary grew up and take the required steps
to full Junior Seminary.
In 1975 His Excellency Bishop Maurus Komba sent Fr. Martin Maganga and
Fr. Egno Ndunguru to Chang’ombe Teachers College Dar es Salam for
Diploma course. At the same time he had borrowed one Teacher Mr. Rafael
Ndomba from the Government and sent him to Soni Seminary; mean while the
processes of registering the school started.
The following year Fr. Maganga and Ndunguru came to Soni Seminary after
finishing their studies and Fr. Ndunguru took the leadership of the School
as a Rector.
In the same year 1976 Fr.
who by the time was the Teacher in St. Peter’s
Morogoro, increased the number of staff members in Soni Seminary.
The staff of Soni Seminary became full and complete in the year
1978 when Fr. Beda Pavel (Benedict
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, Fr. Oliver Stansfield (Rosminian
and two Sisters from the Congregation of Maryknoll came to Soni.
In the same year the Seminary was registered and given this number
and named “Soni Seminary Secondary
” under the Catholic Diocese of Tanga.
In 1978 Fr. Ndunguru was sent to Dar es Salam University for
further studies in teaching. Fr. Maganga took the leadership
of Soni Seminary as Rector. After finishing his studies Fr.
Ndunguru came back to Soni Seminary as Rector and Teacher up
to 1988 when Fr.
George Mhuza took his position as Teacher and Rector. Fr.
George was coming from Dar es Salam University where he hired
his degree in education. He became Rector for 10 years. In 1998
his position was taken by Fr. Fraternus Mbuya. Since 1998 up
to 2005 Soni had different leaders who served for a very short
time. These are, Fr. Fraternus Mbuya, Gerald Kabarega, Severine
Shemfumbwa and Fr.
Thomas Kiangio who started his career since 2005.
The Patron Saint was changed in the year 1979 from Saint Michael
to Saint Joseph the Husband of Mary. St. Joseph was prefered
due to his role in taking care of the child Jesus so as to take
the same role of caring of the young Seminarians in their eary
stage of formation. It was also in the same year the first form
four did National Exams and came out with good results, which
proved that the staff was doing a good job. Since 1979 form
four result has been giving hope to the Bishop as well as the
faithful of Tanga Diocese. In
1988; Soni Seminary took the first
positin National wise in Form IV National Exam Results.
More than that, there has been also a lot of development in
buildings and in 1996 Soni had students who did form VI exams.
These A-level classes were stopped in the year 1998. Now effort
is made to bring back A-level classes.
In 1985 His
Excellency Bishop Maurus Komba ordained Rev. Deacon John
Mahundi into the Order of Priesthood. Fr.
John Mahundi is the first fruit of Soni Seminary. This was
a happy and luck day to Rt.Rev.
Bishop Komba since his dreams came true after waiting for
10 years. After the ordination of John Mahundi in 1985, Soni
Seminary has been producing one or more Priests each year. Today
Soni Seminary has 35 Priests.