Morning Prayers

Typically a priest will wake up and pray his morning prayers. This could include a holy hour of silent prayer, or simply the recitation of the Divine Office. Whatever it may be, a priest normally starts out the day in personal prayer.

Daily Mass

A parish priest does not only say Mass on Sundays, but on every day of the week. Typically in the United States, a priest celebrates a public Mass each day from Tuesday to Friday, usually taking Monday off and celebrating a Mass in private.

Meetings with Parishioners

Depending on the assignment, a parish priest will meet with individuals who either come to the rectory or set up a time in his office. This could be for any number of reasons, but often is focused on sorting out spiritual issues. In the evening, the typical parish priest will meet with parishioners who work during the day and can only meet then. This will often be engaged couples preparing for marriage, or families preparing for a funeral.


During the week funerals are conducted. Depending on the size of the parish, a priest may have funerals on nearly every day of the week.

Visiting the Sick

Among the priest's responsibilities is to visit the homebound and sick of his parish. This could be in the hospital, or in the home. Deacons and lay ministers often assist the priest, but only the priest can offer the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

Parish Council Meetings

On a regular basis, priests have to deal with administrative issues of the parish, which is even more complex than the administering of a family home. They will conduct meetings with various councils, groups of parishioners who help with the finances and other pastoral needs of the parish.


A priest's formation is never finished. Even after years and years of study in the seminar, priests commit themselves to an always ongoing formation in many different disciplines, from philosophy and theology to sociology, psychology, and communications.

Yes, sleep

Believe it or not, a priest needs sleep. At the end of a long day, he will rest in order to be refreshed and ready to meet the challenges of the next day.


A priest is never technically finished with his work at the parish. Priests will often be called in the evening hours and sometimes in the middle of the night for various emergencies, most commonly to attend to the bedside of a dying person.