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Cappella del "Irish Institute" is a later 20th century former school chapel at Via della Giustiniana 1200 in the La Giustiniana zone.

The chapel is in the city of Rome, but in the diocese of Porto Santa Rufina.

The future of the chapel is uncertain, and if it continues as a place of worship it would be under a different name.

History Edit

The Legionaries of Christ, founded at Cuernavaca in Mexico in 1941 by the (now posthumously disgraced) Fr Marcial Maciel.

Their Generalate (headquarters) was established in Rome in 1950, and they have had a substantial presence in the city ever since.

The Legionaries survived a serious scandal when its founder was exposed as a predatory sexual abuser, and new Constitutions were approved in 2014.

They now have a substantial presence in Rome, with the Diocese counting 123 members present in 2018. See also the parish church of Nostra Signora di Guadalupe e San Filippo Martire in Via Aurelia, and Cappella del "Highlands Institute", both still under their charge (2019).

The Legionaries' Seminary College was established in 1991, and had its first premises in Castel di Guido. A purpose-built campus just off the Via Aurelia was completed in 2005. See Cappella del Pontificio Collegio Internazionale Maria Mater Ecclesiae.

The Legionaries established an enormously successful and prestigious private school in Mexico City called the Irish Institute, which opened in 1976. This quickly spawned an offshoot at Rome, opened in 1984. Unfortunately, this then fell victim to the scandal and disorders afflicting the Legionaries after the founder was condemned as a predatory sexual abuser in 2010. The school was forced to shut at short notice in 2016, resulting in protests from parents. Unspecified financial irregularities and mismanagement were to blame, together with falling enrolment and problems with the buildings. A debt of two million euros was mentioned.

The Legionaries have apparently claimed that their intention is to convert the complex into a pilgrimage centre, but at present (2019) it is mothballed. One problem must be that La Giustiniana is quite some distance from the city centre.

Appearance Edit

The school buildings are extensive. The main range is a very long four-storey block with an oblique angle in it, with bright red brick infill and rather ugly. Another smaller block, L-shaped, connects to the point of the angle via its own angle.

The chapel is a separate edifice, within the main range's angle and perpendicular to it. It connects via a short covered corridor. The fabric consists of a reinforced concrete frame with pink (not red) brick infill. The edifice seems to stand over a crypt.

The plan is very slightly trapezoidal, with the sanctuary end being narrower than the frontage. A wide ancillary range abuts the left hand side wall, and this runs to a fairly deep sacristy annexe at the back.

There are six bays to the main edifice, separated by flush concrete piers supporting a concrete roof support beam. The first bay is slightly shallower than the others. An unusual feature is that the right hand side wall bays (not those of the left hand one) step inwards by small stages.

The roof is also odd. The entrance bay has a standard gabled double pitch, but the rest of the roof consists of a narrow single pitch down the left hand side and a flat area for the rest.

Because the complex is inaccessible and depictions are lacking online, the above description depends on Google Earth.

External links Edit

(The school has had its online profile removed.)

Info.roma web-page

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