A funeral Mass for Dr. Alfonso Chiscano, a thoracic and cardiac surgeon who helped preserve the legacy of San Antonio’s Canary Island settlers, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6, at San Fernando Cathedral, family members said.
Chiscano died Aug. 27 at age 81. Friday’s Mass, led by Father David Garcia, will be held at 3 p.m. at the downtown cathedral. Henry Cisneros, former San Antonio mayor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will deliver the eulogy, according to Chiscano’s son Steve.
In addition to his work as a surgeon, Chiscano was a cultural ambassador dedicated to preserving San Antonio’s ties to Spain and his native Canary Islands. As a member of the Tricentennial Commission, Chiscano advocated for the inclusion of the Canary Islanders, who established the first municipal government in what became San Antonio, in the city’s 2018 Tricentennial celebrations. He also was instrumental in engineering one of the most notable Tricentennial events, the June 2018 visit of the King and Queen of Spain.
Chiscano’s passion for historic and cultural preservation also led him to play a key role in the restoration of San Fernando Cathedral, helping raise money for a retablo in the church honoring Our Lady of Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands.
Another Chiscano legacy is the Founder’s Monument, unveiled earlier this year outside the Bexar County Courthouse, honoring the city’s original settlers with five bronze statues, including a couple from the Canary Islands. Chiscano played a key role in raising money for the monument.
In lieu of flowers, family members said donations can be made to the Cardiothoracic Research Professorship In Honor of Alfonso Chiscano, MD, which supports research in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UT Health San Antonio.