San Antonio, Texas, is a city steeped in history, with a rich cultural heritage and stunning architecture. Among its historical treasures are several Catholic churches that not only serve as places of worship but also as monuments to the city’s past.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the most historical Catholic churches in San Antonio.

Las Misiones

Las Misiones refers to a group of missions that are integral to the history and culture of San Antonio. These missions are not only significant religious sites but also represent the city’s rich history and the enduring legacy of the Spanish colonial era.

Mission Espada

Mission Espada, also known as San Francisco de la Espada, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located at the southern endpoint of the city. It boasts Roman-style architecture and serves as a reminder of the initial settlements during the Spanish colonial days. Visitors can explore the ruins and appreciate the mission’s historical significance.

Mission San Jose

Often referred to as the “Queen of the Missions,” Mission San Jose is one of the oldest historic churches in San Antonio. It provides a glimpse into the Spanish Colonial period with its restored defensive walls and imposing chapel building. The mission is also a popular venue for weddings and quinceaneras.

Mission Concepcion

Mission Concepcion stands as one of the oldest preserved missions in San Antonio. It features a traditional cruciform floor plan and brightly colored frescoes on its exterior walls. The mission is among the most visited historical churches in the city.

Mission San Juan

Mission San Juan, founded in 1731, was established to serve as a home for the local Coahuiltecan people. Over the years, it has served diverse congregants from neighboring farmlands and communities. Visitors can walk around the mission or attend mass gatherings, experiencing the rich history and cultural heritage of the place.

Partnership with Catholic Community Foundation

The Las Misiones Endowment Fund aims to support the preservation, restoration, and educational initiatives associated with the San Antonio, Texas, missions. This fund serves as a critical resource to address the challenges the missions face and ensure their longevity for future generations.

Through the generosity of donors and fundraising efforts, Las Misiones has made significant strides in restoring these sacred treasures.

San Fernando Cathedral

Established in 1731, San Fernando Cathedral is the official center of San Antonio. The cathedral, designed by Francois Giraud, is home to the remains of Alamo defenders and hosts the popular “San Antonio: Saga Light” show on its walls.

San Fernando Cathedral was founded on March 9, 1731 by a group of 16 families who came from the Canary Islands at the invitation of King Phillip V of Spain and is the oldest, continuously functioning religious community in the State of Texas.

This church was planned to be at the center of life in this city. The Cathedral building has the added distinction of being the oldest standing church building in Texas, and for all of its more than 281 years, has been serving the people of the Archdiocese and San Antonio. 

Partnership with Catholic Community Foundation

Earnings from the partnership with the Catholic Community Foundation are utilized to assist with the preservation, restoration, improvement, maintenance, and enhancement of the historic San Fernando Cathedral church structure, related cathedral parish structures, and programs and activities of the cathedral.

This financial support ensures that the cathedral continues to stand as a testament to the city’s rich history and serves the community effectively.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is a magnificent historic building surrounded by the walls of the former Joske’s department store. Built by German speakers of San Antonio, the church is known for its beautiful stone sanctuary.

The cornerstone for Saint Joseph Church was laid in 1868 by a group of San Antonio’s German Catholic Immigrants who wanted to worship and hear God’s Word proclaimed and celebrated in their own language, and completed in 1876. In 1891, four bells with matched tones were purchased and consecrated, and given the names of Joseph, Mary, and Henry. The Gothic style building was without a steeple until 1898 when the now existing spire was completed.

The beautiful stained glass windows were purchased in 1902 for the unbelievable sum of $3,000, from the Emil Frei Art Glass Factory in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. 

Partnership with Catholic Community Foundation

The endowment fund established with the Catholic Community Foundation supports the ongoing needs of the St. Joseph Catholic Church parish.

This partnership ensures that the church can continue to meet its operational and maintenance needs while providing services to its congregation and the broader community.

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, located at Vargas, Nevada, and Gevers Streets in San Antonio, Texas, was originally founded as a home for aged, needy, and orphaned African Americans. Established in the early part of February 1901, it has undergone various transformations and name changes over the years. 

The church, initially known as the Divine Redeemer Home, later changed its name to Holy Redeemer Church. It has served as a beacon of God’s love on the east side of San Antonio and is the only predominantly African American Catholic Church in the city.

