Blessed

Used of a person who has been beatified. Beatification precedes canonisation and means likewise that the Church recognises that this deceased person has lived a particularly righteous and faithful life. Like a saint, he/she may be venerated (not worshipped). Some beatified people are never canonised, usually because they have only a local significance.

Vicar

According to Canon Law, a vicar is a substitute of a minister. In a diocese, several vicars assist a bishop: priests who look after a certain policy area within the diocese (parishes, liturgy, etc.).

Secular

(Adj.) This is said of a priest who is not part of a religious order and therefore falls under the episcopal authority.

Religious order

Organisation of unmarried women or men who want to live in community to devote themselves to religious life. They follow the rule of their founder: e.g., Augustine, Benedict, Norbert, Francis, Dominic, Ignatius, … When joining the Order, members take three vows: obedience (to the superior), poverty (no personal possessions) and purity (no physical relationship).

Regular

(Adj.) This is said of a priest who is a member of a religious order and therefore submits to the rule of this order and owes obedience to the superior of his (monastic) community.

Priest

In the Roman Catholic Church, the priest is an unmarried man ordained as a priest by the bishop, which gives him the right to administer the six other sacraments: baptism, confirmation, confession, Eucharist, marriage, and the anointing of the sick.

Preacher

A priest, deacon or lay person who explains the Bible readings during the celebration of Mass. Sometimes a preacher also acts outside of Mass celebrations (and in the past he did so regularly) to clarify certain points of faith and to encourage the churchgoers to a more Christian way of life.

Father

Priest who is a member of a religious order.

Pastoral worker

Man or woman – married or single – who is appointed as a non-priest to fulfil pastoral tasks. This can be within a parish (liturgy, visiting the sick, bereavement counselling, …) but also in hospitals, prisons, … He/she cannot administer sacraments but can conduct prayer services and funerals.