Fr Guillermo Karcher is one of the Pope's closest collaborators. For years he worked with the Vatican's Secretariat of State and then in 2006, he was named a master of pontifical ceremonies. Things changed for this Argentine, when the Pope was elected.
"After having breakfast, I talk to him for a bit, practically on a daily basis. We catch up and of course I keep him up to date with news in Argentina.”
When it comes to the Pope's schedule, he says he follows a strict pattern. He wakes up at about 4.30 every morning. From 5.00 to 7.00 he prays and prepares the homily of his daily Mass in Casa Santa Marta. After greeting everyone there, he haves breakfast and then gets to work; everything from private meetings to public events.
"He can manage a lot of work. He's a very good listener and he connects with people easily. In fact, he is convinced that God makes Himself present in these daily encounters.”
After meeting and greeting people, he also takes time to answer some letters. After lunch, roughly between 2 and 3 o clock, he takes a break. He then follows up with more meetings until 7 o clock. He prays the rosary, the Vespers and reads a few documents before calling it a day at roughly 10 pm. Despite the events he canceled a few weeks ago, Karcher, says, his health is fine. Sometimes, he just needs to take a pause.
"Health wise the Pope is doing well. He is strong and healthy. He follows a very organized schedule and it's not by chance. He wants it that way and it's a rhythm he personally sets and I don't think it wears him out.”
In the summer months of July and August, the Pope has less public events, but behind closed doors, he is never really off the clock.
"Even though the Pope doesn't schedule as many events these months and despite the fact that Rome slows down during the summer, the Pope never really takes a vacation. It's something he links back to his time as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, where a lot of people couldn't really take a vacation. He knows it's a privilege not everyone can enjoy.”
So no vacation...and interestingly no television either. Pope Francis apparently doesn't watch tv and he didn't see the World Cup. When it comes to food, Karcher says, he misses Argentina's famous meats.
It may seem like just a regular day for someone who wants to be recognized as just a regular Argentine with an average passport. Except of course, for the fact that he is the head of the Catholic Church and the spiritual leader of more than 1 billion Catholics.
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