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San Gaudenzio a Torre Nova

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San Gaudenzio a Torre Nova is a late 20th century parish church at Via della Tenuta di Torrenova 114, in the suburban zone of Torrenova just south of the Via Casilina and east of the Grande Raccordo Anulare (Circonvallazione Orientale). A picture of the church on Wikimedia Commons is here.

The dedication is to St Gaudentius, who was bishop of Novara from 379 to 417 and is venerated as one of the first organisers of a regular life in common for cathedral clergy.

History Edit

The parish was set up in 1989, and entrusted to the clergy of the diocese of Novara.

The church was designed by Roberto Panella, and completed in 1995 with the collaboration of Alberto Costantini.

At present (2016) there is only one priest here from Novara, Mons. Virginio Bolchini who is the parroco.

Exterior Edit

Layout Edit

This is a low, flat-roofed building on an interesting plan. Three squares are brought together to form an arrowhead, and a right-angled triangle is inserted into the missing fourth square that would have make up a larger square with the three. The entrance is on the diagonal of this triangle, and the altar in the corner opposite. This altar corner is cut away to accommodate a quarter-cylindrical apse.

The resulting plan is approximately hexagonal, a little like a moth at rest. See the plan on Beweb here.

Attached to the front left hand diagonal side is the ferial (weekday) chapel which has a similar plan but in miniature.

The priests' accommodation and parish facilities are in a large two-storey block which parallels the far left hand diagonal side of the church.

Fabric Edit

The church has a reinforced concrete frame, infilled with high-quality red brick.

The front corners of the building are occupied by a pair of large concrete piers with a diagonal sweep to their outer faces, and a horizontal beam with two obtuse angles in it joins them to form the roofline of the entrance façade.

The actual entrance is an attached flat-roofed enclosed porch with three sides, the plan being a segment of an octagon. There are a pair of vertical strip windows flanking the entrance, and windows in the two outer sides of the porch. Above the porch is a geometric arrangement of thirty-two small square windows placed close together in the shape of a Greek cross.

The two diagonal sides round the corners from the entrance façade have the brick walls running up to the roofline, with no concrete eaves. Each side has a recessed double vertical strip window with a concrete pilaster separating the two strips and a short horizontal concrete beam below the roofline, giving a cross motif. The far corners have another pair of sloping piers.

The final two sides, either side of the altar, have deep concrete roof-eaves and a different window arrangement. Two separate vertical strip windows are recessed in concrete inwardly sloping frames, and the crosspieces at the top are at an angle to the roofline.

These far diagonal walls each end in a slope occupied by a leaning pier. These two piers flank the inset apse which is in vertical white concrete slabs, and is separated from the piers by a pair of window strips.

The apse doubles up as the campanile. The quarter-cylinder of concrete slabs extends well upwards beyond the main roof, and has its top corners cut off in large incurved arcs. The centre of the quarter-cylinder has a vertical slot above the roof which houses the bells. A large concrete flying buttress on the major axis supports the quarter-cylinder above and below the slit.

The main roof is flat, below the level of the tops of the walls so as to have a low parapet. There are two prominent beams forming a cross and delineating the three squares in the composition of the church's plan. There is a small square skylight in front of the apse.

The ferial chapel, to the left of the entrance, has seven vertical pilasters in white concrete separated by six window strips. The rest of it is in brick, except for a deep beam at the top of the strips which passes behind the pilasters.

Interior Edit

The church interior is dominated by the roof, which is in laminated and varnished pinewood having deep rafters and coffering (a trade-mark of Roberto Panella).

The wall at the entrance is in naked brick, but the others are in white.

The pews are arranged in a fan, with three separate sectors facing the altar.

The sanctuary is furnished to a high quality. The altar stands on a circular platform raised on three steps and paved in a pale brown marble. An arc-shaped platform one step higher fits between this and the apse, and is interrupted by the housing for the tabernacle. The tabernacle itself is circular, with a gilded glory. The free-standing altar has a frontal with four coffers giving a cross motif, and echoing the roof. Interestingly, the ambo or lectern to the left reproduces the apse and campanile outside in miniature.

Liturgy Edit

Church Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Mondays to Fridays 8:00, 18:00 (not in July and August);

Saturdays and eves of Solemnities 18:00 (July and August, 19:00);

Sundays and Solemnities 10:00, 11:15 (not in July and August), 18:00 (19:00 in July and August).

There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament daily from 17:00 to 18:00, except in July and August. On First Fridays, this involves a guided meditation and Vespers.

External Mass Centres Edit

The parish maintains two external Mass centres;

Cappella del Istituto Pio XII

Santa Maria Assunta a Cacaricola

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

Architect's web-page

Beweb web-page

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