“Twenty years is not enough time for stocktaking, but it is certainly a propitious time to thank the Lord for the vitality and enthusiasm of the work you carry out in your daily commitments”. Pope Francis said this to the participants in the meeting organised by the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), whom he received in private audience today in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its foundation. “This association, ‘young’ in its spirit and history, is called to inspire others in the service to families, so that Europe may continue to see the family as its most precious treasure”. The image of the treasure “clearly reflects the reverence that all of us should have for the family. Indeed, families are not museum pieces, but through them, the gift is made concrete in mutual commitment and generous openness to children, as well as in service to society. In this sense, families are like the leaven that helps to make the world more humane and more fraternal, where no one feels rejected or abandoned”. The Pope went on to say: “Your manifold activities are summed up in the integral service to the family, the fundamental cell of society”. “Your work, both in the ecclesial and in the civil sectors, may at first sight seem to respond to disparate and diverse needs. But in fact it responds to the service of that good news which is the family”.