The Kithu Dana Pubuduwa is a valuable resource gifted by God almighty to animate the Sri Lankan Catholic Church with the breath of the Holy Spirit. The wind of the Holy Spirit blew over the entire Church following the completion of Vatican II. As a result, it also gave rise to the renewal of the Asian Catholic Church. On a day in the year 1971 the seed of renewal fell on Sri Lankan soil and began its growth. Rev.Fr. Oscar Abayaratne the founder priest of the Kithu Dana Pubuduwa was the chosen instrument used by the Holy Spirit to establish the renewal movement in the Sri Lankan Catholic Church.
Having received the touch of the spirit of Church-renewal that came through the Vatican II Council during a trip abroad to England, carried the beginnings and the ends of it in his mind and heart and returned to Sri Lanka. Whilst bearing his official appointment in the archdiocese as the chaplain of the Young Christian Movement, on his return he shared with a group of lay persons the spiritual experience he received while abroad. His sharing began spreading far and wide, and those who absorbed the experience began sharing it with others. Gradually without any name or title the people with this renewal experience began to grow in number.
Having included the principles and values of the Christian faith and also those of local nationhood to this journey he saw this as an alternative for the people of this land of ours. This is the alternative way of life he saw as an individual that is on offer to the communitarian life-style recommended by the Christian faith to the oppressive state of society in existence because of social, financial and political influences. He introduced this life-style as a new light with a new vision. That was the “Kithu Dana Pubuduwa”. Those who gathered around it embraced that new lifestyle with a lot of love.
Their vision in life was the Person of “Jesus Christ as Lord!” Once they acknowledged Jesus as the only important person in their lives they considered all else as rubbish. Thus they clothed themselves with Christian community life rejecting all other worldly values of society. Gradually Pubuduwa values and Pubuduwa traditions began to be established. Pubuduwa teachings in conformity with the teaching magisterium and the traditions of the Church began to be developed. A community of people made up of renewed Christians began to be built up in the Sri Lankan Catholic Church. Accepting Jesus Christ as the foundation of their lives they lived making the Pubuduwa vision their lifestyle.
They embraced this journey not only as single individuals but as families together with their children and grandchildren. A gathering of these gave rise to an alternative society who lived according to the values of the gospel. They lived their lives being a challenge to the contemporary political ideologies, social orientations, and financial system, to rather live as witneses according to Christian values and thus swim against the current and sacrificing their lives to establish the Kingdom of God. Kithu Dana Pubuduwa is a communitarian effort of a people who have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They are proud of their endeavour. It needs to be stated at this stage that there were also people who did not understand this great journey of renewal. Certain lay people who could be called strict traditionalists and also some priests could not understand this renewal movement of the laity. The ridiculing, oppressions and obstacles put in the path of the renewal movement became an assistance rather than an impediment. In 2021 the Kithu Dana Pubuduwa celebrated the fiftieth anniversary in their journey and is engaged in renewing itself and moving ahead hand in hand with the Lord, in tune with the rhythm of the Holy Spirit. The Kithu Dana Pubuduwa could be described as and in fact is :
- a Movement of the Holy Spirit
- a Movement of the Word of God
- a Movement of Prayer
- a Marian Movement
- a Lay Movement
- Simultaneously a Contemplative and Apostolic Movement