St Pius X Seminary Secondary School in Nkubu town, Imenti South Sub-County, is a boys-only minor seminary run by the Catholic Diocese of Meru.
The first students were admitted in January 1956 with the aim of fostering vocations for young people aspiring to become priests. For years, St Pius -nicknamed Spuxx - was an academic giant in the Mt Kenya east region.
Indeed, the bulk of boys came from within Meru Diocese, but students from other parts of the country can join after making applications bearing a recommendation letter from the Parish Priests of their respective areas.
Most of the Spuxx old boys remember the unwritten rule that prohibited them to sleep on their stomachs within the seminary compound. The rule, according to former students, was supposed to stop the boys from ‘entertaining’ dirty ideas, as most of them were being prepared for priesthood.
Over the holidays, students were expected go serve at the nearest Parish in their home areas. You wouldn’t be admitted for a new term without a letter confirming that indeed you served at the parish.
Among the tasks was serving in the mass, feeding parish cows and tilling the parish land! There was a solitary prayer session called ‘recollection,’ which all the students were expected to engage in. During these sessions, talking to fellow students was outlawed for three days.
Notable alumni of Spuxx include His Eminence John Cardinal Njue and the current Meru Bishop, Salesius Mugambi.
Others guided by the motto ‘Sidera Tangam,’ (Latin for ‘I will reach for the stars’) are Embu Governor Martin Wambora, George Kinoti, the spokesperson for the National Police Service, and Kenya’s strongest man, Conrad Njeru Karukenya, popularly known as ‘Tiger Power’ and flamboyant businessman Brian Mutembei.
Journalists Harrison Ikunda, Simon Kobia (Communications Director, Meru County) and Standard Group cartoonist Kenny Kaburu also wore the school’s navy blue trousers, sleeveless cardigans and white shirts, as did Tharaka Nithi County CEC for Tourism Environment and Natural Resources, Albert Mugambi.