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Abstract

One defining element of life in any Catholic educational institution, whether it be primary, secondary, or tertiary, is the focus on pastoral care for staff and students. This paper provides a distinctly Catholic definition of the term ‘pastoral care’ and briefly examines the theological foundations that underpin this concept, particularly, in relation to its application in the Catholic university. The paper traces the motif of pastoral care through the Scriptures and, building on insights from St. Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (1990) and the broader theological anthropology of the Vatican II Council. The paper highlights that pastoral care is not something of an extrinsically added offering to students in a Catholic educational institution, but rather something intrinsically built into its fabric.