The novitiate is a one year period from July 8th to July 9th of the following year. Following a spiritual retreat, the novice begins this time with the investiture of the habit of the Order and a reception ceremony held with the friars gathered from the United States. During this year, the novice will deepen and intensify his love for Jesus and the Mercedarian religious life through study, prayer, and meditation.
Under the direction of the Master of Novices, the novice will study the history of religious life, the vows, the Rule of Saint Augustine, the documents of the Church concerning religious life, the Mercedarian Order, and its saints. During this time the novice will also become more aware of the customs and traditions of the Order, in particular, those associated with Our Blessed Mother who is honored as the foundress of the Order. Monthly days of recollection are held and the novice continues in his spiritual direction. The novitiate ends with the profession of simple vows: Chastity, Poverty, Obedience, and Redemption.