Cathedral of San Fernando
The Cathedral of San Fernando is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church located in San Antonio, Texas, in the United States. It is the mother church of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the seat of its archbishop. The cathedral is also known as the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria y Guadalupe and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is notable as the oldest cathedral in the United States.

The original church of San Fernando was built between 1738 and 1750. The walls of that church today form the sanctuary of the cathedral, which gives rise to its claim as the oldest cathedral in the United States. The church was named for Ferdinand III of Castile, who ruled in the 13th century. The baptismal font, believed to be a gift from Charles III, who became King of Spain from 1759, is the oldest piece of liturgical furnishing in the cathedral. In 1831, Jim Bowie married Ursula de Veramendi in San Fernando. In 1836, the cathedral, still a parish church, played a role in the Battle of the Alamo when Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna hoisted a flag of " no quarter" from the church's tower, marking the beginning of the siege. In 1868, the cathedral was considerably enlarged in the Gothic style, the addition forming the existing nave. The carved stone Stations of the Cross were added in 1874. The striking stained glass windows were added in 1920. On September 13, 1987, the cathedral was visited by Pope John Paul II, during the only visit of a pope to Texas. A marble stone marker commemorates the event.

The cathedral remains at the heart of the Catholic religious life of San Antonio, and this includes involvement in annual events such as the Fiesta Week. Over 5,000 participate at weekend Masses each week of the year. Over 900 baptisms, 100 weddings, 100 funerals, and countless other services and special events are performed each year, most notably in the staging of the Good Friday Passion Play, which attracts thousands of visitors. In February 2006, the cathedral began a year-long celebration recognizing San Antonio’s 275th Anniversary.

A restoration project is planned, costing $15 million, which involves several phases:
  • Phase One - restoration and stabilization of the cathedral foundation and structure and its enhancement for liturgy and other events.
  • Phase Two - replacement of the current rectory with a new Cathedral Centre which will have a small cafeteria, counseling rooms, museum, gift shop, reception room, television control room, and vesting sacristy.
  • Phase Three - construction of a community centre to house community and social services, meeting rooms, a hall, church offices, and a residence for the priests.

Building Activity

  • henry botello
    henry botello removed a media and uploaded a media file
    about 6 years ago via Mobile
  • henry botello
    henry botello commented
    Love the San Fernando Cathedral. When I'm in front of this structure I feel peace. My parents were married there in 1950.
    about 6 years ago via Mobile
  • henry botello
    henry botello updated 2 media
    about 6 years ago via
  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via