The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Abbreviations and Titles

Religious order title abbreviations and other common abbreviations found in the collection

For abbreviations to describe the type of correspondence and typed letters [TL], etc.),
see the Correspondence Type Descriptions page.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



Br. - brother, as the title of a male member of a religious order usually taking vows but not ordained to the priesthood


C.D. - ?
C.F.X. - Congregation of the Brothers St Francis Xavier (Xaverian)
C.H.C. - Community of the Holy Cross (Anglican)
CIA - Central Intelligence Agency, a United States government agency focusing on the gathering of foreign intelligence
C.M. [1] - Carmelite Missionaries
C.M. [2] - Congregatio Missionis / Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists)
C.M. [3] - Congregatio Mariae / Congregation of Mary
C.M.I. - Carmelites of Mary Immaculate
C.O. - Congregation of the Oratory (Oratorians)
C.P. - Congregatio Passionis (Passionists)
C.S.B. [1] - Congregatio Sancti Basilii / Congregation of St. Basil (Basilians)
C.S.B. [2] - Congregation of St. Bridget
C.S.C. - Congregatio Sanctae Crucis / Congregation of the Holy Cross
C.S.J. [1] - Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
C.S.J. [2] - Congrégation du Sacré-Coeur
C.S.J. [3] - Congregation of St. Joseph
C.S.M.V. - Community of St. Mary the Virgin
C.S.P. - Congregation of St. Paul (Paulists)
C.S.S.F. - Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi (Felicians)
C.SS.R. - Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris /  Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists)

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d. - used before a year of death when a year of birth is unknown
D.C. [1] - Congregazione dei Preti della Dottrina Cristiana, Dottrinari
D.C. [2] - Daughters of Charity
D.C. [3] - Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul
De N.D. - Notre Dame Sisters
Dom - title of address used in some religious orders for an abbot
Dr. - as in a doctor, either a doctor of medicine or another field


EP - e-mail printed


FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States government investigative agency
Fr. - father, as the title of a ordained priest, whether in a religious community or diocesan
F.S.C. - Brothers of the Christian Schools (Lasallian Brothers or Christian Brothers)




H.N. - ?
Hon. - the Honorable, used for a mayor or a judge


I.B.V.M. - Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I.H.M. - Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary


Jr. - junior


K.M.NTARA. - ?

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L.B.J. - Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld


M.C. - Missionaries of Charity
M.C.D. - Carmelites (French)
M.C.F. - ?
M.D. - doctor of medicine
Miss - used when no first name or other title is given
M.M. - Maryknoll Missionaries
Mr. - mister, used when no first name or other title is given
Mrs. - used when no first name or other title is given
M.S.C. [1] - Missionarii Sancti Caroli (Missionaries of St. Charles)
M.S.C. [2] - Missionarii Sacratissimi Cordis (Missionaries of the Most Sacred Heart / Missionary Servants of Christ)
M.S.C. [3] - Marianites of the Holy Cross
Msgr. - monsignor, although it can be a general term for any of a certain range of Catholic clerics, it is more often used as an honorary title bestowed by the Pope to certain priests


N.D. - Notre Dame Sisters
n.d. - No date
N.S.C.J. - ?

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Obl.S.B. - Benedictine Oblate
O.B.E. - ?
O. Carm. - Order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Carmelites of Ancient Observance
O. Cart. - Ordo Cartusiensis (Carthusians)
O.C.D. - Ordo Carmelitarum Discalceatorum (Discalced, i.e. barefoot, and Carmelites)
O.C.R. - Ordo Reformatorum Cisterciensium /
Order of Cistercians, Reformed (Cistercians, some Trappists)
O.C.S.O. - Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists and Trappistines)
O.D.C. - Order of Discalced Carmelites (i.e. barefoot Carmelites)
O.F.M. - Order of Friars Minor / Ordo Fratrum Minorum (Observant Franciscans)
O.F.M. Conv. - Order of Friars Minor Conventual / Ordo Fratrum Minorum (Conventual Franciscans)
O.H.C. - ?
O.P. - Ordo Praedicatorum / Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
O.S.A. - Ordo [Eremitarum] Sancti Augustini / Order of St. Augustine (Augustinians)
O.S.B. - Ordo Sancti Benedicti / Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines)
O.S.C. [1] - Oblati Sancti Caroli / Oblates of St. Charles
O.S.C. [2] - Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross
O.S.C. [3] - Order of St. Clare
O.S.F. [1] - Congregation of Servants of Holy Infancy Jesus
O.S.F. [2] - Franciscan Brothers or Sisters
O.S.H. - Order of St. Helena
O.Ss.R. - Order of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptoristines)
O.S.U. - Order of St. Ursula
O.v.G.H. - ?


P.C.C. - Poor Clare Collettines
Prof. - professor
pseud. - pseudonym



RE: - regarding
Rev. - reverend, here used for some ministers in certain Protestant denominations (Catholic priest are usually referred to as "Fr." in this listing)
R.P.B. - Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood
R.S.C.J. - Religieuse du Sacré Coeur de Jesus / Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
R.S.H.M. - Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
R.S.M. - Religious Sisters of Mercy

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S.B.S. - Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
S.C. [1] - Salesianorum Congregatio (Congregation of St. Francis of Sales ― Salesian Fathers)
S.C. [2] - Sisters of Charity
S.C. [3] - Society of the Catholic Apostolates (Pallottines)
S.C.N. - Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
S.D.S. - Societas Divini Salvatoris / Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians)
S.F.M. - Scarboro Foreign Mission Society
S.H.C.J. - Society of the Holy Child Jesus
S.I. [1] -Society of the Immaculata
S.I. [2] - Societas Iesu / Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)
S.J. - Societas Jesu / Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)
S.L. - Sisters of Loretto
S.M. - Societas Mariae / Society of Mary (Marianists or Marists)
S.N.D. - Sisters of Notre Dame
S.O. Cist. - Cistercians of the Common Observance
Sp.B. - ?
Sr. - sister, as the title of a female member of a religious order
S.S. - Society of St. Sulpice (Sulpicians)
S.S.F. - Society of St. Francis
S.S.M. - Franciscan Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother
S.S.N.D. - School Sisters of Notre Dame
S.S.J. [1] - St. Joseph's Society of the Sacred Heart (Josephites)
S.S.J. [2] - Sisters of St. Joseph
S.S.J. [3] - Society of St. John
S.S.J.E. - Society of St. John the Evangelist (Anglican / Episcopal)
S.T.O. - ?
S.T.S. - ?
S.V.D. - Societas Verbi Divini (Society of the Divine Word ― Divine Word Missionaries)


TLS - For this and other abbreviations from the "Type" column of the Container List, please visit the Standards page.
TM - Thomas Merton
T.O.P. - Tertiary of the Order of Preachers (Third Order of St. Dominic / Dominicans)



V.H.M. - Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (Visitation Sisters)




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Knight, KevinCatholic Encyclopedia: Ecclesiastical Abbreviations.  2003.  New Advent.  <> [online edition of:  The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I.  1907.  Robert Appleton Company.]

Stanley, Bob.  Have You Ever Wondered What the Letters After the Names of Religious Indicate?  28 July 2003 <>