A preliminary means used by the Church towards a suspected person as a preventive of harm or a remedy of evil.
A paternal admonition is a secret remonstrance addressed either by a prelate or his confidential delegate to a cleric suspected of misconduct on a basis of public rumor.
A third paternal admonition having failed of effect, the way is paved for canonical or legal admonition, which is to a great extent akin to a summons to judgment and a recognized part of the "acts" of future procedure.
In religious orders or congregations, admonitions are given by a competent religious superior, or by one delegated by him, to a religious who has committed serious, external misdemeanors, which, if not amended, will give sufficient grounds for instituting the judicial process of dismissal.
New Catholic Dictionary