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San Giuseppe Cafasso

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San Giuseppe Cafasso is a later 20th century parish church at Via Camillo Manfroni 2, in the Tuscolano quarter south of the Via Casilina. Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons are here.

The dedication is to St Giuseppe Cafasso, who was a 19th century professor of theology at Turin.

History Edit

The parish was set up in 1960.

The church was designed by Mario Paniconi and Giulio Pediconi, and completed in 1968 after apparently taking ten years to build.

Appearance Edit

Layout and fabric Edit

The church is built on a square plan, and the fabric comprises a reinforced concrete frame with infill walls in stone and brick. A ferial chapel occupies the left hand side, and the parish offices with a campanile are to the right. The campanile stands over a side entrance canopy, but the offices are in a separate rectangular building paralleling the church's major axis beyond this entrance.

The church stands on a crypt.

The main frame consists of four piers at the corners which are on a cross plan, and seven piers down each side which are in the form of slabs perpendicular to the wall. The outer edges of all these piers project (the corner piers have two projections at right angles), and their outer surfaces have a pronounced batter. At the top is the edge of a slab beam capping the wall, and this has projecting square bosses over the piers. Another horizontal slab beam ties each side wall about a third of the way up.

The infill of these exterior walls is in yellow tufo blocks, with two courses of stone followed by a single course of red brick. This detail harks back to very early Christian churches. The pilasters divide each wall into eight zones, and each of the central six zones has a horizontal rectangular window below the lower beam (except where a structure attaches to the church). However, the two outer zones have a vertical rectangular window instead.

Over the tops of the walls is a recessed strip of stained glass window, actually sitting on the inner edge of the crowning slab beam. This strip is continuous, which indicates that the roof is only supported by the four massive corner piers and not by the side piers.

The flat roof forms an inverted concrete trapezoid with very deep projecting and inversely battered eaves, which are ribbed and in white. In the middle of the roof is a square lantern with a low pyramidal cap.

Campanile Edit

The squat concrete-frame campanile is by the right hand side wall.

Four rectangular concrete piers have open vertical rectangles attached to their tops, each forming a shape like a P with the rectangles transverse. These rectangles are connected by horizontal concrete beams to form an open cuboidal bell-cage. A horizontal concrete slab-canopy projects from the wall of the church and passes in between these four piers to shelter a side entrance.

Ferial chapel Edit

By the left hand wall is the external ferial chapel, a squat concrete cylinder with a half dome on its roof, the vertical face of which is a window. The half-dome is roofed with verdigris copper sheets.

Façade Edit

The entrance occupies the central two zones of the front wall. Because of the area void of the crypt, a bridge is provided with slab balustrades. This is entered via a short flight of stairs -a ramp for disabled visitors has been installed lately.

Over the bridge is a horizontal concrete slab supported by a rectangular arrangement of three steel beams, two vertical and one horizontal. On its fascia is a relief of the coat-of-arms of Bl Pope Paul VI, in glazed white terracotta. Above the canopy projects a concrete bracket which supports a large cross braced by steel struts.

Interior Edit

The exterior structural materials are on show in the interior, except for a large white rectangular screen backing the altar.

The roof is impressive, since it has nine very deep coffers divided by slab beams. The corner coffers are smaller squares, the central one is a larger square containing the lantern and the side ones are obviously rectangular.

Liturgy Edit

According to the DIocese, Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 7:30m 18:00 (18:30 July to September);

Sundays and Solemnities 7:30, 9:30, 11:00, 12:00, 18:00 (18:30 July to September).

External links Edit

The church has a poor online profile, and the parish website has been defunct for years.

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Info.roma web-page

Beweb web-page

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