EWTN Catholic Q&A
Reverend vs. Father
Question from Patti on 01-28-2013:

What is the proper way to title a priest when writing his name/title on paper? I've been seeing people writing Reverend John Smith, Pastor, instead of Father John Smith, Parish Priest. I've seen the same thing for a Deacon. Rev. Mr. John Smith, Deacon, instead of Deacon John Smith. It seems to be more Protestant to title the priest Reverend instead of Father. Is one way more acceptable than the other?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 01-30-2013:

Patti--

On envelopes, priests or deacons can be styled "The Reverend" (never "Reverend" by itself), or they can be styled "Father" (for priests) or "Deacon" (for deacons). It is unnecessary to add job titles after the name. In the religious world, "The Reverend" is equivalent to the civil honorific "The Honorable" that is used for various civil servants.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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