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Santa Silvia is a later 20th century parish and titular church with a postal address at Viale Giuseppe Sirtori 2 in the Portuense quarter. The main entrance is on the Largo di Santa Silvia. Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons are here.
The dedication is to St Silvia.
The parish was erected in 1959. The church was designed by Francesco Fornari, begun in 1966 and completed in 1968.
The sanctuary was re-ordered in 1997.
It was made titular in 2001, and the present cardinal priest is Janis Pujats.
Layout and fabric Edit
The plan is that of a Latin cross having a long single nave of six bays without aisles, a transept forming the arms of the cross and single sanctuary bay with a semi-hexagonal apse.
The exterior walls are in pink brick, laid in stretchers with alternate rows horizontal and vertical, so as to give a striped effect. The walls are regularly interrupted by large concrete pilasters which provide the framework of the building, and there is a wide concrete string-course running all round the edifice about two-fifths of the total height from the ground. In between each pair of concrete pilasters is a large rectangular window high up.
The roofs are pitched, with separate gabled pitches for nave, the two ends of the transept and the sanctuary. These meet at a point over the transept crossing. The covering looks like a darkish composition.
The church stands over a crypt.
The single-storey gabled façade has a singular appearance. There is a pair of concrete pilasters flanking a central vertical strip of stained glass running from the top of the door right up into the top of the gable. The roof is brought forward and is supported by four large rectangular concrete pillars with chamfered corners, and the horizontal concrete string course in the church side walls is also continued outwards and across to join these together to form a monumental entrance porch taking up the entire façade.
The walls of the interior are exactly like those of the exterior, because there is no rendering or painting of the concrete and brick. The underside of the roof is boarded, painted white and supported by trusses themselves supported by concrete piers embedded in the side walls.
Apart from that over the door, the windows are of clear glass, but the entrance window (inserted in 1991) shows two scenes: the Wise and Foolish Virgins and the Last Judgment. This was designed by Sr Agar Loche, of the Pie Discepole del Divin Maestro.
The Stations of the Cross were provided by a sculptor called Ricci (which one?) as part of the original fittings of the church in 1960.
In the right hand transept chapel there is a bronze sculpture by Augusto Poderosi of Pope St Gregory the Great with his mother St Silvia, the patron of the church.
The sanctuary's re-ordering in 1997 involved the banishment of the original 1968 bronze tabernacle by Ricci to the crypt. The altar was replaced by one in the centre of the sanctuary, on a circular platform of red marble. The arc of this is matched by a semi-circular platform fitted against the apse wall, on which is a stone president's chair at the back of the apse and a throne for a new tabernacle to the right. The curved platform is otherwise occupied by benches for liturgical ministers, curved to match. The altar has an ambo or lectern to the left, and a new baptismal font to the right.
On the back wall of the apse is a figurative mosaic executed by Sr Agar Loche in 2008. It is in a vertical strip occupying the full height of the wall. At the top it incorporates an original bronze crucifix by Ricci which was hung here in 1968. Below, Our Lady and St John the Evangelist are shown venerating Christ on the Cross, while below them St Silvia and St Gregory are shown with four of the last five popes (St John XXIII, Bl Paul VI, St John Paul II and Benedict XVI).
According to the Diocese, the church is open daily:
6:45 to 12:00, 16:30 to 19:30.
Mass is celebrated in the church:
Weekdays 7:00, 9:00, 18:00 (according to the Diocese, these Masses are celebrated in the crypt from autumn to Easter);
Sundays and Solemnities 7:00, 8:30, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 19:00.
External Mass centres Edit
The parish uses three private convent chapels as external Mass centres:
Cappella delle Ancelle della Carità is located at Viale Prospero Colonna 46. It is also the convent chapel of the Sisters, Handmaids of Charity resident there. The complex is a nursing home, the Villa Giuseppina.
Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities at 9:00.
Cappella del Centro Giovanile Fratel Policarpo is located at Via dell’Imbrecciato 112, in the Magliana Nuova district near the Villa Bonelli train station. It is part of the “Brother Polycarp Youth Centre”.
Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities at 11:00.
Cappella delle Serve dei Poveri is located at Via dell’Imbrecciato 103 in the Portuense quarter. It is the convent chapel of the Sisters, Servants of the Poor and shares the responsibility for providing public Masses in the locality with the above. The sisters run a school here.
Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities at 10:00.