Prior, derived from the Latin for "earlier, first", (or prioress for nuns) is an ecclesiastical title for a superior, usually lower in rank than an abbot or abbess. Its earlier generic usage referred to any monastic superior.

Monastic superiors

In the Rule of Saint Benedict, the term appears several times, referring to any superior, whether an abbot, provost, dean, etc. In other old monastic rules the term is used in the same generic sense.

With the Cluniac Reforms, the term prior received a specific meaning; it supplanted the provost or dean (praepositus), spoken of in the Rule of St. Benedict. The example of the Cluniac congregations was gradually followed by all Benedictine monasteries, as well as by the Camaldolese, Vallombrosians, Cistercians, Hirsau congregations, and other offshoots of the Benedictine Order.

Monastic congregations of hermit origin generally do not use the title of abbot for the head of any of their houses, in an effort to avoid the involvement with the world the office of an abbot would entail. As a result, it is not in use for the congregation as a whole. Among them, the equivalent term of 'prior general' is the one used. This applies, e.g., for the Camaldolese and the Carthusians.

The term is also used by various mendicant orders, e.g., the Carmelites and the Dominicans. This applies both to the friars and the nuns of these orders. The term connotes the idea that the 'prior general' is simply the "first among equals".[1]

Compound and derived titles

The Benedictine Order and its branches, the Premonstratensian Order, and the military orders have three kinds of priors:

  • the claustral prior
  • the conventual prior
  • the obedientiary prior

The Claustral prior (Latin prior claustralis), called dean in a few monasteries, holds the first place after the abbot (or grand-master in military orders), whom he assists in the government of the monastery, functioning effectively as the abbot's second-in-charge. He has no ordinary jurisdiction by virtue of his office, since he performs the duties of his office entirely according to the will and under the direction of the abbot. His jurisdiction is, therefore, a delegated one and extends just as far as the abbot desires, or the constitutions of the congregation prescribe. He is appointed by the abbot, generally after a consultation in chapter with the professed monks of the monastery, and may be removed by him at any time.

In many monasteries, especially larger ones, the claustral prior is assisted by a sub-prior, who holds the third place in the monastery. In former times there were in larger monasteries, besides the prior and the sub-prior, also a third, fourth and sometimes even a fifth prior. Each of these was called circa (or circator), because it was his duty to make the rounds of the monastery to see whether anything was amiss and whether the brethren were intent on the work allotted to them respectively. He had no authority to correct or punish the brethren, but was to report to the claustral prior whatever he found amiss or contrary to the rules. In the Congregation of Cluny and others of the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries there was also a greater prior (prior major) who preceded the claustral prior in dignity and, besides assisting the abbot in the government of the monastery, had some delegated jurisdiction over external dependencies of the abbey. In the high days of Cluny, the abbot was assisted by a coadjutor styled Grand-Prior (Grand-prieur in French).

The Conventual prior (Latin prior conventualis) is the independent superior of a monastery that is not an abbey (and which is therefore called a "priory"). In some orders, like the Benedictines, a monastery remains a priory until it is considered stable enough and large enough to be elevated to the rank of an abbey. In other Orders, like the Camaldolese and Carthusians, conventual priors are the norm and there are no abbots. (The superior of the major houses of Camaldolese nuns, however, is called an abbess.)

This title, in its feminine form prioress, is used for monasteries of nuns in the Dominican and Carmelite orders.

An Obedientiary Prior heads a monastery created as a satellite of an abbey. When an abbey becomes overlarge, or when there is need of a monastery in a new area, the abbot may appoint a group of monks under a prior to begin a new foundation, which remains a dependency of the mother abbey until such time as it is large and stable enough to become an independent abbey of its own.

A Prior Provincial is the regional superior of certain Orders, such as the Order of Friars Preachers Dominicans or the Carmelite friars. In this last case, the head of the whole Order is called the prior general.

Among communities of friars, the second superior is called the sub-prior and his office is similar to that of the claustral prior in the Benedictine Order.

Other orders

Some Orders have only one Grand prior (e.g., the Portuguese Order of Christ).

Other Orders have several, each in charge of a geographical province called grand priory after him (as in the Order of Malta).

