It’s funny what you don’t know because you never gave it any thought before. That described a lot of San Antonio, to me, before the past three days.
A work conference took me to San Antonio, the Texas city most known as the site of the Alamo. But the city’s connection to Catholicism dates not only dates back before its setting for the most famous losing battles on American soil, but includes that site as well.
Before serving as a fortress during the Texas Revolution, The Alamo was built as a Catholic mission, one of five in the downtown area. San Antonio was founded as a Spanish mission city, and was named after Saint Anthony of Padua. It seems pretty obvious in retrospect.
My non-work itinerary took me not just to the downtown area (where I stopped in at St. Joseph Church, built by a wave of German immigrants to the city), but also to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, a church west of the downtown area. By good fortune, the conference schedule allowed me to attend one of the nightly masses at the beautiful church.