postulant

(Latin: postulare, ask)

In the strict sense, one who is taking the first step in the religious life, before having received the habit. Broadly speaking, a person who aspires to religious life but has not yet been admitted into any particular order, such as a pupil of an Apostolic school, or one who having decided to enter the religious state remains as a guest in a monastery while waiting admission.

New Catholic Dictionary

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