(1.) the name given in monasteries and similar institutions to the assembly (and the whole),of the members entitled to a vote ("conventuals"). The heads of these institutions (abbots, priors, provosts, rectors, guardians) are bound, in some points of administration, either to hear the counsel or to obtain the consent of the convent. Monastic congregations, SEE CONGREGATIONS, sometimes hold "general convents" (or "general chapters"), consisting of the abbots of all: the houses of the congregation. The constitution of the mendicant orders and of the regular clerks provides for the holding of "provincial convents" (ar provincial chapters), consisting of the heads of the monasteries of a province, and "general convents" (or general chapters), consisting of the chiefs of all the monastic provinces ("provincials"). But the latter, in modern times, have generally fallen into disuse, and written reports have taken their place.
(2.) The word is also used to denote a society of monks or nuns in one establishment, or the building itself in which they dwell. — Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2:869. SEE MONASTERY.