The Chapel and the Friary of the Immaculate Conception in Santa Severa, Italy, is a real estate property owned by the entity entitled the “General Curia of the Friars Minor Conventual.” The property lies within the Municipality of Santa Marinella (Santa Severa – Rome) and has been the subject of several articles that have appeared in the media and on the Internet. Here below is some specific information on the affair.

In 1948, the “General Curia of the Friars Minor Conventual” authorized the Special Procurator, Friar Luigi DELIGIA, to purchase a parcel of reclaimed land facing the sea, in order to build a compound suitable for hosting a summer camp for children and youth coming from Rome’s poorest neighborhoods. Friar Luigi had the compound built on behalf of the entity. Construction was completed in the mid-1950s. The property line, however, extended almost directly to the beach. Therefore, for the safety of the children, and to cordon off the property, after a few years, the friars requested authorization to construct a boundary wall, which still stands today.
In early 1970s, when the compound was no longer in use, the property was entrusted to the friars of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw).
Activity at the site also ceased for historical reasons. The number of friars inhabiting the friary dwindled, until in recent years, there were only two friars in residence. Finally, only one friar remained. His pastoral activity consisted of celebrating Masses. In the winter, Mass was open to the public in the friary’s private chapel. In the summer, Mass was celebrated in the private garden behind the friary. The friars used to assist some nearby Polish-speaking communities and some partially closed convents of sisters.
By the early 2000s, the property began deteriorating noticeably. The Curia did not have the money needed to invest in the redevelopment of the compound, given the scarcity of vocations and the lack of any specific mission that required having a permanent Conventual community there. In 2007, the General Chapter decided to suppress the friary and sell off the property. The General Chapter also decided that the proceeds from the sale would be used to support the presences of the Order in mission lands and in the third world, with a particular focus on offsetting the formation costs of young friars.
In 2007, steps toward making the sale and resolving certain technical issues began. It involved getting authorization from the municipality, the superintendence, the courts, etc. In 2014, the diocesan bishop was also informed of the future sale. In the meantime, the search began for qualified buyers willing to take over the property. The negotiations were complex, in order to identify a morally serious and well-intentioned buyer, due to the nature of the property, which was attractive to many prospective buyers because of its location.
Over the years, the compound, already very deteriorated, saw the plaster of some of its internal and external ceilings collapse, and the exposure of its reinforcing bars in some external sections. As for the private garden, it had always needed and continued to need annual maintenance, which the General Curia always paid for. However, over the years, certain neighbors have taken legal measures to intervene in the pruning and cutting of the garden’s trees and plants.
The diocesan bishop as well as the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, (the dicastery of the Holy See in charge of granting the license for extraordinary administrative affairs), have been formally notified of the sale, and have since g their authorization.

Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO, Legal Representative of the Order