Cappella delle Ancelle Parrocchiali dello Spirito Santo is a later 20th century convent chapel at Via Anagnina 374 in the Casal Morena suburban zone.

History Edit

The "Parochial Handmaids of the Holy Spirit' (Ancelle Parrocchiali dello Spirito Santo) by Giuditta Martelli at Portigliola in Calabria in 1933. Their main work has been that of catechising poor children and young people within the parish family.

The congregation received papal approval in 1983, and established its Generalate or headquarters on the Via Anagnani in Rome. However, it has always been small and the Diocese (2018) counts a total of sixty-nine sisters in ten convents. Only three sisters are now at Rome.

The Casal Morena site is immediately opposite the parish church of San Matteo Apostolo ed Evangelista. There are two separate edifices, a Casa per Ferie or pilgrim hostel and the Generalate which includes an infants' school called the Scuola Maria Bambina. The latter has its entrance on the Via di Casale Santarelli.

Appearance Edit

The Generalate is a thoroughly boring three-storey flat-roofed edifice in red brick, indistinguishable from an apartment block. However, the chapel is a separate structure at the Via Agnanini end although its frontage is very close to the convent. There is a good view of the back end from the road.

This is an interesting building. The plan is based approximately on a chamfered square, and the fabric is in red brick. Each side wall has four three-sided bastions from ground to roof, the corner ones melding with the chamfers. The two corners of each bastion are embellished with polychrome brickwork, a central vertical stripe of brown bounded by two in grey.

The important feature of the design is that the tops of the bastions and the tops of the wall zones between them increase in height from the front to the sanctuary in a set of roofline steps. Hence, the sanctuary end of the chapel is substantially taller than the front end, which attaches to the convent via a very shallow and low portico fitting into the tight gap. The stepped rooflines form parapets in brown brick, since the flat roof simply slopes up.

Each bastion has a vertical strip window in each of its sloping sides, and the pairs of these facing each other increase in height towards the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is a very shallow add-on strip in the plan, trapezoid in shape with the two diagonal ends melding with the two corner chamfers. These diagonal walls, in blank brick, each have a public entrance sheltered by a floating flat canopy which is pentagonal in shape. There is a sanctuary apse, lower than the far nave wall and with its own flat roof. It is five-sided, with the corners decorated in the same way as the bastion corners. This also has a brown brick parapet.

The far nave wall has a pair of vertical window strips flanking the apse, and also a window over the apse which is in the form of an irregular pentagon with a horizontal base and inwardly sloping sides.

On the parapet of the far wall, facing the street, is a steel sculpture in the form of a sunburst made up of radial metal rods. This is supported near the outer ends of the rods by strips of steel sheeting making up the same pentagonal form as the window below. A cross is superimposed on the rods below this.

Liturgy Edit

The chapel used to host a public Mass at 7:00 daily -this was the only morning parish Mass on weekdays. However, in 2018 this Mass was not being advertised on the parish website and may have been discontinued.

The clergy of the Diocese have been becoming more and more reluctant to provide chaplaincy services for convents with small numbers of resident sisters, as here.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

School website

Casa per ferie website

Info.roma web-page

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