Posting has been slow this week. I guess I'm somewhat preoccupied since hearing that my move and transition is coming up so quickly. There are so many things to think about: all the loose ends I need to tie up here in States before I go, planning my flight, deciding what I need to bring and what I need to get over taking along, trying to communicate with my new community, etc.
Not the least of these preoccupying things has been the last two mornings I've spent at the Italian consulate here in Boston, trying to apply for the visa per motivi religiosi, tipo 'D', per lunga durata. To my surprise, I think I have succeeded in this task as of yesterday afternoon, despite not yet having an original copy of the letter bearing the seal of the Vatican secretariat of state. What the secretary of state of the Holy See has to do with the Republic of Italy allowing the Capuchins to invite me to live and work for the Order in Rome I'm not sure, but I suppose this is exactly the sort of holy mystery that may be revealed to me in this new ministry as secretary for the English language.
If anything, my mornings at the consulate have shown me how simple my life really is. Overhearing the various and often tense conversations between the seekers of visas and the consular staff, I heard about all kinds of elaborate travel, complex international work, intricate finances, bi-continental marriages, the repatriation of mortal remains, etc. Last night I suggested to the formation staff that the student friars could be sent to the consulate on visa application days for the sake of learning multicultural sensitivities. The interactions between American applicants and the Italian staff did not always look to me like successful multicultural encounters, if you ascertain my meaning.
So, thanks for your prayers. More adventures to come.