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1. a group of persons gathered for worship, prayer, etc., esp in a church or chapel
2. the group of persons habitually attending a given church, chapel, etc.
3. RC Church
a. a society of persons who follow a common rule of life but who are bound only by simple vows
b. an administrative subdivision of the papal curia
c. an administrative committee of bishops for arranging the business of a general council
4. Chiefly Brit an assembly of senior members of a university



in Catholicism. (1) A religious organization linked directly with monastic orders, consisting of priests and laymen. Some monastic orders have a large number of congregations—for example, the Benedictine order in the 1960’s with 20 male and 16 female congregations. Each congregation has its own regulations, which are approved by the pope or bishops. The members of a congregation do not take solemn vows, as do the members of monastic orders, but rather simple vows, for a specific period of time or for life. The goals of a congregation are nominally purely religious or religious and philanthropic; in fact, however, the congregations are involved in the political plans of the Catholic Church. Congregations first appeared around 1600 and became widespread in the 19th century.

The most important congregations of the late 1960’s were the Congregation of the Holy Ghost (founded in 1703, with headquarters in Paris; 5,150 members), the Redemptorists (founded in 1732, with headquarters in Naples; more than 9,000 members), the Oblates of the Immaculate Virgin Mary (founded in 1816, with its center in Aix-en-Provence; 7,900 members), the Marists (founded in 1817, with its center in Bordeaux; about 3,500 members), and the Salesians (founded in 1859, with its center in Turin; 22,600 members).

(2) A union of several monasteries under a single leadership.

(3) An establishment forming part of the Roman papal curia.


References in classic literature ?
Not to many men surely, the depot, the post-office, the bar-room, the meeting-house, the school-house, the grocery, Beacon Hill, or the Five Points, where men most congregate, but to the perennial source of our life, whence in all our experience we have found that to issue, as the willow stands near the water and sends out its roots in that direction.
True, he said; but then the multitude is seldom willing to congregate unless they get a little honey.
The man at the helm is shut up in a little house in the fore part of the boat (the wheel being connected with the rudder by iron chains, working the whole length of the deck); and the passengers, unless the weather be very fine indeed, usually congregate below.
The two facilities--Woodbury Mews Assisted Living, a 93-unit assisted living facility which includes a 39-unit memory-impaired unit, and Woodbury Mews Independent Living, a 136-unit congregate care facility--are part of a multi-facility campus that is being developed by International Senior Development (ISD) and The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) with the assistance of Generations.
The sound of the shofar will mark the first night of the Jewish new year at sundown today, when thousands of Jews in the San Fernando Valley will congregate in prayer and festivity for Rosh Hashana and the start of the High Holy Days.
Traditionally, manufacturers congregate in South Central Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, with the San Fernando Valley - minus Burbank and Glendale - making up 13 percent of the county's manufacturing activity.
Generations' products and services include specialized management of Assisted Living Facilities, Alzheimer's Care, Independent Living and other aspects of senior housing, including senior apartments and congregate senior housing aimed at market rate and low income residents.
Tenders are invited for Nutrition Consultation Services for Clients participating in the congregate and home delivered meal program in senior centers, satellites and adult day care sites
Child welfare agencies are working to reduce the use of congregate care by reinvesting funds into family-based and prevention services and changing policies to favor family placements and discourage congregate care.
A resident living near the Tesco store in Maesteg claims that selling alcohol will encourage gangs of youths to congregate nearby, while police are requesting strict conditions on the store before a licence is granted.
The chief reminded those on hand that young people have a right to congregate.
POLICE have been granted a special order to move people away who congregate around an education centre following a spate of criminal activity.