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We love hearing from you our visiting Parishioners.
Read what people think and send us your thoughts,
comments or prayers. Saint Mary Gatlinburg is your
"home" church away from home. We love seeing you
when you're visiting The Great Smoky Mountains.
“Nice little church.”
Reviewed January 6, 2013
Pretty little church in the Smokies to go to if in the area on a Sunday! I believe two Masses were offered on Sundays. Many visitors so you won't
feel out of place. Recommend!
Reviewed December 22, 2012
We go to church here every time we are in the Smokies. They cater to the tourists, but keep the service very reverent. Small gift shop in the
back is only open after Mass, and you can park there all day if you attend one of the services. The priests there have always been very nice.
“small and friendly”
Reviewed September 25, 2012
went to Sunday mass and totally enjoyed it . The Priest was great friendly and not boring as some masses can be he added his own twist to the
gospel and welcomed all visitors
Reviewed September 14, 2012
The services are at reasonable times, and the people are very friendly. The church has religious items for sale and since this year I have a
baptism, first communion, and confirmation, I decided to purchase gifts at the store. Wide selection.
“A nice church for visitors to the area.”
Reviewed August 16, 2012
We usually end up in the area either on a Sunday or holy day, it is nice to have a parish that welcomes visitors and is easy to find. The parking
can get full so either arrive early or walk if your accommodations are close by.
“Free Parking if you attend mass”
Reviewed July 18, 2012
Nice mass. Free parking around service times if you attend mass. At other times they charge $5, which is reasonable for Gatlinburg.
My husband and I passed this church several times when we used to stay at the Sidney James Mountain Lodge on Historic Nature Trail during
vacation. A couple of times we thought about attending Sunday Mass. Finally, this year we were able attend the 9am mass on Sunday July 3,
2011. We arrived around 8:45am to find the church almost completely empty. However, over the next 15 minutes the place began to fill up.
While we waited for Mass to start, I took notice of the inside of the church. It is a pretty modern church on the inside. So there are not any
amazing marble pillars, intricate details in woodwork, stained glass windows or anything like that. However, the inside is still beautiful. The walls
are painted a pale blue & the wooden pews are made out of a light colored wood. This gives the place a nice airy feeling. There are pretty
substantial sized lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling & provide lots of light. The windows to the church are just regular windows, but each
window had a small stained glass panel hanging inside it. At the front by the altar, there is a beautiful painting of a dove with its' wings spread,
almost floating in the clouds. Above the altar, there is a huge wooden cross & to the right of the altar is a small table with votive candles. Beside
the altar, there is another small chapel, that attaches to the main chapel. This accommodates more parishioners. In the back of the church,
there is a small church gift shop.
Our Pastor on July 3rd was Rev. Joseph J. Brando. We felt that his sermon was done rather well. We enjoyed his story about the people who
were carrying rocks to build a church. Each person had a different answer when asked what they were doing. In the end, we appreciated the
story of how each person had a different outlook on life & the importance of what they were doing. The summary of the story was that God will
give you rest, when everything in your life is complete. It was a really nice story that related to our Mass. In addition to the story, we also
appreciated that Rev. Brando made ALL the visitors feel welcome. He asked the local parishioners raise their hands & there were only a
handful there. It showed HOW much this Catholic church depends on the visitors for its' attendance. Another nice touch to this Mass, was the
singing & song selection. There was no organist or choir this day, but there was a gentleman that lead us in song. He had a really beautiful &
powerful voice that was such a delight to hear. My favorite part of the song selections, was in the end when whole church rejoiced in singing
America the Beautiful in honor of July 4th. It was really beautiful! In total, the Mass lasted about 45 minutes. At the end of Mass, Rev. Brando
suggested that we all stop in the gift shop in the back of the church. He reminded the visitors that starting the following week (Sun. July 10th,
2011) that they would be offering donuts & refreshments after the 11am Mass. He said this would give the parishioners a chance to mingle, talk
and get to know each other.
After Mass, we did visit the gift shop. It is a TINY gift shop, but they had lots of nice items crammed into that small space. They had a church
cookbook, a black bear nativity set, statues, rosary beads, crosses, post cards, Christmas ornaments and MORE. We purchased a nice
wooden cross and the church's cookbook. The clerk told us that it has local recipes in it from the local parishioners & their families. I thought
about purchasing the black bear nativity set since it was REALLY cute. Later I saw a set that was NOT even half as nice for THREE times the
price at the Christmas Place. So, I know the prices at the church are VERY reasonable! Maybe next time I'm in town, I will see about getting one
of those Nativity sets.
On our way out, we ran into Rev. Brando who chatted with us for a few minutes & thanked us for attending his Mass. He seems like a really shy,
quiet spoken and gracious person. We really enjoyed meeting him and attending his service. After talking with him for a few minutes, we made
our way around back to take a peek at the small garden area (behind the parking lot) with the blessed mother statue. It really is a beautiful
church from the stone exterior to the airy interior & beyond into the garden area. We would recommend this church to anyone seeking a nice
Catholic Mass in the Gatlinburg area.