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A Superior General
, or General Superior
, is the Superior
In a hierarchy or tree structure of any kind, a superior is an individual or position at a higher level in the hierarchy than another , and thus closer to the apex. It is often used in business terminology to refer to people who are supervisors and in the military to people who are higher in the...
at the head of a whole religious order or congregation.
The term is mainly used as a generic term, while many orders and congregations use other specific titles, notably:
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...
- Master general
Master general or Master-general can refer to:* the Superior general of certain orders and congregations, such as**the Crosiers**the Dominicans **the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy...
- Minister General
Minister General is the term used for the Superior General of the different branches of the Franciscan Order. It is a term exclusive to them, and comes directly from its founder, St. Francis of Assisi....
- Mother General
- Prior General
- Rector general.
In many cases there is an intermediate level between him and the superior of the individual monasteries or of equivalent communities, often styled provincial superior
A Provincial Superior is a major superior of a religious order acting under the order's Superior General and exercising a general supervision over all the members of that order in a territorial division of the order called a province--similar to but not to be confused with an ecclesiastical...