As technology continues to progress, so does the practice of religion. In San Antonio, Texas, this has been no exception. From the arrival of Spanish missionaries in 1714 to the establishment of missions and presidios in the San Antonio River Valley, technology has had a remarkable influence on how people of faith explore and develop their beliefs. In July 1714, Denis arrived in San Juan Bautista with news that the Texans wanted the return of Spanish missionaries.
This was a sign of peaceful intentions and trust that they would be safe. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Bexar were confronted with a threat from native peoples, particularly the Apaches of Lipan, who saw San Antonio as an attractive target. In response to an attack on San Sabá, Mexico City seriously considered how to respond. This led to the formation of the “Republican Army of the North” – a group of filibusters who captured Nacogdoches, La Bahia and San Antonio.
The reduction of military force in Texas left San Antonio exposed to Apache incursions at the same time it was trying to incorporate new settlers. To protect the settlement, Spanish explorer José de Escandón moved La Bahía mission and prison from its second location on the Guadalupe River to Goliad on the San Antonio River. Santa Barbara became a waiting area for entries to New Mexico and Texas, and three new missions were established in the valley in 1731. The survivors of this period found that San Antonio was not to their liking and requested to return home. The Comanches arrived in San Antonio in the 1750s, intensifying the danger posed by native peoples.
The restored missions of San Antonio and Goliad are a testament to Franciscans who worked hard to bring Christianity to Texas and expand Spanish pretensions on the northern border. Father Massanet reported that relations with Spanish-American Indians were affected by acts of sexual violence against native women committed by soldiers in 1690 and 1691. To help irrigate 3,500 acres of land, missionaries and Indians constructed seven gravity flow ditches, five dams and an aqueduct. The impact of technology on religion in San Antonio has been far-reaching. From its early days as a mission outpost to its current status as a major city in Texas, technology has played an integral role in shaping how people practice their faith. From irrigation systems that allowed for more efficient farming practices to military fortifications that provided protection from hostile forces, technology has enabled religious communities to thrive in this part of Texas. Today, technology continues to shape how people practice their faith in San Antonio.
From online services that allow people to connect with one another regardless of location to virtual reality experiences that allow people to explore religious sites around the world without leaving their homes, technology is providing new ways for people to explore their faith. The impact of technology on religion in San Antonio is undeniable. From its earliest days as a mission outpost to its current status as a major city in Texas, technology has had a profound influence on how people practice their faith. From irrigation systems that allowed for more efficient farming practices to military fortifications that provided protection from hostile forces, technology has enabled religious communities to thrive in this part of Texas.