The Dominican order is a Catholic religious order of friars and nuns, established to preach the gospel and take it to the people. Dominicans in England were known as Black Friars because of the black cloaks they wore over their white habits. As friars, Dominicans served a community, rather than living cloistered away. This distinguished them from monks, who lived in asceticism and private devotion, in self-sufficient monasteries isolated from the world. It is therefore not technically accurate to refer to Bruno as an ex-monk. Friars, like monks, took vows of celibacy and poverty.