Partnership with Catholic Community Foundation

The Holy Redeemer Catholic Church – St. Peter Claver Cemetery Endowment Fund is primarily used for maintaining, operating, or funding capital projects for St. Peter Claver Cemetery. Additionally, the fund supports Holy Redeemer Catholic Church parish, its buildings and grounds, ministries, and programs.

This endowment fund ensures the sustained operation and maintenance of both the cemetery and the church, supporting their respective roles in the community.

The Little Flower Basilica

The Little Flower Basilica is one of the most impressive historic churches in San Antonio, known for its unique collection of artwork and Beaux-Arts architecture designed by Charles L Monnot. It is home to relics of Zelie Martin and Louis, parents of St. Therese, making it a significant religious site for visitors.

The first National Shrine in the United States dedicated to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Basilica’s history begins at a time when our neighbors in Mexico were experiencing religious persecution and political upheaval during the 1913-30 revolutions. The resulting influx of immigrants was forming San Antonio’s first suburb. Among those immigrants were Discalced Carmelite friars who had escaped execution by Pancho Villa’s forces.

At the same time, a revival of faith was spreading through the country.  The teachings of the newly-canonized Thérèse of Lisieux, a Discalced Carmelite nun known as “The Little Flower,” were inspiring millions worldwide. It was then that the vision was fulfilled to express the spirituality of the Little Flower through a National Shrine in her honor in the heart of a flourishing Westside.  

Partnership with Catholic Community Foundation

An agency account supports the Discalced Carmelite Fathers of San Antonio by providing a quarterly check for the net dividends and interest. This account continues to provide funds to support the friars.

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Located in Panna Maria, the oldest Polish settlement in Texas, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church was originally built in 1855.

The church was established next to the oak tree where the first Mass was held by the Polish families who settled in Panna Maria. It stands as a testament to the faith and determination of the early Polish settlers in Texas, providing a space for worship and community for generations.

Partnership with Catholic Community Foundation

Earnings from the endowment fund established with the Catholic Community Foundation will be used for the parish buildings, ministries, and programs of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church as directed by the pastor.

This partnership ensures that the church can continue to serve its congregation and the broader community effectively, maintaining its historical structures and supporting its various ministries and programs.

Notre Dame Catholic Church

Notre Dame Catholic Church in Kerrville, Texas, has a rich history dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. Established in March 1889 by a small group of Roman Catholics in Kerr County, the church was originally named St. Mary of the Assumption.

Over the years, the church has grown and evolved, with the first full-time pastor, Reverend Henry Kemper, arriving in 1911. 

Under his leadership, the church embraced the patronage of Mary under the title “Notre Dame,” and in 1912, a Catholic school named Notre Dame Institute was founded in Kerrville. The church has continued to grow and serve the community, with a third church building dedicated on January 11, 1990.

Partnership with Catholic Community Foundation

Notre Dame Catholic Church has established an endowment fund with the Catholic Community Foundation. The fund is designed to support the maintenance and operational needs of the church, ensuring its longevity and ability to serve the community for years to come.

Through this partnership, the church can continue to be a beacon of faith and service in Kerrville, Texas.

St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Boerne, Texas

St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, located in the heart of Boerne, Texas, stands as a testament to the vibrant faith and dedication of its community. Established to meet the spiritual needs of the growing Catholic population in the area, St. Peter the Apostle has evolved into a beacon of faith, service, and community spirit. The church’s architecture, while blending traditional and contemporary elements, provides a welcoming atmosphere for worship and reflection.

It serves as a hub for community engagement, spiritual growth, and educational opportunities, embodying the church’s mission to be a welcoming, spirit-filled community.

Partnership with Catholic Community Foundation

The Endowment Fund with the Catholic Community Foundation supports St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in its mission, including its buildings, operations, and various community programs. This partnership ensures the church’s ability to continue serving as a vibrant center of faith and community life for Boerne and its surroundings.


San Antonio or rather, Texas as a whole is home to a multitude of historical Catholic churches, each with its unique history, architectural style, and community significance. These churches not only serve as places of worship but also as important cultural and historical landmarks in the city. 

Through partnerships with the Catholic Community Foundation, these churches can continue to preserve their rich heritage and serve their communities effectively. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, consider exploring these historical churches to experience the deep spiritual and cultural history of San Antonio.

We encourage you to support the preservation of these historical and faith-filled landmarks by donating to at least one of these churches through the Catholic Community Foundation.