Pastoral Care – Overview

Pastoral Care is a complex and multi-faceted reality. It touches every aspect of the life of the College and is the responsibility of everyone, without exception. The many dimensions of pastoral care may be summarised as including the following:

Spiritual

  • originating in God’s ever-faithful love for humanity and aimed at enabling each person to live life to the full (cf. John 10:10) now in this life and for all eternity;

Attitudinal

  • giving loving expression to the dignity of each human being as created in the image and likeness of God and therefore deserving of respect;

Relational

  • pertaining to the quality of relationships between and amongst all members of the community;

Environmental

  •  involving the establishment of a safe, aesthetically pleasing and welcoming environment (both physically and emotionally);

Communitarian

  • attending to the needs of individuals within the context of community;

Preventive

  • cultivating a positive environment that fosters growth, maturity and personal responsibility and enables students to give constructive expression to their innate goodness;

Educative

  • o seeking to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes, and providing positive decision making frameworks – this includes quality general teaching and learning programmes and pastoral programmes with a specifically educational focus;

Supportive

  • offering solidarity, compassion, encouragement and challenge;

Rehabilitative

  •  providing opportunities for personal growth, reconciliation and professional care;

Structural

  •  Involving the establishment of structures, practices and procedures that animate, support and promote the other dimensions – including opportunities for celebrating the life of the community and the contributions and achievements of particular persons.

Pastoral Care is more than anything else and before anything else a quality of love. It is the quality of the loved that educators share with those entrusted to their care. It is a love demonstrated in practical, tangible ways. It is a love that seeks out the young where they are to be found and that provides a place where they can mature and grow. It is a love that is prepared to engage with young people, to enter into and share their lives, to nurture and support them, to enable them to develop as human beings in faith, hope and love.

 

Seen from this perspective, it becomes apparent that pastoral care does encompass every aspect of the life of the College and that it is the responsibility of each and every member of the school community. In this sense, pastoral care imbues and influences every aspect of the educational process and is the responsibility of the whole community – staff, students and parents.