As of this morning I am a student at the Accademia Lingua Italiana Assisi. Reviewing my entrance exam, the director judged me a beginner, and seemed happy and relieved when I agreed. I arrived in Assisi yesterday afternoon and have found the friars very welcoming. The friary seems like the kind of place that is used to short and longer term guests, as well as foreigners.
It's just about nineteen years since my first visit to Assisi. Having met St. Francis in a history class the school year before, I didn't want to miss it as I wandered through Europe for our Easter break with another American who was also spending a semester in Ireland. Assisi was something like a retreat at the end of that trip, and it was here that we split up. I have to admit to myself that in those days of prayer in the different churches and of hikes out on the hills, I was enchanted by the place. The visit must have contributed to my idea of becoming a Franciscan myself, over the opinion of the priest who knew me best, who insists to this day that I am supposed to be a Benedictine.
Posting is going to be slow for a while, I think. Here at school is my only reliable internet access. As always, thanks for your prayers and encouragement.