Cappella delle Suore Domenicane del Sacro Cuore di Gesù is an earlier 20th century Fascist-era (by the look of it) convent chapel at Via Casilina 235 in the Prenestino Labicano quarter.

The writer suspects that this chapel has been deconsecrated.

History Edit

The "Dominican Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" (Suore Domenicane del Sacro Cuore di Gesù) were founded at Scicli in Sicily in 1883 by the Dominican friar Timoteo Longo, and Concezione Jannitto who was the first Superior. They established the Generalate (headquarters) at Catania.

However, like many other active sisterhoods they decided to establish a large convent at Rome in the 20th century. By the look of the style of architecture, this seems to have been set up in the Thirties. It included an elementary school, which at least lately was called the Istituto Santissima Maria Assunta (named after the Assumption of Our Lady).

Also like many other active sisterhoods with large convents in Rome, this congregation found it hard to justify keeping its Rome facility in the face of declining vocations. Again like many others, it decided to shut the school and convert part of the premises to a holiday hotel (Casa per ferie). This was done in 2000. The school name was kept for the hotel -Casa per Ferie Santissima Maria Assunta.

The sisters have also been running something called the Auditorium San Domenico here, which is a conference facility with a residential option.

Interestingly, the hotel guests have been provided with a little room-chapel on the ground floor and are (apparently) not allowed in what was the main chapel. So, it seems that the latter was deconsecrated and turned into a lecture hall (this needs confirmation).

In 2019 the Diocese listed 115 sisters in 18 convents, with two sisters in (nominal) charge of the Rome hotel.

Appearance Edit

The former convent is a rather grim four-storey complex comprising three wings on a zig-zag plan. Two of these are easily visible from the road, and the third runs back from the left hand side of the central wing (the furthest from the road). The first storey is in rusticated white limestone ashlar, while the other two storeys are in brown brick.

This left hand end of the central wing has a triangular pediment on top, with a cross in the tympanum. This is the only indication that there is a church-sized chapel behind here.

The chapel is (or was) a single nave of five bays under and pitched and tiled roof with a hip at the far end. A narrower, deep sanctuary has a slighter lower such roof abutting the hip, and this has its own hip at the far end.

The side walls have little, low round-topped windows in white frames, well spaced.

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Hotel website

(The congregation's website seems to be defunct.)

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