Definition of apostolate in English:


Line breaks: apos|tol¦ate
Pronunciation: /əˈpɒstəleɪt


  • 1(Chiefly in Roman Catholic contexts) the position or authority of an apostle or a religious leader.
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    • I suspect his bishop will still not be terribly happy to have him claiming to be a Catholic apostolate.
  • 1.1A group of apostles or religious leaders: the male-only apostolate
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    • These were the recognition of global diversity within the church, religious ecumenism, an emphasis on lay apostolates, and the re-definition of the relation between the Church and non-Christian religions.
    • But laypersons should not hesitate to involve themselves in the intellectual apostolate.
    • It is in this diversity that the Society is able to accomplish its work in schools, in parishes, in retreat houses, and in countless other apostolates: it leads not to degeneration but to generation.
  • 1.2A form of evangelistic activity or work: their main apostolates lie in the areas of education or nursing services
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    • Much the same as Pius X, he spurred on the laity through the apostolate of Catholic Action, which he had reorganized in 1923 and purged of party intrigue.
    • During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, project after project attempting to set on foot a crusade was made, and we refer to them merely to point out that the spirit of a militant apostolate continued to ferment in the soul of France.
    • In 1981 he returned to Khon Kaen and was entrusted with the apostolate for leprosy patients and their families.


late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin apostolatus, from apostulus (see apostle).

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