San Fernando Cathedral’s roof restoration is complete, but work on the bell towers will continue until March, archdiocese officials said Tuesday.

The needed repairs were delayed by two years as the archdiocese waited for the necessary copper material to arrive in San Antonio, due to supply chain issues during the pandemic.

Leaks discovered pre-pandemic prompted an inspection of the roof; once up there, workers also found hail damage and bullets embedded in the copper, said Father Carlos Velázquez.

“We were told that oftentimes, people in the downtown area, like for Fourth of July and for maybe even New Years, would fire a gun in the air. Well, guess what? Those things come down,” Velázquez said.

San Antonio Saga, the 24-minute, 7,000-sq. ft. video art installation projected on the façade of the cathedral several nights a week has been temporarily suspended while scaffolding surrounds the cathedral and bell towers.

García-Siller said Saga will resume when the work is complete, thanks to negotiations between the Main Plaza Conservancy, French artist Xavier de Richemont, who produced the piece, and the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

“We know that this is a little bit of disturbance but it has to be done, otherwise it will seriously affect the cathedral’s stability,” said García-Siller.

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Raquel Torres

Raquel Torres is the San Antonio Report's breaking news reporter. She previously worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph and is a 2020 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.