Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic Dictionary




A title given to a variety of persons in the Catholic Church. Those who administer the sacraments are ministers of the sacramental rites. Persons assisting the celebrant at Mass are ministers, e.g., the lector and acolyte. The heads of certain religious orders, e.g., Franciscans are ministers general, and among Jesuits the second in charge of a local community is the minister. Implicit in the title is the notion of service. Since the Reformation, Protestant denominations commonly speak of their ordained clergy as minister, to distinguish them from the priesthood. (Etym. Latin minister, servant.)