“Friar,” “monk,” “priest.” this are somewhat flexible terms, but not specifically so. Popularly, they are all understood to allude at a life of sacrifice and poverty. Yet while all variation the priesthoods might be equivalent, their vocations room not alike, other than in the they space meant to live their lives in service. A priest may be monastic, or religious, or “secular” (also referred to as “diocesan”), but they room all clergy.

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

A priest may be connected to a diocese or to a spiritual order, or to a monastic home (an abbey or priory/convent). All priests, whether diocesan or religious, deal with celibacy and also obedience to their superiors:

A diocesan monk promises solemn obedience come his bishop.A spiritual priest (like a Dominican or Franciscan) vows obedience come his superior, usually called a “provincial.”A monastic priest vows obedience come his abbot (if life in one abbey) or front (in a priory).

Diocesan priests perform not take vow (or promises) to poverty and also may possess and also inherit property.

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

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

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

A priest that is component of a mendicant spiritual order is also a friar; a priest who is component of a conventual/monastic neighborhood (contemplative/stationary) is also a monk. But monks and friars need not it is in priests. some monks and also friars discern your vocations as religious, content to merely be brother within their order or community; they do not go after the priesthood.

The native “monk” comes from the Latin monachus, a word because that hermits, rooted in a definition of “solitude.” that is concerned the introduction of the first experiences of contemplative men and also women, such together the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Saint Benedict that Nursia (480-547) is thought about the founder of western Monasticism.

Finally, the is feasible for a monk to be no “secular”, nor “friar”, nor “monk” but still be a religious. A Jesuit monk (Society the Jesus), or a Pauline monk (Society of Saint Paul), or a Salesian monk (Society that St. Francis de Sales, aka Salesians the Don Bosco) is completely a priest and also will do the same vows of poverty, chastity and obedience come their religious superiors, as with friars and monks, yet they are just priests that their particular communities.

Make sure to check the slideshow listed below for a quick guide to recognizing the actions used by part monastic and religious orders. 

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

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