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Santa Rita di Cascia a Torre Angela is a late 20th century parish church is at Via Acquaroni 71 in the Torre Angela zone, north of the Via Casilina.

The dedication is to St Rita of Cascia.

History Edit

The parish was set up in 1960, and put into the care of the Augustiniani or Augustinian Friars. The dedication was chosen because of a story that St Rita visited Rome during the Jubilee Year of 1450 and stayed at a fortified farmstead later named Tor Bella Monaca after her. This in turn gave its name to the notorious suburb of Tor Bella Monaca, part of which is in the parish territory.

The church was begun in 1978, and completed in 1981. The architectural team comprised Mario Fusacchia, Vincenzo Gorgone and Gianfranco Ferrara.

Exterior Edit

Layout Edit

The church has a very unusual plan, based on half a decagon (ten-sided regular polygon). This amounts to the shape of an open fan, with five triangular sectors meeting at the sanctuary.

The sanctuary itself is structurally separate. There is a gap in the middle of the straight back wall of the church, containing spectacular fenestration (see "Fabric", below). Behind this is a semi-circular apse, wrapped around by a semi-circular ambulatory or enclosed corridor.

This corridor connects two ancillary units. The sacristy block is attached to the far right hand side of the church, and the ferial (weekday) chapel to the left hand side. The latter is another, much smaller half a decagon, slightly wider than the left hand far wall of the main church to allow for its own entrance doorway in the far left hand corner.

A circular entrance porch is inserted into the near left diagonal side of the main church -not on the front side occupying the major axis, as you might expect.

There is no obvious campanile.

Fabric Edit

The fabric involves a reinforced concrete frame, and infill walls in pink brick. These walls are very low -the structure is dominated by the roof.

Apart from the entrance side, the walls of the main church are identically treated. Each has a little segmental apse in blank brickwork, with a horizontal rectangular window over it and which is flanked by a pair of vertical window slits. The walls of the ferial chapel lack these apses.

The far walls of the church, flanking the apse, are perfectly vertical as is the exposed section of wall at the front of the ferial chapel.

The main church roof has five enormous and fairly steep pitches in a greyish-green anodised metal covering, each of which is shaped like a trapezoid or a truncated triangle. They are supported by six massive radial concrete beams, two of which crown the back walls. The short upper edges of these pitches form a semi-decagon above the sanctuary. Six diagonally placed piers, springing from a massive concrete column behind the altar inside, support the beams forming this semi-decagon. Two of these piers form the sloping edges of the far walls. The spaces in between the piers are in stained glass.

The external apse behind the sanctuary is a semi-cylinder in white concrete with a flat roof, and having a row of eighteen small vertical rectangular windows in three groups of six.

The ferial chapel roof is a miniature version of the main church's one, except that the semi-decagon at the top contains a flat skylight.

Façade Edit

The church stands well away from the street, and cannot be said to have a façade.

The circular entrance porch, in the near left hand diagonal side as mentioned, consists of an internal foyer and an external shelter. A pair of tall rectangular concrete slabs are placed next to and parallel to the church's wall here, and these support a semi-circular deep concrete fascia which itself supports the flat roof of the porch. This fascia is further supported by a thinner pair of slab-piers, set diagonally, and the cornice of the roofline angles out on both sides to join these.

The porch is accessed via a semi-circular set of three stairs.

Interior Edit

The interior walls and roof surfaces are in a creamy white, with the walls having a tall pink brick dado. However, the beams of the roof are in dark grey. Behind the altar is a massive-squat concrete column in white and this has a capital in the shape of an inverted truncated cone. From it spring six beams continuing the shape of an inverted semi-cone, and these frame four large stained glass windows. The main one shows The Resurrected Christ.

The sanctuary is raised on a circular platform of three steps in grey-veined marble, and this platform fits into the rear apse. The latter has a pink brick wall, topped by a row of clear glass windows. The altar is in front of the column, and the font is off to the right. To the left is the tabernacle, a very large circular item in what looks like chased silver.

Liturgy Edit

Church Edit

Mass is celebrated:

Weekdays 8:30, 18:30;

Sundays and Solemnities 7:30, 9:00, 10:15, 11:30, 18:30.

There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Mondays from 9:00 to 18:00, and on the first Monday of the month this resumes from 20:30 to 21:30.

External Mass centre Edit

There is one external Mass centre:

San Nicola a Tor Bella Monaca

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Parish website

Parish blog

Info.roma web-page

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