Sacred Place and Collective Memory: San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas

Citation: 
Matovina, Timothy M. “Sacred Place and Collective Memory: San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas.” U. S. Catholic Historian 15(1):33-50, Winter 1997.
Abstract: 

In his article “Sacred Place and Collective Memory: San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas,” author Timothy Matovina explores the cathedral’s vital role as a “memory place” uniting parishioners of Mexican and other Latin American descent with God, their ancestors and one another through public rituals, sacred traditions, Catholic iconography and civic and religious celebrations. Matovina traces San Fernando’s nearly three hundred year history from frontier parish church to metropolitan cathedral. He describes the joyous and persistent faith of its people who, despite the violence of U. S. annexation of Mexico in 1845 and Anglo-American domination of San Antonio’s Mexican heritage in the years to follow, maintained the church as the “symbolic center” of the city’s Mexican Catholic community. In the process, San Fernando Cathedral has created a common identity and peoplehood among the church’s parishioners who in union with all peoples celebrate and proclaim their dignity as being created in the image and likeness of God.

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