Juris Canonici Licentiatus

Juris Canonici Licentiatus – or, basically, “License in Canon Law” – that’s what “JCL” stands for, the degree that I received today, and the letters that I can now put after my name.

Thanks to all who have prayed for me and otherwise shared this time with me in Rome! Many people have come here to visit, many have kept in touch via the blog; many – I am sure – have joined me in prayer, without my ever knowing about it in this life.

Thanks very much to all.

Here is how the Latin words “juris canonici licentiatus” are pronounced (audio player should display below):

We had a little “graduation ceremony” after we were done with our comprehensive exams this morning. It was a formality consisting of a fervorino by our class representative, a brief talk by the Dean of the Faculty, the presentation of (fake) diplomas, a group photo, then some sparkling wine and pastries.

What follows is a little pictorial story-time about my day.

Here is my (fake) diploma. The real one will come in a month or so. There will also be proper photos of the ceremony, etc. I should have those soon.

It's just a computer printout saying that I completed the course. The real one should be fancy, in Latin, etc.

It’s just a computer printout saying that I completed the course. The real one should be fancy, in Latin, etc.

This evening, it was time to celebrate, and so I went with three friends for a nice pre-dinner drink on a certain rooftop in central Rome:

Manhattan. Made very well. Which was surprising for Rome, since Italians on the whole don't drink mixed drinks, and they are often poorly made.

Manhattan. Made very well. Which was surprising for Rome, since Italians on the whole don’t drink mixed drinks, and so they are often poorly made here.

We could see the Pantheon quite nicely from where we were seated:

And over to our right, we have a nearly 1,900-year-old building...

And over to our right, we have a nearly 1,900-year-old building…

After our nice pre-prandials we went to a good restaurant not too far away. This impressive display of fish greeted us as we walked in. I have never really liked fish, but this display sort of almost made me want to have some.

But I didn't.

But I didn’t.

One of my friends had this beautiful appetizer, including the world’s best cheese (after American sharp cheddar), buffalo mozzarella:

Something that I will look forward to having on possible future visits to Italy. We can get it in the States but it's never as good.

Something that I will look forward to having on possible future visits to Italy. We can get it in the States but it’s never as good.

Meanwhile, I had the Italian version of mac-and-cheese, cacio e pepe (meaning “cheese and pepper), served with homemade tonnarelli pasta. Simple and extremely delicious:

I do miss American mac-and-cheese though.

I do miss American mac-and-cheese though.

There was another course but we will cut right to the grand finale, dessert, which three of us had:

You see the wild strawberries – they call them fragoline here – which Italians are wild about when they are in season, i.e. this time of the year.

You see the wild strawberries – they call them fragoline here – which Italians are wild about when they are in season, i.e. this time of the year.

A very satisfying day and a nice way to finish.

Now I need to finish packing, ship most of it home, take a little side trip with a friend, and finally get back to the diocese next week. I will try to post some occasional things during the next several days, but in any case hope to resume regular blogging once I get back to the diocese and get settled in my new assignment.

To everyone: thank you again for your prayers and support! Let us keep praying for each other!

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