Registration for anything in Italy is always a trying experience. But I would like to report a minor miracle that has happened here on this Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux . . . I registered, was inscribed and am paid up in full for the Gregorian University's second cycle studies in Canon Law AND IT ONLY TOOK THREE HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is usually a process that goes on for days with going back and forth to different offices and getting stamps and signatures from every person under the sun. But not this time! Deo Gratias!
First you have to Matriculate (that is, enroll yourself in the University). I had already done this in 2001 so my info was already in the system and it saved me probably a whole days worth of running around. Then you have to meet with the Superior of your residence and get his signature and stamp to proceed to the next step. The next step is (in the second cycle) to meet with the Dean and get his signature and stamp for your proposed course of study. This paper is then brought before the Faculty secretary for parousal and affirmation. It is then taken to the Academic Secretary for formal Inscription (resgistration). At this point you are officially in the system. But it ain't over yet! Because now you have to hike it up to the Economato (Business office) to pay for the course of studies (which actually turned out to be the easiest step of the whole process! go figure:). Did I mention that this only covers one year of study at a time. The process is repeated in full (except the matriculation thing) every year.
Here is a picture of us standing in line to get Msgr. Kelly's signature.
I must note that only two of us from this picture were able to accomplish this amazing feat today.
Msgr. Kelly is the superior of the Casa Santa Maria.
If you will notice the little thing in Msgr. Kelly's right hand - in Italian it is called a 'timbro.' To us it is just a stamp or a seal but to the Italians it is like a beautiful sunrise or a majestic mountain scene, that is to say they just love using and seeing the mark of the timbro. Take a look at the assortment of documents that it has taken me to register and you can see the affinity for timbrature that the Italians have come to be accustomed:
I would point out to the reader that in the above picture, taking the form on the bottom left (which was used to submit my application for the italian student visa), there are no less than eight, count it, eight separate stamps on the one piece of paper.
The Greeks invented beaurocracy; the Italians perfected it!