Friar

(from Old French frere, “brother”). Title of a member of one of the Mendicant (“Begging”) Orders founded during the Middle Ages. They are distinguished from monks in that, though they have a local headquarters in a “friary,” their work is an active ministry in the world. Part of a highly organized, widespread body with a central authority, they also are often distinguished, in England, by the color of their habits, e.g., “Grey Friars” (Franciscans), “Black Friars” (Dominicans), “White Friars” (Carmelites).