ROME After almost half a century, the Church at the College of St.Lawrence of Brindisi has become a sacred space. The plan for the new College, originating in the sixties, incorporated a large Church which was to have become the parish church of the neighbourhood. For various reasons that plan never became a reality. A few years ago, when the church and walls were showing signs of ageing – the roof had begun to leak – it was decided to renovate the building, inside and out, and to restore the church to its original purpose. The project was supervised by the architect Paolo Marciani and consultants from the Centro Aletti, while the artistic decoration of the Church was entrusted to Fr. Ivan Marco Rupnik, who designed and executed the mosaics at the new church of San Giovanni Rotondo. The liturgical space has been created from the enormous unused space in the original church, and comprises an entrance porch, sanctuary and a “Porziuncula” chapel that can accommodate 250 people, a Blessed Sacrament chapel, private prayer spaces, confessionals and a sacristy and two meeting rooms.
The project was made possible thanks largely to the generosity of the Italian provincial ministers and other benefactors. On March 25, 2012, Bishop John Corriveau consecrated the church and altar dedicated to St Lawrence of Brindisi. The celebration began with the College fraternity moving in procession from the old crypt into to the renovated church, which would from now on welcome them for those daily privileged moments of liturgical worship. “As society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbours but does not make us brothers. Reason, by itself, is capable of grasping the equality between men and of giving stability to their civic coexistence, but it cannot establish fraternity” (CV, 19). Bishop Corriveau, quoting Pope Benedict, referred to the fraternity of San Lorenzo da Brindisi, which he said “is certainly the most cosmopolitan fraternity in our Order, drawn from all continents with scarcely more than two or three from the same Province, and even among those of you from the same Province, often from diverse ethnic and even diverse racial heritages. We are called to be much more than neighbours – we are called to be brothers! Each time we gather to worship in this beautiful, consecrated space, may we be reminded: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1Cor 3: 16). May that Spirit of God transform us into what we truly are”. As well as brothers from the College, the Historical Institute and the General Curia, many provincial ministers of Italy and numerous other friars and sisters were present at the inspiring ceremony.
AUDIO IT: Paolo Marziani, Architetto
AUDIO EN IT: Omelia, Mons. John Corriveau OFMCap
AUDIO IT: Ringraziamenti, Ministro generale