See also


  1. ^ Carmelite Friars. The British Province of Carmelites, 5 July 2017. Retrieved on 8 June 2018 from

External link

Media related to Priors at Wikimedia Commons


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Prior" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
  • Wikisource O'Neill, Elizabeth (1911). "Prior" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). pp. 359–360.
Angels in America

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is a two-part play by American playwright Tony Kushner. The work won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Tony Award for Best Play, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. Part one of the play premiered in 1991 and its Broadway opening was in 1993.The play is a complex, often metaphorical, and at times symbolic examination of AIDS and homosexuality in America in the 1980s. Certain major and minor characters are supernatural beings (angels) or deceased persons (ghosts). The play contains multiple roles for several of the actors. Initially and primarily focusing on a gay couple in Manhattan, the play also has several other storylines, some of which occasionally intersect.

The two parts of the play are separately presentable and entitled Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, respectively. The play has been adapted into an HBO 2003 miniseries of the same title. The Seattle Times listed the series as among "Best of the filmed AIDS portrayals" on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of AIDS.


The term Augustinians, named after Augustine of Hippo (354–430), applies to two distinct types of Catholic religious orders, dating back to the first millennium but formally created in the 13th century, and some Anglican religious orders, created in the 19th century, though technically there is no "Order of St. Augustine" in Anglicanism. Within Anglicanism the Rule of St. Augustine is followed only by women, who form several different communities of Augustinian nuns in the Anglican Communion.

Within Roman Catholicism, Augustinians may be members of either one of two separate and distinct types of Order:

Several mendicant Orders of friars, who lived a mixed religious life of contemplation and apostolic ministry and follow the Rule of St. Augustine, a brief document providing guidelines for living in a religious community. The largest and most familiar, originally known as the Hermits of St. Augustine (OESA; Ordo Eremitarum sancti Augustini) and also known as the Austin friars in England, is now simply referred to as the Order of St. Augustine (OSA). Two other Orders, the Order of Augustinian Recollects and the Discalced Augustinians, were once part of the Augustinian Order under a single Prior General. The Recollect friars, founded in 1588 as a reform movement of the Augustinian friars in Spain, became autonomous in 1612 with their first Prior General, Enrique de la Sagrada. The Discalced friars became an independent congregation with their own Prior General in 1592, and were raised to the status of a separate mendicant order in 1610.

Various congregations of clerics known as Canons Regular who also follow the Rule of St. Augustine, embrace the evangelical counsels and lead a semi-monastic life, while remaining committed to pastoral care appropriate to their primary vocation as priests. They generally form one large community which might serve parishes in the vicinity, and are organized into autonomous congregations, which normally are distinct by region.

BSD licenses

BSD licenses are a family of permissive free software licenses, imposing minimal restrictions on the use and distribution of covered software. This is in contrast to copyleft licenses, which have share-alike requirements. The original BSD license was used for its namesake, the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix-like operating system. The original version has since been revised, and its descendants are referred to as modified BSD licenses.

BSD is both a license and a class of license (generally referred to as BSD-like). The modified BSD license (in wide use today) is very similar to the license originally used for the BSD version of Unix. The BSD license is a simple license that merely requires that all code retain the BSD license notice if redistributed in source code format, or reproduce the notice if redistributed in binary format. The BSD license (unlike some other licenses) does not require that source code be distributed at all.

Bayes' theorem

In probability theory and statistics, Bayes' theorem (alternatively Bayes' law or Bayes' rule) describes the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event. For example, if cancer is related to age, then, using Bayes' theorem, a person's age can be used to more accurately assess the probability that they have cancer, compared to the assessment of the probability of cancer made without knowledge of the person's age.

One of the many applications of Bayes' theorem is Bayesian inference, a particular approach to statistical inference. When applied, the probabilities involved in Bayes' theorem may have different probability interpretations. With the Bayesian probability interpretation the theorem expresses how a degree of belief, expressed as a probability, should rationally change to account for availability of related evidence. Bayesian inference is fundamental to Bayesian statistics.

Bayes' theorem is named after Reverend Thomas Bayes (; 1701?–1761), who first used conditional probability to provide an algorithm (his Proposition 9) that uses evidence to calculate limits on an unknown parameter, published as An Essay towards solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances (1763). In what he called a scholium, Bayes extended his algorithm to any unknown prior cause. Independently of Bayes, Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1774, and later in his 1812 "Théorie analytique des probabilités" used conditional probability to formulate the relation of an updated posterior probability from a prior probability, given evidence. Sir Harold Jeffreys put Bayes's algorithm and Laplace's formulation on an axiomatic basis. Jeffreys wrote that Bayes' theorem "is to the theory of probability what the Pythagorean theorem is to geometry".

