Q. 1. I heard a reference to a "Catholic Postulant." What is a Postulant?
A. 1. A Postulant is a candidate who is seeking admission into a monastery or a convent as a religious vocation. A postulant (from the Latin postulare, to ask) was originally one who makes a request or demand. The duration of this phase varies depending on the individual monastic Orders. The Postulant phase precedes entry into the Noviciate.
As a Postulant, the individual generally participates as fully as possible in the religious life, joining the novices and professed monks for work and prayer. Since typically no vows are taken at this stage, it is easier for a person not fully certain about the monastic life to re-examine his intentions and commitment before taking temporary vows that precedes the permanent vows.