This is a period lasting three to six years in which the professed will renew vows annually. This period primarily aims at completing the friar’s initial formation to the Mercedarian religious life that he freely and consciously chose through his simple profession, in view of his solemn profession.
Here, the friar is to build upon and complete the novitiate formation from a spiritual, biblical, dogmatic, liturgical, and pastoral point of view especially by experiencing, in both theory and practice, the consecrated life, the charism, and spirituality of the Order. During this time the simply professed friar formally attends a nearby Catholic university or the local seminary to prepare himself for the work he will do within community.
While one’s formal education is at a Catholic university or seminary, the spiritual development of the simply professed friar continues within community under the direction of the Master of Students. A friar candidate for priesthood will complete philosophy and theology courses at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. A friar who is a brother, will also begin his formal studies in an area that he is talented in and that can be used within the Order’s apostolic work, for example: education, social work, prison or hospital ministries.
During the summer months, a simply professed for either priesthood or brotherhood may pursue specialized studies or apostolic experiences that will enhance his work and service to the Church and Order. All simply professed friars receive the same spiritual and temporal benefits of the Order as the friars in Solemn Vows.