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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 periodicals archive ?
Anthony Josephs, of the United Hebrew Congregation, said: "We're proposing to sell the synagogue and move into the old house again.
The Eid congregation was held at Eidgah Toghi Road in the city.
The united congregation worshipped in the Presbyterian building, and to prevent any thought by the Methodists of returning to their church building, the leadership of the union congregation had the former Methodist Church building moved and attached to the former Presbyterian Church building.
The plan was to invite members of the congregation to group themselves in "faith families," which included not only the expected combination of parents and children, but also Bible study members, senior couples, choir mates, church friends, confirmation mentors and mentees, grandparents and grandchildren, or any other definition of "family.
Clyde Ervine of Central, Hamilton, to "go on record as giving priority to the reimagining and renewal of congregations.
The "FACTs on Growth" report, based on data collected in a 2005 survey of nearly 900 church congregations, found that congregations reporting growth in worship attendance between 2000 and 2005 tended to exhibit certain common attributes.
At the same time, the NCC also ratified a motion, which would be presented to the ELCIC's National Convention in June 2007, "to reconsider a local option for pastors and congregations to bless same-gender couples.
As Michael Emerson and Rodney Woo make clear, life in multiracial congregations is challenging.
Not long after that, Touro Synagogue, the first synagogue in the United States, also received a government check for repair work--even though it too has an active congregation.
However, according to Landmark West, the preservation group that has been an outspoken opponent of the project, the building is still too high for the West 70th Street block, though the group admits that the Congregation has brought the structure down from 14 to nine stories to accommodate its concerns.

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