Roman Catholic Priest

How to Address a Catholic Priest

—-Official Envelope:
—-—-The Reverend
—-—-(Full Name), (initials of order)

—-—-The Reverend (full name), (initials of order)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Dear Father (Surname):


How to Address a Retired Priest?

How do I write the name of a retired Priest (actually a Monsignor) on correspondence? Is he still a priest? Still a monsignor?
—-—-—-– Valerie

Dear Valerie:

Clergy of all denominations continue to be addressed as clergy when they retire.

Think of this way: being a rabbi/priest/monsignor/etc. is a personal rank one attains and keeps. A retired person keeps these.

That’s different than a role. Chairman, president, or dean are roles – offices one assumes, occupies, then leaves. Forms of address for such roles stay with the office and don’t follow the person. A retired person wouldn’t keep those.

– Robert Hickey

How Do Priests Address One Another?

How do Catholic priests address each other? Would they be casual as two non-religious friends calling each other by their first names? Or do they call each other ‘father’ all the time?
———-– Carole Schaeffer

Dear Ms. Schaeffer:

They are likely to have public and private forms of address.

When others, not on a first-name basis, were also present, I’d guess they use first names. In the presence of those not on a first name basis, they would switch over to their formal forms of address.

This pattern is pretty standard with high officials from every hierarchy are with friends. Sometimes they are a public official – at other moments they are a private person. The forms of address match the situation.

– Robert Hickey

See These Related Links:
Mother Superior
—–—–Nun | Sister

Not Finding Your Question Answered?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  After checking the list and reading the posts, if you don’t see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – always changing the names and specifics.

— Robert Hickey

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