Bayesian inference

Bayesian inference is a method of statistical inference in which Bayes' theorem is used to update the probability for a hypothesis as more evidence or information becomes available. Bayesian inference is an important technique in statistics, and especially in mathematical statistics. Bayesian updating is particularly important in the dynamic analysis of a sequence of data. Bayesian inference has found application in a wide range of activities, including science, engineering, philosophy, medicine, sport, and law. In the philosophy of decision theory, Bayesian inference is closely related to subjective probability, often called "Bayesian probability".

Beta distribution

In probability theory and statistics, the beta distribution is a family of continuous probability distributions defined on the interval [0, 1] parametrized by two positive shape parameters, denoted by α and β, that appear as exponents of the random variable and control the shape of the distribution. It is a special case of the Dirichlet distribution.

The beta distribution has been applied to model the behavior of random variables limited to intervals of finite length in a wide variety of disciplines.

In Bayesian inference, the beta distribution is the conjugate prior probability distribution for the Bernoulli, binomial, negative binomial and geometric distributions. For example, the beta distribution can be used in Bayesian analysis to describe initial knowledge concerning probability of success such as the probability that a space vehicle will successfully complete a specified mission. The beta distribution is a suitable model for the random behavior of percentages and proportions.

The usual formulation of the beta distribution is also known as the beta distribution of the first kind, whereas beta distribution of the second kind is an alternative name for the beta prime distribution.

Census of India

The decennial Census of India has been conducted 15 times, as of 2011. While it has been undertaken every 10 years, beginning in 1872, the first complete census was taken in 1881. Post 1949, it has been conducted by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. All the censuses since 1951 were conducted under the 1948 Census of India Act. The last census was held in 2011. The next will be held in 2021.

Gamma distribution

In probability theory and statistics, the gamma distribution is a two-parameter family of continuous probability distributions. The exponential distribution, Erlang distribution, and chi-squared distribution are special cases of the gamma distribution. There are three different parametrizations in common use:

With a shape parameter k and a scale parameter θ.

With a shape parameter α = k and an inverse scale parameter β = 1/θ, called a rate parameter.

With a shape parameter k and a mean parameter μ = kθ = α/β.In each of these three forms, both parameters are positive real numbers.

The gamma distribution is the maximum entropy probability distribution (both with respect to a uniform base measure and with respect to a 1/x base measure) for a random variable X for which E[X] = kθ = α/β is fixed and greater than zero, and E[ln(X)] = ψ(k) + ln(θ) = ψ(α) − ln(β) is fixed (ψ is the digamma function).

NCAA Division I FBS independent schools

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision independent schools are four-year institutions whose football programs are not part of an NCAA-affiliated conference. This means that FBS independents are not required to schedule each other for competition like conference schools do.

There are fewer independent schools than in years past; many independent schools join, or attempt to join, established conferences. The main reasons to join a conference are to gain a share of television revenue and access to bowl games that agree to take teams from certain conferences, and to help deal with otherwise potentially difficult challenges in scheduling opponents to play throughout the season.

All Division I FBS independents are eligible for the College Football Playoff (CFP), or for the so-called "access bowls" associated with the CFP, if they are chosen by the CFP selection committee. Notre Dame has a potential tie-in with the Orange Bowl. Army has an agreement with the Military Bowl (formerly the EagleBank Bowl), and Notre Dame, in addition to its CFP agreement, has other bowl agreements as part of its affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). (Notre Dame had similar agreements with its previous conference, the Big East.) BYU had an agreement with the Armed Forces Bowl for 2011.The ranks of football independents increased by one starting with the 2011 season with the announcement that BYU would leave the Mountain West Conference (MWC) to become a football independent starting with that season. The ranks increased by two in 2013 when the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) dropped football and New Mexico State and Idaho did not have a conference for football. The ranks of football independents decreased by two in 2014 with the return of Idaho and New Mexico State as football-only members of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) and decreased by one more in 2015 with Navy joining the American Athletic Conference (AAC) as a football-only member. UMass became an FBS independent in 2016. Two further teams joined the ranks of FBS independents for the 2018 season: New Mexico State, whose membership in the Sun Belt Conference was not extended beyond the 2017 season, and Liberty, which transitioned from the Big South Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision in 2018.

NXT TakeOver

NXT TakeOver is a series of periodic specials produced by WWE featuring its NXT brand, which are streamed live on the WWE Network. NXT TakeOver events are held several times a year, and are considered the brand's equivalent of main roster pay-per-view shows.The first NXT live special was uniquely titled NXT Arrival in 2014. However, after the debut NXT TakeOver show aired a few months later, the "TakeOver" name has been used for subsequent NXT live specials. All NXT live specials were initially held at Full Sail University, prior to the brand extending to arena shows after premiering NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2015. The shows have since been held at various national and international locations.

