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

New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity 12 hours ago
Self-Esteem: Beyond Pop Psychology 19 hours ago
Government Crackdowns on God and Nature July 22
A legislative mockery: Massachusetts lawmakers rush to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' bill July 22
Gay and Transgendered: What Comes Next? July 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Vatican issues working document for Synod of Bishops on the family CWN - June 26
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21