Addressing a monastic


#1

What is the proper way to address a Catholic monk when sending an email? Would it be Father or Brother? Or something else?

And when meeting him in person, does a layperson like me shake his hand?

Thanks,
A
p.s. This is a real-world question, because I will be attempting to contact a local Capuchin monastery in the very near future.


#2

iirc, the Franciscans prefer Friar.


#3

Excellent.
Thanks!

So...how about second part of my question?


#4

[quote="Algernon, post:1, topic:208671"]
What is the proper way to address a Catholic monk when sending an email? Would it be Father or Brother? Or something else?

And when meeting him in person, does a layperson like me shake his hand?

Thanks,
A
p.s. This is a real-world question, because I will be attempting to contact a local Capuchin monastery in the very near future.

[/quote]

  1. Benedectine monks are addressed as Dom

  2. Capuchins live in friaries, and are friars not monks.:) I am fairly certain that you address them as Brother XYZ. (Unless the friar is a priest, in which case you address him as Father XYZ. I am assuming he is not a bishop, etc)


#5

You can address them as brother or friar. I think friar actually just means brother in another language, anyway (like Frere Jacques). I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that among Franciscan communities, the priests prefer to be called the same thing as the others. I’m not sure, and I can’t pull the quote out, so maybe I’m inventing it in my head.


#6

[quote="smithm29, post:5, topic:208671"]
You can address them as brother or friar.** I think friar actually just means brother in another language, anyway (like Frere Jacques)**. I'm pretty sure I've read somewhere that among Franciscan communities, the priests prefer to be called the same thing as the others. I'm not sure, and I can't pull the quote out, so maybe I'm inventing it in my head.

[/quote]

Exactly right :)

In Italian the are know as frati which is a form of fratelli, which means brothers. (singular frate or fra)

A Franciscan priest may prefer to be called brother, but when writing one you can not assume this (unless he knows you, and has asked you to call him Brother instead of Father);)


#7

Address a monastic as Brother; unless he is the superior of the community; in which case Father.

If the person in question is a Priest; then it would depend upon the order. It might be more safe to address the individual as Father if they are ordained a Priest than Brother (or Deacon if they are ordained as one).

I would include in your letter a mention that you were unsure; and that you mean no disrespect if you got the incorrect one - no one will mind.

In general however if you are replying to them then use the title they gave you; if you are initiating conversation with them then it might be wiser to adopt the more neutral “Brother in Christ”.

And when meeting him in person, does a layperson like me shake his hand?

Absolutely!!!

As a note; the other posters who mentioned the difference between a friar and a monk are correct. A friar means “Brother” and they live in Friaries rather than monestaries. They are usually engaged in ministry outside of their Friary (teaching; preaching etc.); wheras a monk is more likely to stay contained within it.


#8

Not being a smart alleck, OK?

The superior of a monastic community (at least Benedictine) is almost always addressed as Abbot XYZ :wink:

My monks travel (at least a couple do). Our spiritual assistant travels 4 hours both ways:eek:


#9

[quote="JohnDamian, post:7, topic:208671"]

As a note; the other posters who mentioned the difference between a friar and a monk are correct. A friar means "Brother" and they live in Friaries rather than monestaries. They are usually engaged in ministry outside of their Friary (teaching; preaching etc.); wheras a monk is more likely to stay contained within it.

[/quote]

Not to get to technical but not all friars live in friaries. We Carmelites are friars but we live in priories.


#10

[quote="ByzCath, post:9, topic:208671"]
Not to get to technical but not all friars live in friaries. We Carmelites are friars but we live in priories.

[/quote]

I did not know that Carmelites were friars :o

My apologies:o

Thanks for teaching me something new :)


#11

In the Eastern tradition, all monks, lay and ordained, are addressed as “Father” in recognition of one’s spiritual fatherhood.


#12

[quote="Thepeug, post:11, topic:208671"]
In the Eastern tradition, all monks, lay and ordained, are addressed as "Father" in recognition of one's spiritual fatherhood.

[/quote]

Did not know this either. Thanks for the clarification :)


#13

[quote="Luigi_Daniele, post:4, topic:208671"]
1. Benedectine monks are addressed as Dom

  1. Capuchins live in friaries, and are friars not monks.:) I am fairly certain that you address them as Brother XYZ. (Unless the friar is a priest, in which case you address him as Father XYZ. I am assuming he is not a bishop, etc)

[/quote]

Off topic: I read that as; Capuchins live in fairies...

and could only go :eek:


#14

:eek: LOL


#15

Hahaha!


#16

[quote="Luigi_Daniele, post:4, topic:208671"]
1. Benedectine monks are addressed as Dom

[/quote]

FYI, Only very few Benedictine monks are addressed as Dom. Dom is a sign of respect, and is usually reserved for members of a monastery who once were abbot or who did some great for the community.


#17

Thank you all so much for your assistance. To be honest, I never knew there was a difference between a friary and a priory and a monastery etc, or that Franciscans, Benedictines, Carmelites, etc go by different titles. In the Orthodox Church, while there are ranks or degrees of monasticism, there are not orders like there are in the Catholic Church. One is either a monastic or one is not. And they all live in monasteries.

[quote="Thepeug, post:11, topic:208671"]
In the Eastern tradition, all monks, lay and ordained, are addressed as "Father" in recognition of one's spiritual fatherhood.

[/quote]

That is true, but novices are called Brother.


#18

[quote="Saint_Macarius, post:16, topic:208671"]
FYI, Only very few Benedictine monks are addressed as Dom. Dom is a sign of respect, and is usually reserved for members of a monastery who once were abbot or who did some great for the community.

[/quote]

Did not know that. Thanks. What are the non-Dom's called, then?


#19

[quote="Luigi_Daniele, post:18, topic:208671"]
Did not know that. Thanks. What are the non-Dom's called, then?

[/quote]

In OSB and OCist it's either by their title (Abbot, Prior, Sub-Prior, Marshall), or by their choir (Father, Brother, Dom).
In most OCSO monasteries it's the same as above, but some Trappists that are fathers would be upset if you called them fathers as they would prefer to be called brothers.
For OCarth, it's usually brother as well (but then again, we have that whole argument that OCarth's aren't bennies).


#20

[quote="Saint_Macarius, post:19, topic:208671"]
In OSB and OCist it's either by their title (Abbot, Prior, Sub-Prior, Marshall), or by their choir (Father, Brother, Dom).
In most OCSO monasteries it's the same as above, but some Trappists that are fathers would be upset if you called them fathers as they would prefer to be called brothers.
For OCarth, it's usually brother as well (but then again, we have that whole argument that OCarth's aren't bennies).

[/quote]

Interesting. Thanks very much.:)


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