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San Giovanni della Croce a Colle Salario is a 21st century parish church at Via Apècchio 4 in Colle Salario, part of the Castel Giubileo suburban zone. It is south-east of the junction of the Via Salaria with the Grande Raccordo Anulare (Circonvallazione Settentrionale). A photo of the church interior on Wikimedia Commons is here.
The dedication is to St John of the Cross .
The parish was set up in 1989, and had to use temporary premises for the next thirteen years until the consecration of the new church in 2002.
The architect was Carlo Bevilacqua. He apparently made the design in 1992, so the church took a substantial time to finish.
Layout and fabric Edit
The church is part of a parish centre which occupies a compact rectangular site (although the asymmetrical façade is stepped). The church itself comprises a nave, and a shallow rectangular sanctuary apse which is substantially narrower
The site slopes down from left to right, and the church stands on a crypt which is entirely above ground along the right hand side.
The right hand side of the church is abutted by an elevated walkway above the crypt frontage, which runs from a separate entrance to the right of the church façade to give access to the parish facilities and the ferial chapel. The latter is a small rectangular extension to the back of the sanctuary, rather like a deep apse structurally, which is flanked by two ancillary wings of lower elevation. Behind this is the main parish block, a multi-storey edifice forming the far end of the rectangle.
Overall, the fabric is in blank pink brick, with few windows. The left hand wall, facing the street, only has a pair of tall, thin rectangular ones associated with a section of the wall being brought slightly out. The right hand side wall has two pairs, each pair having one wide one and one narrow one and divided by the floating flat concrete roof of the walkway. The far walls flanking the sanctuary have a pair of square windows below the roofline.
The roof is flat, just below the top of the walls thus creating a low parapet. There is a skylight strip down the major axis, and four pairs of square skylights flanking it. This roof also covers the ferial chapel, and is extended to form an entrance canopy (see below).
The fabric of the roof is laminated pinewood timber.
There is a campanile attached to the low ancillary block on the far right hand side, which is a brick tower with two bell-storeys. Each of these are formed of two vertical rectangular white concrete slabs, placed transversely. On the entrance face these are the width of the tower, but on the far face they only occupy two-thirds (below) and one-third (above) of the space available. The bells are hung in the two open voids thus created.
The entrance arrangements are rather quirky.
There is a very large and long horizontal wooden canopy, almost as high as the church, which is supported along its length by four planks placed with their cross-sections like two V's. Halfway along the canopy these two wooden V's are themselves supported by two steel pillars, square and black. The rest of the canopy floats, and the flat roof of the church is carried over it.
Either side of the single entrance is a concrete pier, then a section of blank brick wall, then a vertical strip of stained glass. The building protrudes on each side of these strips, assymetrically. On the left hand side it is brought forward some three metres, and ends in a blank wall. On the right hand side, it only comes forward about one metre and has a concrete band almost halfway up which bears a dedicatory inscription. This band is continued down the side wall as a floating concrete canopy for the walkway there.
The interior walls are also mostly in blank pink brick, making the interior rather stark.
The varnished flat panelled wooden roof is supported by two enormous laminated plank beams that run the length of the church, and are inserted diagonally. Smaller transverse plank beams divide up the panelling.
The wall of the shallow apse behind the altar has its central section brought forward. This reaches up to the two rafters, and above the junction is a parallelogram-shaped laminated wooden infill. Either side of the rafters there is a gap between wall and ceiling, as the roof continues onward behind the altar to roof the ferial chapel.
Mass is celebrated:
Weekdays 9:00 (not summer), 18:30 (19:00 in summer);
Sundays and Solemnities 8:30, 10:00, 12:00 (not summer), 18:30 (19:00 summer).
"Summer" here is from 1 June to 2 September.
There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays, 19:00 to 20:00.
The Divine Office is celebrated with Lauds and Vespers, which is unusual in a church not administered by religious.
Lauds is at 9:00 on weekdays, and 8:15 on Sundays and Solemnities;
Vespers is at fifteen minutes before the evening Mass daily.