The center provides a bucolic and tranquil island setting for events and celebrations sponsored by parishes, churches, schools, businesses, organizations and families.
Features include a reception hall, chapel, outdoor pool and pool house, playground, deep-water dock on Grimball Creek, fire pit, and athletic fields. The rental fee includes the entire property.
Hospitality is offered to not only the people and parishes of the Diocese of Savannah, but also to other organizations, churches, and groups whose purposes are not in conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Rental fees for the Villa Marie Center include the entire property. Fees are based on the length of the event including setup/breakdown. Fees are subject to change.
Proof of liability is required for all renters. If the renter is unable to provide liability insurance, coverage may be purchased from the Diocese of Savannah.
The Chapel at the Villa Marie Center is available for the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony for Catholics and interfaith couples (a Catholic and a non-Catholic party) in accordance with Canon Law.
Specific conditions for this permission include prior understanding and written documentation from the priest or deacon who will preside at the ceremony and submission of the proper canonical documentation to the pastor of St. James Catholic Church.
Check with the Event Facility Manager at 912-201-4074 for date availability. The following forms must be completed and sent to the Event Facility Manager with the required deposit in order to confirm a date.
Villa Marie Center sits on 29 acres of Isle of Hope, fronting salt marshes and Grimball Creek.In 1935 Bishop Gerald O’Hara of Savannah purchased the property for use as an overnight camp for children. For close to sixty years this beautiful spot hosted the overnight camp, various religious groups, Girl Scout meetings, company picnics and even a ballet school. Bishop O’Hara envisioned a spiritual place where Catholic children from across the state could gather on the coast and make new friends.
In 1959 the Diocese established a minor seminary on the grounds, St. John Vianney Seminary, where high school-aged young men who expressed interest in joining the priesthood attended preparatory courses and lived onsite. The seminary graduated its last student in 1968, and a variety of groups enjoyed the use of the grounds over the successive decades. This tradition of hospitality continues with the use of the center for special events.