Since 2016, the majority of NXT TakeOver events air a day prior to the "big five" WWE pay-per-view events (WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, Survivor Series and Money in the Bank) but not always. Under this new format, TakeOvers are held in the same city as the "big five" pay-per-view events, and also (excluding WrestleMania, which is held in stadiums) share the same arena. Additional TakeOver shows may also occur prior to select non "big five" events as well.

Near-threatened species

A near-threatened species is a species which has been categorized as "Near Threatened" (NT) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as that may be considered threatened with extinction in the near future, although it does not currently qualify for the threatened status. The IUCN notes the importance of re-evaluating near-threatened taxon at appropriate intervals.

The rationale used for near-threatened taxa usually includes the criteria of vulnerable which are plausible or nearly met, such as reduction in numbers or range. Near-threatened species evaluated from 2001 onwards may also be ones which are dependent on conservation efforts to prevent their becoming threatened, whereas prior to this conservation-dependent species were given a separate category ("Conservation Dependent").

Additionally, the 402 conservation-dependent taxa may also be considered near-threatened.

Normal distribution

In probability theory, the normal (or Gaussian or Gauss or Laplace–Gauss) distribution is a very common continuous probability distribution. Normal distributions are important in statistics and are often used in the natural and social sciences to represent real-valued random variables whose distributions are not known. A random variable with a Gaussian distribution is said to be normally distributed and is called a normal deviate.

The normal distribution is useful because of the central limit theorem. In its most general form, under some conditions (which include finite variance), it states that averages of samples of observations of random variables independently drawn from independent distributions converge in distribution to the normal, that is, they become normally distributed when the number of observations is sufficiently large. Physical quantities that are expected to be the sum of many independent processes (such as measurement errors) often have distributions that are nearly normal. Moreover, many results and methods (such as propagation of uncertainty and least squares parameter fitting) can be derived analytically in explicit form when the relevant variables are normally distributed.

The normal distribution is sometimes informally called the bell curve. However, many other distributions are bell-shaped (such as the Cauchy, Student's t-, and logistic distributions).

The probability density of the normal distribution is


Pole position

In motorsport the pole position is the position at the inside of the front row at the start of a racing event. This position is typically given to the vehicle and driver with the best qualifying time in the trials before the race (the leader in the starting grid). This number-one qualifying driver is referred to as the pole sitter.

Grid position is typically determined by a qualifying session prior to the race, where race participants compete to ascend to the number 1 grid slot, the driver, pilot, or rider having recorded fastest qualification time awarded the advantage of the number 1 grid slot (i.e. pole-position) ahead of all other vehicles for the start of the race.

Historically, the fastest qualifier was not necessarily the designated pole-sitter. Different sanctioning bodies in motor sport employ different qualifying formats in designating who starts from pole position. Often, a starting grid is derived either by current rank in the championship, or based on finishing position of a previous race. In particularly important events where multiple qualification attempts spanned several days, the qualification result was segmented or staggered, by which session a driver qualified, or by which particular day a driver set his qualification time, only drivers having qualified on the initial day eligible for pole position. In a phenomenon known as race rigging, where race promoters or sanctioning bodies invert their starting grid for the purpose of entertainment value (e.g., pack racing; to artificially stimulate passing), the slowest qualifier would be designated as pole-sitter.In contrast to contemporary motorsport, where only a race participant is designated pole-sitter, prior to World War II, the pace car was designated as official pole-sitter for the Indianapolis 500.

Prior probability

In Bayesian statistical inference, a prior probability distribution, often simply called the prior, of an uncertain quantity is the probability distribution that would express one's beliefs about this quantity before some evidence is taken into account. For example, the prior could be the probability distribution representing the relative proportions of voters who will vote for a particular politician in a future election. The unknown quantity may be a parameter of the model or a latent variable rather than an observable variable.

Bayes' theorem calculates the renormalized pointwise product of the prior and the likelihood function, to produce the posterior probability distribution, which is the conditional distribution of the uncertain quantity given the data.

Similarly, the prior probability of a random event or an uncertain proposition is the unconditional probability that is assigned before any relevant evidence is taken into account.

Priors can be created using a number of methods. A prior can be determined from past information, such as previous experiments. A prior can be elicited from the purely subjective assessment of an experienced expert. An uninformative prior can be created to reflect a balance among outcomes when no information is available. Priors can also be chosen according to some principle, such as symmetry or maximizing entropy given constraints; examples are the Jeffreys prior or Bernardo's reference prior. When a family of conjugate priors exists, choosing a prior from that family simplifies calculation of the posterior distribution.

