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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Target: Sun Valley Congregate Living Health Facility
Virginia has been a leader in reducing the number of children in congregate care and increasing family-based placements and permanent adoptions.
Steven's Steakhouse in Commerce has salsa seven days a week--the best salseras and salseros congregate there on Sunday from 3:00 P.M.
Talmo suspects that council members are simply worried about any place where young Asian men tend to congregate.
The prisoner alleged that officials and staff interfered with the practice of his obscure religion by destroying mail that had religious content, ignoring dietary restrictions imposed by his religion, housing members of his religion in separate living areas so that they could not congregate or discuss their beliefs, and excluding literature and videos containing his religious beliefs.
It's an odd Internet-age fad known as "flash mobbing." Flash mobbers forward e-mail instructions for people to congregate at a designated spot at a specified time to perform a short whimsical act--such as a quick snooze or a 15-second clapping session.
We all know expensively refurbished public spaces which fail to attract the public, as well as overcrowded marginal corners where crowds always congregate. Are there rules or guidelines which can bring together urban supply and demand?
Female admirals do feed this way as well, however, they do not congregate like the males.
For members of the American Medical Athletic Association, the journey to Hopkinton is only slightly different than the trip taken by 15,000 runners who congregate in Boston on the third Monday of April for the running of the world's oldest marathon.
Sea lions take advantage of the sun to congregate near Heceta Head, north of Florence.
Scientists can also use the data to study trends in bird movement, and to identify areas where birds congregate so that an area can be modified to make it less of an attractant.
Constructing cafes and other areas in which students and faculty can congregate (and purchase more goods) is another way to turn a plain-vanilla campus bookstore into a "campus center," and thus, increase sales, says Crosson.