someone who has entered a religious order but has not taken final vows; the period during which you are a novice (especially in a religious order)
Paige smiled at the memory. “She was wonderful. She’d made the decision to become a nun early in life and was a novitiate by the time she was nineteen. After my parents died, she came to care for me, leaving her life as a nun. I still remember her telling me that we were going to learn to be a family together.”
Mallery, Susan (2012-05-01). Almost Summer (Fool’s Gold) (Kindle Locations 466-468). Harlequin Enterprises. Kindle Edition.
Definition from http://www.onelook.com/?w=Novitiate+&ls=a