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

PRIOR

A monastic superior. Before the thirteenth century the superior as prior could be an abbot, dean, provost, or just one advanced in years. The term is used in this sense in St. Benedict's rule. Where the monastery was a dependency of an abbey, the prior was obedientiary (prior simplex). The Carmelites, Servites, and Augustinian Hermits have three grades of prior: conventual, provincial, and prior general. (Etym. Latin prior, former, first, superior.)

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

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam 4 hours ago
An Appointment that Francis Should Withdraw August 28
A new approach to Vatican appointments? August 28
The rising, dangerous influence of 'transgender' ideology August 27
Does the EU flag evoke the patronage of the Virgin Mary? August 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8