By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Updated 2220 GMT (0520 HKT) September 22, 2015
Springfield, Pennsylvania (CNN) Chris Massaro tugs at his clerical collar, swapping it out for another as he pulls on a black cassock and white surplice in preparation for Mass.
It's the sort of repeated daily change -- between black clerical clothes, vestments for Mass, work clothes and back again -- that he's still getting used to as a first-year Catholic seminarian.
"I've been sweating constantly and that's frustrating, I got to be honest," he says. "I enjoy the schedule, but there are parts of the schedule I don't like -- and that's a good thing. It works on obedience."
Ask Massaro what he used to think his life would look like at 24 and the answer is immediate: "Nothing like this."
He had girlfriends. He was a sports nut who couldn't get enough of his New York Giants. He enjoyed the adrenaline rush of triathlons and Tough Mudder obstacle courses.
He enrolled in a Ph.D. program in medical physics at Vanderbilt University and imagined a career that would allow him to care for a family.
Now he's one of nine men taking part in their "Spiritual Year" at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary -- one stop in a seven-year journey to become priests.
Unlike the other 130-plus seminarians living at Saint Charles' sprawling, picturesque campus on Philadelphia's Main Line -- where Pope Francis will stay this weekend -- these men are spending the year in a no-frills brick building 20 minutes away. Living with them is the Rev. Christopher Cooke, who directs the one-year program and serves as an adviser.
It's a dedicated time spent apart -- free of tests, grades and outside tensions -- to go deep, focus on prayer and develop their personal relationships with God.
"But," says Cooke, "don't get the idea that this is a year of resting in hammocks." Read more here....