Source: San Antonio Express-News
On March 28, 2003 the San Antonio Express-News reported that "San Fernando Cathedral is the geographic center of the city, but many - including non-Catholics - consider it the spiritual center, as well... In 1847, Franois P. Giraud was appointed the city's first surveyor. He started at the city's center - San Fernando - and measured four miles each direction from the church's dome for the survey. Since then, the church has served as a backdrop to community gatherings, be they joyful or tearful... Samuel M. Stahl, rabbi emeritus of Temple Beth-El, said San Fernando officials and parishioners go out of their way to welcome people of other faiths... 'It was one of the first major congregations in the city that recognized the expanding nature of religious pluralism, a notion that goes beyond recognizing just Christians and Jews,' he said."