REVEREND TITLE : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

In the Catholic hierarchy: what are the circumstances and / or conditions that the title REVEREND may be conferred upon an individual and by whom? eg., REV., Rev. Father, Rev., Mother, Rev. Sister, Rev. Brother and Rt. Rev. Ron

-- Ronald Schwendt (, January 26, 2004



-- Asking (, January 26, 2004.

Take a look at this thread.

-- Bill Nelson (, January 26, 2004.

In the Catholic church (not the Anglican church), the title Reverend is honorary title given to priests, bishops and leaders of religous houses.

A bishop is a 'most reverend'
An Abbess or head of a religious house is a 'reverend mother' or 'reverend mother superior'
An abbot or head of a religious house is a 'reverend father' or a 'reverend brother'
A priest is a 'reverend'

The title is used wherever you would use the title 'Mr.'

Is this what you are after?

-- Bill Nelson (, January 26, 2004.

Reverend is a term used to describe someone who has made a formal life-long pledge in ministry to serving God, whether it be an "ordained" ministry or not. In the Catholic Church a deacon, who as an ordained minister (having received the Sacrament of Holy Orders), is also entitled to be addressed as "Reverend". It is interesting to note that a deacon is also entitled to wear a "roman collar" should he so choose (whether married or not), since it indicates his status as an "ordained" minister.

-- Ed (, January 26, 2004.

Just to add to what has already been stated in this thread... The formal title of a permanent deacon is "Reverend" whereas for a transitional deacon (i.e., one who is to be eventually ordained a priest) the formal title is "Rev. Mr."

Furthermore, the formal title for a priest who is the rector of a seminary is "Very Rev."

God bless, -Rev. Mr. Eric Filmer

-- Eric Filmer (, January 26, 2004.

A Monsignor may be either Right Reverend or Very Reverend, depending on the reason for him being given the honour Monsignor. For example, one might be for many years of dedicated service and the other might be for outstanding work in a particular area in the Church.

-- Sara (, January 26, 2004.

Why thank you "Rev. Mr." Eric. I wasn't aware of that. I will pray for a long and fulfilling ministry for you.

While we're at it, it will interest some to know that any "ordained" minister who perfoms baptisms may be addressed as "Father". While this obviously applies to priests, it can also be used when addressing permanent deacons.

-- Ed (, January 26, 2004.

Father Eric, am I safe in assuming that it would be appropriate to address a transitional deacon as "Father" as I understand they are permitted to perform baptisms as well?

-- Ed (, January 26, 2004.

Hello Ed,

Thank you for your prayers. Yes, all deacons can do baptisms (and weddings, too). (Of course, under certain emergency circumstances, anyone can baptize).

Actually, up until recently I thought that "father" was to be used only for priests. People often call me "father" in my parish and sometimes I jokingly thanked them for the promotion. But in the most recent edition of the Catholic Answer I discovered this is allowable. According to the article I read, in some other countries both deacons and seminarians are traditionally called "father." But most people in my parish call me Deacon Eric. All this will be a mute point for me soon as, God willing, I will be ordained to the priesthood on June 5th.

God bless, -Deacon Eric

-- Eric Filmer (, January 26, 2004.

The formal title of a permanent deacon is "Reverend" whereas for a transitional deacon (i.e., one who is to be eventually ordained a priest) the formal title is "Rev. Mr."

Dear Deacon Eric

I question the statement above. The title Rev Mr was a pre-vatican 2 way of representing the deacon, who had a foot in two camps ie the holy and the secular world; however with the Sacramentality of the Diaconate within Holy Orders being clearly defined as such, this state is no longer the case.

Since the office granted to transitional deacons is identical to permanent deacons, the title should now be both Reverend.

Of interest is that in the United States, many permanent deacons are prevented from using the title reverend and wearing the roman collar. I have absolutely no idea why this is the case as this is an act of censure.

If you can advise on the last paragraph I would be grateful.


-- Hugh (, January 26, 2004.

In the UK permanent deacons are addressed as Reverend Mr.

Titles appear to vary from country to country.

-- Sara (, January 27, 2004.

Hello Hugh,

Thank you for your input and questions, especially since they motivated me to double-check this stuff, during which I learned that I need to revise what I stated earlier in this thread.

Shortly after I arrived at seminary (which was over five years ago) I heard about the distinction in titles between permanent and transitional deacons (Rev. & Rev. Mr.) which I mentioned in my last post. I don't recall where I picked that up, and, as I was not studying for the permanent diaconate, I never felt inclined to double-check it until now. But I have since discovered that this is wrong.

Since my last post I have consulted my seminary staff and have learned that "Rev. Mr." is an appropriate title for both permanent and transitional deacons in the U.S. I have also discovered that there is no official rule for this. Incidentally, I have also learned that in some countries the title "Rev. Mr." is used for both priests and deacons.

Concerning your question about certain bishops not allowing permanent deacons to have a title or wear the Roman collar - I am not sure of the reason. Each bishop is permitted to set such policies for his diocese and maybe some are concerned about people being confused as to who is a deacon and who is a priest. That is simply a guess on my part.

I hope this has been helpful.

God bless, -Deacon Eric

-- Deacon Eric (, January 28, 2004.

In Australia, Deacons are Rev Deacon and priests are Rev Father. I think this is the most obvious way forward.

Furthermore with regard to US bishops, the title and the roman collar: thankfully this is only limited to the US. People are clergy or they are not, I fear it is the bishops who are causing the confusion.

Wishing you God's blessing in your ORDAINED ministry REV DEACON Eric.

-- Hugh (, January 28, 2004.

The confusion on my part is no more. The confusion appears to be in the handling and use of the terms by our Catholic hierarchy.

Thank you all very much for your responses. A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Rev. Deacon Eric and Most Rev Bishop Hugh.


-- Ronald Schwendt (, January 31, 2004.

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