A Catholic priest directory lists the names and locations of current Catholic priests and the branches of Catholicism to which they belong. Some Catholic priest directories also list the place and year of ordination, along with a history of assignment for each clergy member. Updates are made to national directories annually to account for retirements, deaths, and new appointments or assignments. Local diocesan chapters and individual parishes often update their regional directories as changes take place.
Catholic priest directories typically list priests alphabetically by branch, order and rank in each state, county and city. Additional information in the directories allows readers to locate parishes, find websites and email addresses for parishes and organizations within the Catholic faith, verify that the parishes and organizations are tax-exempt, and learn which parishes have closed or merged. More detailed directories indicate where priests completed their educations, the histories of their priesthoods and the reasons they became priests.
Regional or diocesan directories offer additional information on how parishioners can locate records of their sacraments. They also include statistics and trends regarding Catholic education, population distributions and giving habits. Catholic cemetery names and locations are also listed in diocesan directories, along with the parishes that own and maintain them.