Born to a devout Catholic family in 1897 in Richmond, Virginia, Francis Parater became very active in the Boy Scouts of America (which at the time did not have the same struggles as it does now) while a teenager. He took to heart all that he learned and quickly assumed leadership roles within this troop.
Parater loved the outdoors and worked vigorously to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. All those in the local community were proud of his many achievements and his leadership. During this time he discerned a call to the priesthood and entered the Belmont Abbey Seminary College in North Carolina in 1917.
He constantly strove for perfection while there, attending daily Mass and going to confession weekly. Parater even wrote up for himself a personal Rule of Life. He had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart and said, “…the Sacred Heart never fails those that love Him.”