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San Bartolomeo Apostolo a Monte Arsiccio is a late 20th century parish church at Vicolo di Monte Arsiccio 1, east of the Via Trionfale in the Tomba di Nerone suburban zone. In practice, the suburb of Monte Arsiccio is an eastern extension of Ottavia (the next zone to the west).
The dedication is to St Bartholomew the Apostle.
The parish was established in 1964, and put in the care of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Brescia (Congregazione di Sacra Famiglia di Nazareth) or Piamartini. This clerical institute was founded by St Giovanni Battista Piamarta in 1900, with the primary charism being that of educating and assisting poor young people -especially those migrating from rural areas to the towns to seek their fortune. That they took on the full running of parishes was arguably an abuse of this charism -common at the time among such clerical institutes, however. This sort of thing was a temptation when vocations were plentiful, but when they started to dry up the simple point was made that candidates wishing for a priestly life helping young people, might not want to end up as parish priests.
The church was begun in the same year, and completed in 1966.
The Piamartini gave up the parish in 1994. It was then taken over the "Institute Id of Christ the Redeemer", commonly known as the Idente Missionaries in English and Missionari e Missionarie Identes in Italian. The "male branch" is responsible.
This religious institution is regarded by the Church as a new form of religious life, open equally to men and women (hence the Italian name). It was founded by Fernando Rielo Pardal, a Spanish mystical poet and philosopher from Madrid, in 1959. He had conceived of a new "genetic" system of metaphysics (see here).
The church was extensively renovated in 1995, the sanctuary rebuilt and the nave given a new roof. As a result it was re-consecrated in that year.
Layout and fabric Edit
The little church has a single nave of five bays, then a segmental sanctuary apse which is flanked by a pair of apsidal side chapels (the latter were added in 1995). The fabric consists of a reinforced concrete box frame with pink brick infill.
Each side wall has pairs of vertical rectangular windows in thin white concrete frames. The right hand wall has five pairs corresponding to the number of nave bays, but the left hand one only two because the back three bays join to the parish and priestly accommodation to the left of the church. Each pair of windows has a blind concrete pilaster springing from a concrete plinth and melding into an architrave, all in light grey concrete. Above the grey architrave is a white strip frieze, and above that a simple protruding cornice again in grey. Thus, the side walls have a simple crowning entablature
The actual (later) roof is wooden, and is pitched and tiled with a dark grey bargeboard on top of the cornice.
The apse is lower than the nave, with its own roof.
There is a campanile on the left hand side of the far nave wall. It is a tall open transverse rectangular frame in thin concrete slabs, forming two stacked vertical rectangles with an oversized triangular gabled cap.
The single-storey façade is divided into three vertical zones of equal width. The two side ones each have a simple grey concrete frame with blank brick infill, and the side wall entablatures are extended to cover them. The central zone contains the single entrance, with the door recessed within a white doorcase with step molding in relief. This doorcase is surrounded by a flush white frame which occupies the rest of the width of the zone. The actual door is surrounded by a single row of square wooden coffers.
The crowning entablature is not extended across the central zone, but the bargeboard of the roof is and this forms an outline triangular pediment with the bargeboards of the gable. The tympanum contains a simple cross.
Above the entrance is a round window with a thin protruding frame, rather like the end of a large pipe.
The interior is very simple, yet attractive. The walls are entirely in white, and the trussed and tied replacement timber roof has been left unvarnished and unpainted. The wood used has a reddish hue. The floor was also relaid in 1995, and has a pleasing geometric design in two colours of travertine limestone with a roundel showing the chi-rho symbol in black and white just in front of the sanctuary.
The present sanctuary is raised on one step, with a segmental bow, and occupies the end of the nave. A new set of liturgical furniture was provided in 1995, comprising altar, lectern and font. The altar is on a platform in green marble.
The former apsidal sanctuary behind has been provided with a large but thin window in the form of a cross. The celebrants' chairs are in here, but are moveable (rather like a set for a dining table). The aperture has no triumphal arch, but is rectangular with an epigraph at the top edge reading credi e spero ("believe and hope").
The side chapels are now entered via the sanctuary. To the left is the Sacred Heart, and to the right Our Lady.
Mass is celebrated:
Weekdays 18:00 (19:00 summer Saturdays);
Sundays and Solemnities 9:00, 11:00, 17:00 (in Spanish), 18:30 (19:00 in summer).
The Diocese also mentions Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Fridays from 20:00 for at least an hour (longer if those present want it).
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