Santa Maria di Loreto a Boccea is a mid 20th century parish church at Via di Boccea 1417 in the zone of Casalotti, in a very rural location between Valle Santa and Boccea. It is nearer the latter place, which does not amount to much.
The church is in the municipality of Rome, but belongs to the diocese of Porto Santa Rufina.
The religious needs of the small population of the locality were provided for by Santi Mario e Marta at Boccea until the mid 20th century, before the present edifice was built.
The little church is part of a social complex privately provided for the local farm-workers, and was built in 1951. It was consecrated in the following year, and made parochial in the year after.
The rural location is inconvenient, and in 2019 the foundation stone was laid of the new parish church of Santi Mario, Marta, Audiface e Abaco which was expected to be completed in 2022. This is located in the suburb of Valle Santa.
Layout and fabric Edit
Watch out for a marble statue of the Madonna and Child on the west side of the road, next to the main gate which has walking lions on its gateposts. A side gate a little further on has ball finials with two putti sitting on them, one on lute and one on flute -these would be seriously vulnerable to hostile attention if they were in the city proper.
The church was built in a simple vernacular style, on a simple rectangular plan with light yellow exterior walls and a pitched and tiled roof. There are three large horizontal rectangular windows on each side, below the roofline.
The left hand side is occupied by a rather chaotic clump of structures which are the sacristy and parish offices, but the right hand side has a covered walkway with a single-pitched tiled canopy supported by timber piers. This runs to a side entrance. The side wall under the canopy has two small round-headed windows, and there is a larger one beyond the entrance which lights the sanctuary.
The church is parallel to the road, with a little garden in between the two. This has some ancient bits, notably two stumpy columns (one Doric and one Corinthian), and a well-head comprising two thin Corinthian columns connected by an iron bar which once held the bucket and rope.
Here is the campanile, which is just two metal poles connected at the top.
There is an enclosed narthex with a single-pitched roof, and the latter is continued as a cat-slide to form an open porch supported by wooden piers. A pair of large windows flank the single entrance, and attached to the left hand side of the narthex is a little apsidal baptistery which has a tiled roof in sectors.
Above the narthex, the frontage of the nave has a horizontal capsule-shaped window enclosed in a cog-wheel frame.
According to the Diocese (June 2018), Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities at:
18:00 (Saturday), 11:00, 19:00.
There is an external Mass centre at Sante Rufina e Seconda a Porcareccina, which traditionally marks the location of the lost 4th century cathedral of the diocese.