Corpus Domini alla Garbatella is a mid 20th century convent church at Via delle Sette Chiese 91 in the suburb of Garbatella to the south of the city. This is in the Ostiense quarter. A picture of the church on Wikimedia Commons is here.
The dedication is to Jesus Christ, bodily present in the Blessed Sacrament.
The Sisters, Disciples of the Eucharistic Christ (Suore Discepole di Gesù Eucaristico) were founded by the bishop of Tricarico in Basilicata in 1923. After their definitive papal approval in 1952, they established their headquarters here in Rome by erecting a large convent with a school. This is because Pope Pius XII expressed his wish that all papally approved congregations of religious should have their headquarters in the city.
The convent and school were given a slightly different dedication: Gesù Eucaristico.
The complex was optimistically provided with a full-sized church, which could easily serve a parish. Sadly, in common with most other sisterhoods the Suore have suffered a fall in vocations and probably wish that they had kept their headquarters in Tricario. The school at Rome still flourishes, but the church has an uncertain future (the Diocese now regards it as a private chapel)
Layout and fabric Edit
The church is a Fifties interpretation of the neo-Romanesque style, and is one of the best churches in Rome of that period.
The fabric consists of a box frame of reinforced concrete, of nine bays. The support piers are left exposed in the side walls, which are infilled with large grey concrete blocks. However, the walls are enlivened with horizontal stripes in red bricks, laid vertically. Each bay has two central vertical window strips in each side wall, one above the other. The roof has nine gables on each side, corresponding to the bays, and diaper square windows are tucked under the gables. The sanctuary wall is entirely blank.
The roof itself is in green copper on a concrete vault. The side gables are formed by lunettes with their tips meeting at the major axis, separating the main compartments of the vault into eight transverse rhombs with two half-rhombs at the entrance and sanctuary end.
The main church stands over a crypt partly below ground level, lit by large round-headed windows down the sides.
The façade is in the same grey concrete blocks, with horizontal stripes in red brick. Two large plain concrete piers frame it, and another two frame the door. The portion of the façade between the latter two projects. The unsupported entrance canopy forms a chevron, which is replicated in the roofline and, inverted, by the bottom of a large irregular hexagonal stained glass window tucked in under the roofline. There is a vertical strip stained glass window between the canopy and this hexagon, and a mosaic of the Divine Initials (IHS) accompanied by angels under the entrance canopy.