Milan: Pope Francis Visits 3 Families of the “Case Bianche”

from Morocco and Italy

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In the “Forlanini” district of the “Case Bianche” – the “White Houses” – in the suburb of Milan, Pope Francis met three different family realities, shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2017. The popular suburb, marked by situations of social malaise, was the first stage of the Pope’s day in the capital of Lombardy.
The Holy See published information about the families visited by the Pontiff: one Italian family of which, the husband is bedridden, a Muslim family of Morocco and an Italian Catholic elderly and sick couple.
Suffering Husband
The Dorotea (Dori) Falcone and Stefano (Lino) Pasquale family, 56 and 59 respectively, who live on the 4th floor at no. 38, were married civilly in Savona 38 years ago; they have been living at the “Case Bianche” for a long time. Lino had problems with alcohol when he was young and it’s not known if because of that, he had a serious accident, which left him physical consequences and caused epileptic seizures. His physical and mental state regressed progressively and, since 2013, he is bedridden, with frequent loss of consciousness. His wife, Dori, has cared for him all these years with particular devotion, serving him as nurse and assistant each time he has been hospitalized. Since 2013, this assistance is day and night. For her, Pope Francis’ visit was of immense joy. It is difficult to know what this meeting meant for Lino, but he accepts calmly all that Dori suggests to him.
A Moroccan Family
The family of Mihoual Abdel Karim and his wife, Tardane Hanane, live on the second floor of no. 40 of ‘Case Bianche’ with their three children: Nada 17, Jinane 10 and Mahmoud 6. They come from Morocco and have been in Italy: Karim, since 1989 and his wife, Hanane, since 1997. They married in Marrakech in 1996. Since 1990, Karim has been working in a pharmaceutical company and both have been living in the suburb since 2008. There is good understanding between them  and, notably, they help the Muslim family of Mohamed and Samira, organizer of an Arab school established for the young people in the parish on Saturday mornings. They are Muslims and open, cooperative, happy to receive Pope Francis at their home.
An Elderly and Sick Catholic Couple
The third family lives on the 3rd floor at no. 32: Nuccio Oneta and Adele Agogini, 82 and 81 respectively. They were married religiously 61 years ago. They have a daughter, Giovanna, 51. He worked for a long time as a postman. They are a Catholic couple who take part in the Mass everyday on television and receive Communion often. Adele is almost completely blind and since 2006, Nuccio has been suffering from a tumor of the throat, which radiotherapy has partially reduced. However, he has serious problems with his lungs and there is fear of metastasis. With their simple and profound faith, they were happy to receive the Pope.

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Anita Bourdin

France. Journalist accreditated to the Holy See press office since 1995. Started Zenit in french in january 1999. Classical litterature (Paris IV-Sorbonne). Master in journalism (IJRS Bruxelles). Biblical theology (PUG, Rome).

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