Parents should be careful not to block their son’s calling to the priesthood, new Vatican guidelines on promoting vocations say. The 29-page document, entitled “Pastoral Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to the Priestly Ministry,” is the culmination of four years of work by the Congregation for Catholic Education, headed by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski. The guidelines call on parishes to help parents become more aware of their role as “educators in the faith so as to develop in the heart of the family the human and supernatural conditions that make possible the discovery of a priestly vocation.”
The document highlights the fruitfulness of families, schools, parishes and movements rooted in prayer. Among its many other recommendations, the guidelines note that numerous priests were “part of the group of altar boys and have served at the altar” before going to seminary. It therefore suggests that “vocation ministry for priesthood gives special attention to altar boys” when promoting the priesthood.