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Santa Maria del Ponte e San Giuseppe

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Santa Maria del Ponte e San Giuseppe is a late 20th century parish church at Via Albi 89, in the suburb of Centro Giano in the Acilia Nord zone, north of the Via del Mare on the way to Ostia.

Name Edit

The unusual dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Bridge, and her husband St Joseph. The title originated at Lanciano near Chieti, and the cathedral there (the Basilica della Madonna del Ponte) has this dedication. It refers to a statue of Our Lady found when a bridge was being rebuilt in 1088. Surprisingly, she has a shrine at Caltagirone in Sicily.

History Edit

The first Masses in the suburb began to be celebrated in a garage on the Via Maierato in 1979. In the following year, the worshipping community managed to purchase the premises of a bankrupt pottery and moved there.

The parish was established in 1985, and has not obtained a proper church building yet. However, the complex has been recently renovated so perhaps the parishioners are happy where they are. Things might change if the suburb expands substantially.

Exterior Edit

The parish complex comprises a flat-roofed two-storey block facing the street, and a single-storey hall behind it. The former was the pottery's administration block, and the latter the actual factory. A wing of the ancillary block runs down the left hand side of the church.

There is no architectural interest to be had here.

The recent renovation has left the edifices tiled in pale brown square tiles which look like travertine limestone (but may be terrazzo). The church used to be tiled in pale green.

The church has low walls, a deep window strip below the roofline on either side and a gable-pitched roof at a very low angle.

Interior Edit

The little interior is attractively decorated with the walls in a pale pink and the ceiling in white. The sanctuary furnishings are worthy of a look, as they are rough-carved sculptures in travertine limestone. The altar is trapezoidal, and the tabernacle is inserted into a rough boulder on the right hand side of the far wall. (This wall has an irregular plan, of several planes.) The sanctuary also contains an ambo or lectern, a font and seating for the ministers in the same style.

Polychromes statues of the two patrons share a shelf to the right of the sanctuary.

Liturgy Edit

The parish website gives no information on Mass times, but the parish's Facebook page seems to indicate that the weekday Mass is at 18:00 and that on Sundays and Solemnities is at 10:30.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Parish website

Website of the shrine

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