09 February 2021

Fall in love with the family, like St. Joseph

The joy of familial love at the center of the initiatives for the “Amoris Laetitia Family Year”, the address of Undersecretary Gambino to the meeting of FAFCE

This past 27 January, Dr. Gabriella Gambino, Undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life, met online with members of FAFCE (Federazione delle Associazioni Familiari Cattoliche d’Europa, i.e. the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe) to present the initiatives promoted by the Dicastery for the “Amoris Laetitia Family Year,” which will be inaugurated by Pope Francis this coming 19 March, on the same day as the fifth anniversary of the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Leatitia on the beauty and joy of familial love.

In particular, there are two ways to reach families and ecclesial entities spread throughout the world. The first is to share the contents of the Encyclical which, as Undersecretary Gambino underscores, “is a text rich with pastoral indications for walking with families during this difficult period”; a text from which pastoral and spiritual suggestions can be gleaned, reflections which can blossom into something extremely fruitful. The second is to foster pastoral processes which allow families to become active agents of the family apostolate. To this end, family associations are a key element in making young people more sensitive to the importance and strength of a stable family life founded on marriage, which is the pillar of society, thus restoring hope and trust to new generations. But fragile families—those who need to be supported and encouraged, and with whom we are called to remain close—should not be neglected, so that they may feel the presence of Christ even in difficulties.

Over the course of the roundtable discussion, the Undersecretary invited the members of FAFCE to adopt a multifaceted approach in their cultural and pastoral commitment, paying particular attention to children, disabled people, and to the elderly—categories of often fragile people who are very close to the heart of the Holy Father. In conclusion, the Undersecretary encouraged everyone to “fall in love with the family, just as did St. Joseph did, who took care of his own family with dedication, tenderness, and love.”