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Our Lady of the Assumption

Deanery: Statesboro
Mass Times: Saturday Vigil: 5:00 PM | Sunday: 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM (Spanish)
Year Established: 1957

Phone: 912-564-2312

121 Ridgecrest Drive
Sylvania, GA
County: Screven

Over 50 years ago, on June 7, 1959, Bishop Thomas J. McDonough of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, dedicated Our Lady of the Assumption Church, the new Catholic church in Sylvania, Georgia.  The Catholic presence in this area of Georgia, however, has a history that goes back over 125 years, to the time immediately following the Civil War.  

For many, many years Mass was celebrated in the homes of various Catholic families by visiting priests from Augusta or Savannah.  Beginning in 1911, Mass was held in the new St. Joseph Church in Bay Branch.  Later, in 1945, the Glenmary Home Missioners came to this area of Georgia “to minister to the Catholic minority, the unchurched, and the poor.” Their ministry stemmed from Statesboro throughout Bulloch County and six surrounding areas. 

Under the spiritual care of the Glenmary Home Missioners, the Catholic Church grew and in August of 1957, Bishop McDonough divided the territory and established the new parish of Our Lady of the Assumption in Sylvania. The new parish would take in Screven, Jenkins, Effingham, and Burke Counties and also the mission at Bay Branch. Reverend Joseph Nagele, Glenmary Home Missioner, was chosen as pastor of the new parish, with Reverend John Barry appointed as assistant pastor.

Many wonderful and dedicated Glenmary priests, brothers and volunteers shared their commitment to spreading God's love through their work in our parish. (Visit our parish hall to see pictures of all the Glenmary priests and brothers who served our parish so selflessly and lovingly over the years.)

In  2003, the Glenmary Home Missioners officially relinquished control of the parish to the Diocese of Savannah.  At this time, there were no Diocesan priests available to staff the mission.  Senior member of Glenmary, Father Charlie Hughes, who was interim pastor in 1998, agreed to become the administrator of the parish.  He served in this position through August 2005, when Reverend Louis Lussier, from the Order of St. Camillus, was appointed pastor by Bishop Kevin Boland.   Father “Lou”, who was a medical doctor before being ordained a priest, had a vision of expanding his Order’s healthcare mission to southern areas of the United States.  He submitted a proposal to Bishop Kevin Boland of the Savannah Diocese, who eagerly accepted it.

            In the years following Fr. Lou’s appointment as pastor, more and more parishioners came to share his vision and much prayer and work went into making it become a reality.  In June of 2008, the St. Camillus Health Clinic, a mobile unit, first opened its doors providing primary health care to the uninsured of Screven County.  Through the help of local volunteer doctors, nurses, and auxiliary workers, plus financial help from businesses and organizations, this free clinic has provided needed care for a growing number of patients.  

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