When accepted, the candidate usually begins his postulancy on August 22nd, the feast of the Queenship of Mary. The period of postulancy extends until the novitiate. During this time the postulant lives with the religious community in Philadelphia, PA, and fully takes part in the spiritual and communal life of the friars: prayer, meditation, Holy Mass, recreation, and apostolate.
This time is a period of transition to allow the postulant to adjust to living religious life so he becomes comfortable with the life and the community. At the same time this allows the Order to evaluate if the postulant is called to be a Mercedarian religious. The postulant takes part in conferences, with the Director of Postulants and other formators, that explore an introduction to prayer, meditation, Holy Mass, Our Blessed Mother, fundamentals of religious life, the vows, Saint Peter Nolasco, and the Mercedarian Order.
In addition to weekly classes on the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, the postulant, in most cases, attends seminary courses. Each postulant also meets personally with the Director of Postulants to discuss his personal and religious growth as a Mercedarian Postulant. There are monthly days of recollection, a weekly holy hour, and other spiritual programs. The postulant is encouraged to choose a spiritual director in the area from those recommended by the community. The postulant takes part in some apostolic work besides visiting the other Mercedarian houses and religious in the United States with their Postulant director. There is an opportunity for a vacation during the Christmas season while other holidays are spent with the community.