San Tommaso d’Aquino ad Alessandrino is a late 20th century parish church at Via Roberto Lepetit 99/I in the Alessandrino quarter, south of the Via Prenestina and east of Centocelle.

The dedication is to St Thomas Aquinas.

History Edit

The parish was erected in 1977.

The permanent church was designed by Aldo Aloysi, erected by Ernesto Vichi, and was completed in 1988.

Exterior Edit

Layout Edit

The plan of the church is basically square, but the structure is actually designed around a cross with one arm slightly longer than the others. This longer arm is on the left hand side, and contains the ferial (weekday) chapel.

In the internal corners of the cross are four identical square forms, with sides slightly longer than the cross-ends are wide and shorter than they are long. The result overall externally is a square edifice, with three very shallow rectangular apsidal units in the centre of three walls and one longer one to the left.

In front of the front apse is a transverse rectangular porch, and attached to the front wall to the right of this is a little annexe containing the confessionals. These items are lower in height than the main church.

Fabric Edit

This is a low, flat-roofed edifice. The fabric comprises a reinforced concrete frame in light grey, with white concrete slab infill providing the walls. Structural wall-piers in the corners support the ends of massive roof-beams, which form the rooflines and also outline the cross mentioned in the layout description. These beams are left exposed in the roof.

Vertical window strips occupying the entire height of the edifice are inserted into the internal corners of the structure, and a pair also flanks the end of the ferial chapel.

The roof has square pyramidal skylights set diagonally, one over the main altar, one over the ferial chapel altar and four in the centre of the roof.

Façade Edit

The rather uninspiring frontage is set slightly back from the street, in a little garden area protected by cheap steel mesh railings.

The entrance porch consists of a flat concrete slab supported by a pair of concrete piers with cross-sections in the form of a cross. Over the porch and down the left hand side are two window strips. There is a dedicatory epigraph attached in individual letters on the left hand wall, and to the right beyond the confessional block is a free-standing concrete pillar bearing a large metal cross finial.

Interior Edit

The interior is again not very striking. The walls are in bright white, painted in a product that the Italians call Quarzo plastico. The floor is in marmo Coreno, a pale brown marble, with bands in limestone.

The concrete roof is coffered.

The sanctuary is raised on one step, and is paved in grey granite. The walls have a dado in limestone slabs. The altar has a cross-shaped plinth, also in granite. Behind it, against the far wall, the seat of the presiding priest has a round-headed back with mosaic decoration.

The parish is proud of its new sanctuary mosaic, by Marko Rupnik 2011. It depicts The Sacrifice of the Eucharist, and shows Christ presiding at a table with the Eucharistic elements -his Body (hlmself) and his Blood (a golden chalice in front of him). He is accompanied by Our Lady and St John the Baptist; these two are more usually shown flanking Christ at his Crucifixion, so their presence here indicates that the sacrifice of the Mass is identical with that of the Cross. Two angels are also shown.

The tabernacle is in a free-standing screen to the left of the sanctuary, which has a semi-figurative mosaic depicting the Universe. The tabernacle itself has a chased and gilded door.

Liturgy Edit

Mass is celebrated (parish website, July 2018):

Weekdays 8:30 (not July or August), 18:30 (19:00 in summer);

Sundays and Solemnities 8:30, 10:00 (not summer), 11:30 (11:00 in summer), 18:30 (19:00 in summer).

"Summer" here is mid June to mid September.

There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays from 17:00 to 18:30 and 19:00 to 20:00 (the interruption is for Mass, and hence will be half an hour later in summer).

External links Edit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Info.roma web-page

Beweb web-page

Page on mosaic

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