08 April 2008

San Fernando Cathedral

San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas was where I was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on 15th August 1983, so of course it has to be on my list of favorite churches.

The original church, which is the sanctuary today, was built between 1738 and 1750. In 1868 the church was enlarged, with the neo-Gothic nave being added. In 2004 it was Richard Vosko-ized, but even he couldn't completely destroy the old girl. I swear, that man must have spent his childhood trying to force square pegs into round holes.

The only unfortunate part of the redesign was the attempt to make the long nave into a round space. Happily, nothing in that project is irreversible, so when we regain our senses the building can be put back to its intended orientation. Right now, it's a little bit like seeing the Queen of England showing up in a pantsuit. But it could be worse.


A gorgeous and recent addition to the cathedral is the retablo, which was crafted in Mexico, and installed by artisans who travelled to San Antonio. An added bonus is that it incorporates the tabernacle in the center, right where it should be. Now if we can just get the altar moved back to its proper position in front of it...