St. Mary, Mother of God
Roman Catholic Church

Sylva, North Carolina

Welcome to our parish!

Reverend J. A. Voitus, Pastor

22 Bartlett Street
Sylva, North Carolina 28779

Our parish is situated in Jackson county, in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We are about 45 minutes west of Asheville. Nearby towns are Cherokee and Bryson City to the west, and Waynesville to the east. Come visit us!
<Click here for a map to our parish.>

(828) 586-9496

The office is staffed on Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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Parish Bulletins

(click on a date to view)

Weekday Masses

Usually celebrated Tuesdays through Fridays at 9:00 a.m. in English. Click on the date of the most recent parish bulletin, listed above, to be sure.

Saturday Masses

8:00 p.m. in Spanish

Sunday Masses

9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., both in English

7:30 p.m. in English on most Sundays at the Western Carolina University Catholic Student Center, which is located at 197 Forest Hills Road in nearby Cullowhee. Check their web site's online calendar (click) to be sure. A Rosary is said on Sundays at 7 p.m. (a half-hour before Mass begins). Father Voitus hears confessions before and after each Mass.

Confession (Rite of Penance)

Father Voitus hears confessions after each weekday Mass.

Confessions are heard before and after the 7:30 p.m. Mass on Sundays at the Western Carolina University Catholic Student Center (see above).

New on the Web Site

  • The Mass (Part 5) -- The Liturgy of the Eucharist: The Communion Rite through the Dismissal
    by Bill Hollands and George A. Knauer

    Read the latest issue in the new Catholic Matters! series, published by THE MEN, a group of men in our parish.


    Following the example of Our Lord, the priest takes up the now consecrated host and reverently breaks it over the paten. This action bears great significance in the history and tradition of the Mass. Remember that after His resurrection, the Lord was recognized "in the breaking of the bread" and as the Acts of the Apostles tell us, the early Church continued "the breaking of the bread" each day as the Lord instructed them to do "in memory of me". But why this focus on breaking bread. Because in ancient Jewish custom, breaking bread with relatives and friends (as opposed to slicing or cutting it with a knife) was an act of charity and a sign of unity at a banquet. After the host is broken, a fragment is then placed into the chalice. This gesture is called "the commingling." There are a number of explanations for this but one of the most interesting one is a spiritual one. Remember that the consecration of the Mass occurs in two separate consecrations: first the bread then the wine. This separate consecration symbolically represents death as Our Lord's Precious Blood was separated from His Sacred Body. Commingling the Body and Blood of Christ in the chalice would symbolically represent the resurrection of Christ's Body and Blood. >> MORE
  • The Mass (Part 4) -- The Liturgy of the Eucharist -- The Eucharistic Prayer, continued
    by Bill Hollands and George A. Knauer


    After each Consecration, there is a moment of adoration signified by the sanctuary bells as the priest raises the Sacred Host and then the Precious Blood. From this moment forward, Christ is truly present on the Altar, and the priest again addresses the Heavenly Father on behalf of the Church. . . . The Intercessions form the seventh part of the Eucharistic Prayer. They make clear that each Mass is offered in union with the entire Church, victorious, suffering, and militant, for the salvation of the whole world. All members of Christ's Mystical Body (i.e., the Church) are included in the benefits of the Mass: we pray for the living and we intercede for the dead. >> MORE
  • The Mass (Part 3) -- The Liturgy of the Eucharist through the Sanctus
    by Bill Hollands and George A. Knauer


    The Liturgy of the Eucharist can be divided into three principal movements: the offertory, the Eucharistic Prayer (the consecration), and Holy Communion. This parallels our redemption as accomplished by Christ Jesus: His passion, His death, and His resurrection. . . . Among the gifts brought to the altar is the bread and wine to be consecrated. Why bread and wine? Well, the Church recognizes the significance of these substances on four different levels: 1) Natural: bread and wine have nourished mankind for millennia; 2) Symbolic: both bread and wine symbolize the fruits of God and man's work; 3) Theological: bread and wine are first mentioned in Genesis (Gn 14:18) in reference to the priest Melchizedek who offered these as a gift pleasing to God; 4) Mystical/Spiritual: since wheat must be ground into flour and grapes must be crushed and fermented, this is both a representation of Christ's suffering as well as of the process that we go through as we conform our lives to Christ. >> MORE
  • The Mass (Part 2)
    by Bill Hollands and George A. Knauer


    You can think of the Lector as lending God his human voice to bring the message of God to the faithful. We will be invited to engage in prayer, the prayer of listening. God is going to speak directly to us, each one of us, individually. We must be prepared to listen to the voice of the Lord through the scripture readings. . . . All the readings that we encounter have been preselected and therefore are not subject to the whim of the celebrant. No matter which Roman Catholic Church you attend anywhere in the world, the scripture readings are the same. Sometimes people claim that the Catholic Church shuns the Bible. The fact is, if you were to attend daily Mass regularly, within the three year cycle you would have heard virtually the entire Bible! >> MORE
  • The Mass (Part 1)
    by Bill Hollands and George A. Knauer


    Have you ever thought about the Mass, its structure, its history and why we do the things we do? This week we are going to begin to take a look at the Mass. The purpose will be to deepen and enrich your participation in this most blessed act of worship offered by the Catholic Church. . . . It is nothing less than the celebration of the Eucharist that was instituted at the Last Supper by Jesus Christ. Its purpose is to worship God as perfectly as possible and to receive God's grace through the reception of Holy Communion. With this in mind, it should be obvious that it is the responsibility of the faithful to prepare themselves to enter into this awesome gift given to us by Christ Himself. >> MORE
  • Read More Articles in the Catholic Matters Series