A dignitary of the church, a superior of a convent, a confessor (called also father confessor), or a priest; also, the eldest member of a profession, or of a legislative assembly, etc.
One who, or that which, gives origin; an originator; a producer, author, or contriver; the first to practice any art, profession, or occupation; a distinguished example or teacher.
a familiar or direct way of referring to some ordained clergy: the Reverend John B. Smith, but--in personal conversation or in the salutation of a letter--Father Smith, Dear Father Smith. Typically used of all Roman Catholic clergy and of some Episcopal clergy. Be careful in using or not using this term: some clergy do not like it; others are offended if it is not used. Usually the people who prefer the term assume that you know they prefer it. There is no easy way to tell what the clergy preference is except by paying attention to letters, conversations, etc.