Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
A prescribed amount of money or its equivalent brought to a community ba a woman religious on her entrance into the convent. It is for her support and belongs to the community after profession. If she remains in the order, it may not be disposed of for any reason until after her death. Should she leave at any time, the dowry is returned to her but not any interest accruing from its investment. Dowry also applies to the money or property that a wife brings to her husband in marriage. (Etym. Latin dotarium, from dos, gift, marriage portion.)