PRATIKSHA – HOME OF HOPE
A house of formation is the heart of any diocese or congregation because it is here the future leaders of the church are formed. One of such formation houses which is the Alma mater of so many holy and zealous priests is “PRATIKSHA”.
The house is situated at Shankaracarya Marg, Civil Lines in Old Delhi and was inaugurated on August 4, 1977, the feast of St. John Marie Vianney by the then Archbishop of Delhi Late Angelo Fernandes.
The name ‘Pratiksha’ was suggested by Fr. George Gispert Sauch, SJ. The word ‘Pratiksha’ is the combination of two Sanskrit words- ‘prati’ and ‘iksha’ which means ‘eagerly waiting or expectation or waiting in hope’. Pratiksha symbolizes the great expectation and hope of many: For the seminarians it is waiting in hope to serve Jesus at His altar; for the Church it is waiting in hope for her new missionaries at her service and for the people of God it is waiting in hope for their future shepherds and leaders. Thus Pratiksha stands out as A HOME OF HOPE.
Fr. James Dupuis SJ, the then professor of Dogmatic Theology at Vidya Jyoti was the first Rector of this house until 1979. The Rectors who followed Fr. Dupuis were Archbishop Emeritus Vincent M. Concessao, Fr. Susai Sebastian, His grace Archbishop Anil J.T Couto, Fr. George Kureethra, His Excellency Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas, Fr. George Manimala, Fr. Paul Cardoza, Fr. Julius Caesar, Fr. George Manimala SJ and the present Rector Fr. Jose T.J.
Pratiksha, right from its inception had been accommodating seminarians belonging to various dioceses and congregations other than those of the Archdiocese such as seminarians from Jammu Srinagar, Agra, Trivandrum, Asansol, Simdega, Jamshedpur, Indian Missionary Society, Vincentians, CSTs, and OICs. This diverse background provides the community with an atmosphere both of ecclesial and national integration.
Most people who come to Pratiksha for the first time are taken aback to see brothers living in the midst of people in a small apartment. It is certainly a challenge and a wonderful opportunity to witness to the Gospel as well as prepare themselves for the ‘ministry of presence’ among the people of other faith and persuasions.
The uniqueness of Pratiksha is its characteristic of being a “Family”, Pratiksha Parivar rather than a formal seminary. The small size of the community certainly enhances this characteristic.
There are no rigid rules and regulations but a certain frame work of guidelines to help the members grow in self-discipline and spirituality. Freedom with responsibility is the hall mark of this formation house.
Spiritual Formation include activities like Meditation, Office of the day, Holy Eucharist, Rosary, Divine Mercy, Living group prayer and mass, Monthly Recollections, Spiritual directions, Devotions to Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, St. John Marie Vianney and Pope St. Pius X, the Divine Patrons of Pratiksha. These activities help the theologians to have a spiritual encounter with Christ and prepare themselves to become holy priests.
The brothers staying in this house are privileged to grow in their Intellectual and Pastoral Formation given at Vidyajyoti College of Theology. The contextual theology offered in the college encourages the theologians to be alert and responsive to the signs of the times. It helps them to become pastors and missionaries after the heart of Jesus Christ and gain mastery in the art of partnering the Lord in the task of prospering the Kingdom of God.
The atmosphere here is one of spiritual search and theological research, prayerfulness, concern and care for one another and above all zest and vivacity. The communitarian life, companionship, concern for one another, community picnics, games and recreation helps in Human Formation and instills in the hearts of the young to make mercy and love their lifestyle and integrates their mind, body and soul to be holistic persons.
In the bygone years Pratiksha has produced fruits and fruits in abundance. Three of its students have become bishops: His grace Archbishop Anil Couto, the Archbishop of Delhi, His Excellency Ignatius Mascarenhas, the bishop of Shimla-Chandigarh and His Lordship Bishop Niranjan Singh of Sambalpur diocese. There are greater things in store in the years to come as Pratiksha is a HOME OF HOPE…