PROVISOR: A person appointed as administrator of part of the church property. Originally, church property was administered by the bishop. As the wealth of the Church came to be specialized, the administration of the parochial property devolved upon the parish priest under supervision of bishop and archdeacon. Very soon, however, there also grew up an influence on the side of the secular parishioners, and suitable persons from their midst were either elected by the parochians, or appointed by the church dignitaries, as administrators of the church structure. They bore various designations, among others vitrici and provisores. As clergy were termed "fathers" of the Church (patres ecclesi), so the provisores were termed "patronal" fathers.
The designation provisor is applied also to the auxiliary clergy, specifically to parish incumbents.