Ranald Lopes sdb CHHOTA UDEPUR, JANUARY 21, 2009: Mid January has a special significance in Gujarat, it is the moment people look up at the skies with joy as they celebrate the ‘kite flying festival’. But this year January 14 took on an even more special significance – over a thousand people gathered at Chhota Udepur, not to celebrate the kite flying festival nor to look up at the sky, but to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of priesthood of a person they have always looked up to: Fr. Elson Barretto. Family and friends, students and past pupils, village folk and village leaders, Salesians, priests, religious, and even Bishop Ignatius Menezes from Ajmer, all made it a point to be present for this memorable occasion. The theme for the celebration was ‘Through Him, With Him, In Him’; a theme that has kept Fr. Elson faithfully marching ahead on the road God has called him to tread. Recalling the past twenty-five years, Fr. Elson said that he can only marvel at the way in which God has worked in his life. During these years he was sent to places he never imagined he would be in and entrusted with tasks he least expected. He plunged into every challenge mindful that God was there with him and was amazed at the ways in which God worked through him. Fr. Elson’s stirring homily left the people in even greater admiration for this faithful son of Don Bosco who stands tall in the vineyard of the Lord. Cheers Fr. Elson, new adventures and greater heights still await you!