Our History

On February 6, 1955 the the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered for the first time in Hayesville. The Mass was celebrated in an office above the Hayesville Drug Store by Glenmary priest Fr. Joseph Dean. In 1959 a motel/restaurant was purchased for the Catholic Mission in Hayesville. It was converted to house a chapel, convent for the Glenmary Sisters, and offices for their home nursing service. In 1984, the parish moved to a newly constructed facility on Hwy 64.  Then, after celebrating 30 years in that location, the new home of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church was dedicated and is today the spiritual home of Hayesville Catholics. It is a mission of St. William in Murphy.

Our Mission

We the members of Immaculate Heart of Mary, individually accept as our mission, Jesus’s call to discipleship.
And collectively, as a parish community seek to reach out with unconditional love to believers and non-believers alike.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Our Parish Leaders

  1. Rev. Mr. Carl Hubbell
    Deacon Carl celebrated the 30th anniversary of his ordination in May 2018.
  2. Rev. H. Alejandro "Alex" Ayala
    Born in a small sugar town in Santa Maria, Argentina, Fr. Alex came to the US in 1994 in search of freedom. When receiving his First Communion/Confirmation at age 8, he was called to the priesthood. "It took me 31 years to answer God's call." In the year 2000, he was sent by the Diocese of Charlotte to St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA, where he enjoyed studying under Benedictine Monks. Ordained in 2006, he was assigned to Sacred Hearth CC in Salisbury NC, for one year. He then served as parochial vicor at St. Leo the Great in Winston-Salem, and in 2010 was named pastor of St. Mary, Mother of God in Sylva. In 2013, he was named pastor of St. William and IHM.
  3. Sr. Margarita Castaneda, CND
    Sister Margarita leads Youth Faith Formation, and serves on the Education Commission.
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    Sr. Therese "Terry" Martin, CND
    Personifies “Caritas Christi” in her ministry as Far Western North Carolina Outreach Worker for the Diocese of Charlotte.
  5. Musical Director
    Cody C. Killian
    Director of Music since August 2015. Cody directs the choirs, oversees the Music Ministry and serves as Principal Organist/Pianist. Having received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Young Harris College, Cody's background in Liturgical Music includes employment in Baptist, Catholic and Methodist Congregations. He enjoys accompanying and performing in Europe and an active schedule of teaching.
  6. Ben Cornelius
    Chairperson, Finance Council
  7. Barbara McGrattan
    Spiritual Director Barbara helps individuals recognize the Holy Spirit. Acting as a traveling companion in one’s spiritual life, she helps one recognize the call of the Lord to a more intimate relationship and how one is to proceed in responding to that call.
  8. Jackie Wilson
    Jackie is the Scheduler for all events on site, leads the Parish Family Life Commission, and sings in the Choir.
  9. Sal Aparo
    Pastoral Council member.
  10. AJ Borowski
    AJ serves on the Pastoral Council, Habitat for Humanity, is a Greeter and Lector, and coordinates training and scheduling for greeters and lectors.
  11. Carol Maloof
    Carol is a member of the Pastoral Council, and represents IHM on the Food Pantry and SAFE for Towns County.
  12. Vernon Dixon
    Vernon serves on the Pastoral Council, and leads both the Fair Trade Coffee Store and the Catholic Climate Covenant teams.
  13. Janet Michaelson
    In addition to chairing the Pastoral Council, Janet leads the Funeral Luncheon team, and with her husband Bill, heads the Desoto Square group.
  14. Beth Arsenault
    Beth serves on the Finance Council and leads the Stewards of the Sanctuary team.
  15. Ron Guggisberg
    A long-standing member of the Finance Council, Ron has also been our long-time go-to leader of Buildings and Grounds Maintenance.
  16. Wayne Watson
    Wayne Watson serves on our Finance Council
  17. Bill Michaelson
    Bill serves on the Finance Council, and with his wife Janet, leads the Desoto Square group.
  18. John Cooper
    John is a member of the Finance Committee
  19. Karen Watson
    Karen is co-chair of the Pastoral Council, and leads the "Welcome Newcomers" team.