URGENT! Make a gift that will be doubled. We have $10,306 left to match by December 1st.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ABBESS

Feminine counterpart of abbot. The spiritual and temporal superior of a community of nuns, symbolizing her role as mother of the religious women under her care. Over the centuries an abbess has enjoyed some extraordinary privileges, such as wearing a special ring and bearing the crosier as a sign of her rank. But an abbess does not have ecclesiastical jurisdiction corresponding to that of an abbot.

See Also: ABBOT

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Art and theology, beauty and truth, work together in the New Evangelization 12 hours ago
Anatomy of Conversion 13 hours ago
Anatomy of Conversion 17 hours ago
It is a failure of mercy to deny sin November 20
Yesterday's news, tomorrow November 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days