A Day in the Life of the Pope

Published: Mar 20, 2013

 Finance       Salary & Benefits       Workplace Issues       

Do you know what it takes (and how much Leaning In is necessary) to rise to the C-suite of the Catholic Church? Or why the Church always elects popes with more than six decades of experience? Or what the heck the Pope actually does all day?

Although I don’t know the answer to the first two questions, I do know the answer to the third. And so below is a summary of a day in the life of the Pope (which, while perhaps not as busy as a day in the life of a certain CEO of a certain Wall Street bank doing God’s work on this side of the Atlantic, or as stressful as a day in the life of the leader of the so-called free world, is not exactly a walk in the Vatican Gardens, either; and which should also shed some light on why Pope Benedict XVI decided to take a bow—hint: no work/life balance!)

5:00 a.m.  Up and at ‘em. (The Pope wakes up when the Vatican “is still immersed in silence.”)

7:00 a.m.  Mass with employees. (The Pope “begins his day by celebrating Mass in the papal chapel, together with his two personal secretaries, Father Georg Ganswein and Father Alfred Xuereb”; the mass is “always celebrated in Italian.”)

8:00 a.m.  Break the fast. Call some pals. Catch up on current events. Return fan mail. (“After breakfast, the Pope heads to his study … His office always has a crucifix and two phones, one of which is a cell phone with a number only accessible to his closest collaborators … the Pope likes to stay informed of current events around the world and reads news reports in various languages … He also devotes some time to answering important correspondence.”)

11:30 a.m.  Meet with bigwigs. (“The Pope holds meetings with visiting heads of state, ambassadors and other representatives on the second floor of the Apostolic Palace … the visits usually last for around two hours.”)

1:30 p.m.  Private lunch with employees; includes a heart-healthy meal of bread, olives, fish, fresh tomatoes, and cheese. (“The Holy Father has lunch with his two secretaries. Rarely do they ever have a guest, and the menu is usually Mediterranean.”)

2:15 p.m.  Walk off lunch. Shoot the breeze (but not about work) with employees under the shade of fruit trees while taking in the view. (“After lunch, the Holy Father enjoys a short walk for no longer than 10 minutes, together with his secretaries, around the balconies of the Apostolic Palace, [which are] adorned with lemon and orange trees and that provide a splendid view of Rome … On these walks, there is usually no talking about work.”)

2:30 p.m.  Naptime. (“The Pope rests for one hour.”)

3:30 p.m.  Speechwriting time. (“He devotes the rest of the afternoon to writing documents, speeches and homilies. He does not use computers, but writes everything by hand, and afterwards his texts are transcribed and translated.”)

5:30 p.m.  Offers his John Hancock on a bunch of important docs and meets with Church bigwigs. (“He signs documents prepared for his signature by his secretaries and then meets with some of his closest collaborators, such as Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary for Relations With States Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, and others.”)

7:00 p.m.  Stroll and pray wth employees. (“The Pope then goes downstairs to take another walk, this time in the Vatican Gardens. He is usually joined by one or both of his secretaries, and they pray the Rosary before a replica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.”)

7:30 p.m.  Supper (“A light dinner is usually served.”)

8:00 p.m.  Relax, pray, study. (The Pope “goes to the chapel for night prayers.”)

11:00 p.m.  Lights out. (The Pope “never goes to bed before 11 p.m.,” which is when “the entire Vatican City shuts down for the night.”)

Read More:
A Day in the Life of Pope Benedict (National Catholic Register)
Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation Explained (CNN)
Catholic Nuns Gun For Goldman Sachs
A Day in the Life of a Senior Managing Director