Pope Francis’ schedule and his improvs

Pope Francis prays at Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens March 16. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis prays at Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens March 16. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican released an official schedule for Pope Francis March 17-24, but if his first two days as pope were any indication, the schedule was only an outline destined to expand at a moment’s notice.

The only event on the new pope’s schedule March 15 was an audience with the world’s cardinals. But shortly before that meeting, he shocked the receptionist at the Jesuit headquarters by telephoning the order’s superior general; he made an evening visit to a Rome clinic to visit 90-year-old Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mejia who had had a heart attack; and then he stopped at the replica of the grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican gardens to pray before a statue of Mary.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said the pope spent 20 minutes visiting privately with Cardinal Mejia at the Pius XI clinic before visiting the clinic’s intensive care unit, greeting doctors and other staff members, then praying in the chapel with the Sisters of St. Joseph, who operate the facility.

Also March 16 Pope Francis formally reconfirmed the prefects, presidents and secretaries of Vatican congregations and councils “donec aliter provideatur” (until otherwise provided), meaning for the time being. While temporary reappointments are normal at the beginning of a pontificate, the Vatican notice added that the pope intended to take “time for reflection, prayer and dialogue before making any definitive appointments or confirmations.”

The updated schedule for the pope released March 16 said Pope Francis would preside the next day at the 10 a.m. Mass in the tiny Church of St. Anne, the Vatican parish located just inside the main business entrance to the Vatican.

Pope Francis was to meet March 18 with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina.

The new pope’s installation, formally known as the Mass for the beginning of the Petrine ministry, was scheduled for March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, in St. Peter’s Square.

In addition to official government delegations, the Vatican confirmed that Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, was planning to attend. The Vatican newspaper said he would be the first patriarch of Constantinople to attend a papal installation since the Great Schism of 1054 separated Christianity between East and West.

While Patriarch Bartholomew did not attend the installation of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, he was a frequent visitor to the Vatican during Pope Benedict’s pontificate.

The rest of the pope’s schedule released by the Vatican included:

– March 20 Pope Francis will meet with the delegations from Christian churches and communities that came for the installation.

– March 22 the pope will meet with diplomats accredited to the Vatican.

– March 23 Pope Francis will leave the Vatican at noon by helicopter and fly 15 minutes south to Castel Gandolfo. He will meet Pope Benedict at the papal villa there and have lunch with him.

– March 24 Pope Francis will preside over Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

7 Responses

  1. Perhaps what Pope Francis is doing is simply behaving like the average human being and not like a head of state, crowned or otherwise. He sees something that merits his attention, has some time to attend to it, and does so.

    Who among us hasn’t been out running errands and decided while out to stop at the hospital or nursing home for a few moments to visit a friend or relative? Who wouldn’t prefer going in the company of friends to dinner rather than riding alone in the back seat of a car, or even driving alone to meet them at the restaurant–whether that restaurant is called Domus Santa Marta or known by some other name?

    Who among us, having had a change of plans, wouldn’t go back to the hotel to pick up the luggage and pay the bill while checking out?

    Let’s hope this spontaneity is as commonplace as the staged and orchestrated movements which, of course, must be part of an official’s life.

    Maybe the red shoes, also, are a thing of the past. Practicality might dictate to Pope Francis that he ought to wear the black shoes bought for him by friends who knew he needed a new pair for going off to Rome for important business. Perhaps, too, he’ll opt for black trousers, cuffed or plain, that can be seen just above the shoes instead of white ones that are hemmed mid-calf–and must look absolutely silly.

    Or maybe brown pants and socks.

  2. Pope Francis is really a humble nd one fill wid simplicity. I lv dat atleast we have gotten d like of Pope John Paul d 2

  3. We are blessed to have such a humble man for the Vicar of Christ. He follows in the footsteps of a man who also exuded humility. Benedict trusted in the Lord and expressed such humility. He recognized that he needed to surrender himself and give it back to God. God will never foresake HIS church! God Bless you Pope Francis!!!!

  4. I believe, Popo Francis’
    Aims To Please
    Our Lord
    . . . + . . .
    & and all
    his children
    in this world
    By Living In Him, For Him, By Him & in His Name
    . . . , + , . . .
    ..the apparel is he is to wear,
    is really of no major consequence
    I believe, the vatican,
    has much to provide, don’t you think Duane Lamers?
    JJ

  5. Like many of our Church’s heroes, it looks like Francis will preach the gospel at all times and sometimes use words. Viva il Papa Francis !
    Eileen & John

  6. So many leaders, kings and presidents are cominy to Rome that for security reasons the italian police is going to close all the area around the Vatican!

  7. No casualties at Vatican City.
    ;D
    No casualties+++
    Nothing but, Pease, Sirenity, Unity & Love.
    ; )
    Viva el Papa F R A C I S .

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