“Friar,” “monk,” “priest.” this are somewhat flexible terms, however not exactly so. Popularly, they space all interpreted to allude at a life of sacrifice and also poverty. Yet while all variation of priesthoods might be equivalent, their vocations are not alike, except in that they are meant come live their resides in service. A priest may be monastic, or religious, or “secular” (also dubbed “diocesan”), yet they room all clergy.

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A monk in the Catholic Church is a man who has received the sacrament of holy Orders and also has therefore undertaken the duties of celebrating the Sacrifice that the Mass, listening confession, offering absolution and also other sacraments “in persona Christi and also to perform other duties the pastoral ministry and, sometimes, administration.

A priest may be associated to a diocese or come a religious order, or come a monastic home (an abbey or priory/convent). All priests, whether diocesan or religious, attend to celibacy and also obedience to your superiors:

A diocesan priest promises solemn obedience to his bishop.A religious priest (like a Dominican or Franciscan) vows obedience to his superior, usually called a “provincial.”A monastic priest vows obedience to his abbot (if living in an abbey) or front (in a priory).

Diocesan priests do not take vows (or promises) to poverty and may possess and inherit property.

Read more:This cow defines Catholic religious orders and also congregations much better than most textbooks

Priests vowed to a religious order (like the Franciscans, Dominicans, etc) or a monastic ar (like the Benedictines or Cistercians) do do vows of poverty, surrendering any income castle generate with their works to their superiors. For this reason a Dominican writer earning revenues from his books will rotate those aristocracy checks over to the bespeak of Preachers. A Trappist writer will turn his earnings over to his kidnapping or prior, because that the benefit of the totality community.

The word “friar” is from fraire (from the Middle periods — the fraire Provençal), which means “brother.” The word occurred with the development of the mendicant (traveling/preaching) orders in the late center Ages, many predominantly by Saint Francis (Franciscans) that Assisi and also Saint Dominic (Order of Preachers, or “Dominicans”). These “new religious” to be no much longer tied come monasteries and also convents yet went out amongst the people, come preach and to pray, to educate and to offer the sick.

A priest that is component of a mendicant religious order is likewise a friar; a priest who is component of a conventual/monastic ar (contemplative/stationary) is additionally a monk. But monks and friars require not it is in priests. some monks and friars discern your vocations together religious, contents to just be brothers within your order or community; they do not seek the priesthood.

The word “monk” comes from the Latin monachus, a word for hermits, rooted in a an interpretation of “solitude.” the is pertained to the introduction of the very first experiences the contemplative men and also women, such as the Desert Fathers and also Mothers. Saint Benedict that Nursia (480-547) is thought about the founder of western Monasticism.

Finally, it is feasible for a priest to be neither “secular”, no one “friar”, nor “monk” however still be a religious. A Jesuit monk (Society of Jesus), or a Pauline monk (Society that Saint Paul), or a Salesian monk (Society that St. Francis de Sales, aka Salesians of Don Bosco) is fully a priest and also will make the very same vows that poverty, chastity and also obedience come their religious superiors, just like friars and monks, but they are just priests of their corresponding communities.

Make certain to inspect the slideshow listed below for a quick guide to recognizing the habits used by part monastic and religious orders. 

Launch the slideshow

Read more:Why do details monks and nuns live “behind bars”?

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