Parameters of prior distributions are a kind of hyperparameter. For example, if one uses a beta distribution to model the distribution of the parameter p of a Bernoulli distribution, then:

p is a parameter of the underlying system (Bernoulli distribution), and

α and β are parameters of the prior distribution (beta distribution); hence hyperparameters.Hyperparameters themselves may have hyperprior distributions expressing beliefs about their values. A Bayesian model with more than one level of prior like this is called a hierarchical Bayes model.


A priory is a monastery of men or women under religious vows that is headed by a prior or prioress. Priories may be houses of mendicant friars or nuns (such as the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans, and Carmelites, for instance), or monasteries of monks or nuns (as with the Benedictines). Houses of canons regular and canonesses regular also use this term, the alternative being "canonry".

In pre-Reformation England, if an abbey church was raised to cathedral status, the abbey became a Cathedral Priory. The bishop, in effect, took the place of the abbot, and the monastery itself was headed by a prior.

Provincial superior

A provincial superior is a major superior of a religious institute acting under the institute's Superior General and exercising a general supervision over all the members of that institute in a territorial division of the order called a province—similar to but not to be confused with an ecclesiastical province made up of particular churches or dioceses under the supervision of a Metropolitan Bishop. The division of a religious institute into provinces is generally along geographical lines, and may consist of one or more countries, or of only a part of a country. There may be, however, one or more houses of one province situated within the physical territory of another since the jurisdiction over the individual religious is personal rather than territorial. The title of the office is often abbreviated to Provincial.

Among the friars and Third Order Religious Sisters of the Augustinian, Carmelite and Dominican orders, the title "Prior Provincial" or Prioress Provincial is generally used. The Friars Minor, in contrast, use the title "Minister Provincial", in line with their emphasis on living as brothers to one another.

Richard Pryor

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American stand-up comedian, and actor. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time.

Pryor's body of work includes the concert movies and recordings: Richard Pryor: Live & Smokin' (1971), That Nigger's Crazy (1974), ...Is It Something I Said? (1975), Bicentennial Nigger (1976), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982), and Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983). As an actor, he starred mainly in comedies such as Silver Streak (1976), but occasionally in dramas, such as Paul Schrader's Blue Collar (1978), or action films, such as Superman III (1983). He collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder. Another frequent collaborator was actor/comedian/writer Paul Mooney.

Pryor won an Emmy Award (1973) and five Grammy Awards (1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982). In 1974, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards and the Writers Guild of America Award. The first-ever Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was presented to him in 1998. He was listed at number one on Comedy Central's list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians. In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked him first on its list of the 50 best stand-up comics of all time.

Shailene Woodley

Shailene Diann Woodley (born November 15, 1991) is an American actress and activist. Brought up in Simi Valley, California, Woodley began modeling at the age of 4 and began acting professionally in minor television roles, before gaining two Young Artist Award nominations for her leading roles in the television films A Place Called Home (2004) and Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005). As a teenager, she rose to fame for her leading role as Amy Juergens on the ABC Family television series The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008–13), for which she received five Teen Choice Awards nominations. She garnered critical acclaim for her film debut in The Descendants (2011), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture. Her role in The Spectacular Now (2013) received further praise, and she won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting.

In 2014, Woodley achieved global recognition for her starring role in the romantic drama The Fault in Our Stars. Her starring role as Beatrice "Tris" Prior in the dystopian science fiction action The Divergent Series (2014–16) garnered her further recognition. Since 2017, she has portrayed Jane Chapman in the HBO limited series Big Little Lies (2017–present) for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award.

Besides acting, Woodley is an environmental activist and has served as a board member of Our Revolution.

Triple-A (baseball)

Triple-A or Class AAA is the highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States and Mexico. Before 2008, Triple-A leagues also fielded teams in Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the Triple-A International League (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL), with 14 teams in the IL and 16 in the PCL. The MLB-independent Mexican League fields 16 teams. Triple-A teams are typically located in large metropolitan areas that do not have Major League Baseball teams, such as San Antonio; Austin; Columbus; and Indianapolis.

Interleague play between the International League and Pacific Coast League occurs twice each season. In July, each league's All-Star team competes in the Triple-A All-Star Game. In September each league's regular season champions play each other in the Triple-A National Championship Game to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball.

The Triple-A classification was created before the 1946 season. Prior to then, the top level of the minors had been designated as Double-A since 1912. The modern Double-A classification also dates to 1946, when the former Class A1 level was renamed.

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