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Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello

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Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello is a late 20th century parish and titular church at Piazza Salvatore Galgano 100 in the Don Bosco district, between the Via Casilina and Via Tuscolana to the east of the city. Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons are here.

The dedication is to St Mary Domenica Mazzarello, who was the 19th century founder of the Daughters of Mary Auxiliatrix (a teaching order inspired by the St John Bosco after whom the quarter was named).

History Edit

The parish was erected in 1982, and the church was consecrated in 1997.

From 2000, the parish was administered for the Diocese of Rome by clergy from the diocese of Lodi but this arrangement ceased in 2012.

The church was made titular in 2001, and the present cardinal priest is George Pell.

ExteriorEdit

The church designed by Aldo Aloysi, and is one of his less interesting efforts. It is in a bog-standard Modernist style, nothing very challenging, and is on a square plan.

The exterior appearance is uninspiring, as it is merely a low grey reinforced concrete building with a flat roof, rather like a small electronics factory. The walls are mostly light grey, but are picked out in dark grey along the corners, ground and under the roof.

Four large concrete support-beams form the outline of a Latin cross on the roof, dividing it up into nine zones. Those in the corners are square, but the arms of the cross are narrower and so are rectangular. They protrude where they meet the edge of the square, only slightly at the entrance, sanctuary and the right hand side but substantially on the left hand side where there is a side chapel with a square floorplan. There is a large square pyramidal skylight over the central square of the roof, a smaller one with its diagonal on the major axis over the altar and another one in the same mode over the side chapel. The roof has overhanging eaves, with continuous bargeboards in light grey.

The entrance has three doors in a row, over which is a corresponding row of three large square windows. There is a flat canopy with bargeboards, supported by a pair of simple concrete piers. The protruding end of the cross-arm containing the windows, above the canopy, has a bargeboard on its front roofline but is clasped by a pair of vertical concrete slabs protruding above and in front. These slabs are cut away where they join the top of the canopy. Between the windows and bargeboard is a dedicatory inscription in Latin and Italian: Ad majorem Dei gloriam, Marzo 1997, Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello.

To the left hand side, the canopy roof is extended to cover an enclosed corridor that runs round the corner of the church.

There is an interesting campanile to one side, of concrete shaped like an H in cross-section. A vertical concrete slab is flanked by a pair of narrower ones. At the top is a concrete cage of four vertical square pillars supporting a flat rectangular top, and in this cage the bells are hung on two horizontal metal bars. The left hand side of the top has a vertical slab bearing a large metal cross.

InteriorEdit

The interior is a large square hall, dominated by the dark grey concrete roof which is coffered in squares. This is pierced by a large square skylight in the centre, and a smaller diagonally placed one over the high altar. It is supported by a pair of slab piers in the middle of each wall, flanking the entrance, altar, ferial chapel (to the left) and a recess on the right. These piers are themselves flanked by vertical strip windows with stained glass. The side walls each have a row of three separate square windows.

The space is dominated by the striking and enjoyable fresco of the Last Supper behind the altar. This is in a realistic style, with the apostles in rather modern clothing but with lurid colours.

There is also an interesting semi-abstract painting of the patron saint, and a fresco by Gian Piero Defendini of Christ calling SS Peter and Andrew.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 8:30, 18:00;

Sundays and Solemnities 10:00. 11:30. 18:00.

The Solemnity of St Maria Domenica Mazzarello is 13 May.

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

Beweb web-page

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