14 April 2022, Brussels
Europe will experience a special Easter this year. As war devastates Ukraine, families find themselves separated, forced to flee, and face death, deprivation and fear. Together with all the families of our member associations, our Federation unites itself this dramatic situation in thought, in prayer and in action.
Our Federation is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. 25 years of promoting the beauty of the family, its commitment and the daily courage of parents, grandparents and children for the common good of our communities. Families are the only ones who can offer Europe the demographic spring that is so necessary for a sustainable development.
To celebrate this anniversary, Pope Francis has a special gift for us, welcoming us for an audience at the Vatican on the 10th of June, prior to the World Meeting of Families (June 22-26). We look forward to a word of encouragement for family associations and family networks, as was the case in 2017, during the XX anniversary of FAFCE: “To carry out this demanding work, the family cannot remain isolated like a monad. Families need to go out from themselves; they need to dialogue and to encounter others, in order to build a unity that is not uniformity and that can generate progress and advance the common good.”.
Since the beginning of 2022, our Federation has worked on many fronts, firmly reminding European and national policy-makers of the disinterested support families offer them in the implementation of public policies. Families have been the first caregivers in times of pandemic, and cannot, for example, be forgotten in the next European Care Strategy. We must also constantly remember the invaluable role of women who choose to become mothers, taking on a parenting responsibility that is too often overlooked. Our Federation is also giving thanks to all fathers in Europe who are supporting their families, and we pray St. Joseph to inspire them with creativity to overcome these challenging times. It is urgent to support fathers and mothers in their balance between work and family life, by recognising a right to disconnect, including a Sunday rest.
FAFCE also had to recall the fundamental right of European families and family associations to be able to express themselves within a pluralistic and inclusive civil society, both in the defence of life and in the promotion of the beauty of the complementarity between men and women. Any attack on the freedom of expression of civil society is a serious threat to the pluralism and the principle of participation in the life of our communities.
Thank you all for your support for Ukrainian families: around 8500 euros have already been collected thanks to our call for donations. These donations allow us to respond to requests received by like-minded organisations and our contacts working on the ground in Ukraine and at its borders. Thank you very much for your generosity!
Also, thank you for reading our press releases carefully, for following our activities via our web page and for continuing to support us financially. We are giving to Ukrainian families while neglecting the sustainability of our own budget. But we trust in Providence, which also manifests itself in your concrete support, without which we cannot continue our mission in Europe. Following this link you will find more information on how to support our work.
We place our activities and all of Europe in the hands of the Prince of Peace, whose Passion and Resurrection we celebrate in these days, and wish you a happy Easter.
Angelika Weichsel Mitterrutzner