In 1987, Ed &
Pat Heinz purchased a 120-year old farm house situated on 50 acres of land in Windsor, Ohio in Ashtabula County. As parents
of nine children, they considered using the farm as a Catholic youth camp, but the farm was in terrible shape and much work
had to be accomplished before the family could even live in the house. With a clear purpose in mind, the family pitched in
and started to fix up the farm and fields. In 1990, however, misfortune struck and several private investments soured. Their
dream began to unravel. The bank foreclosed on the mortgage and Ed and Pat were forced to file bankruptcy! The family was
disappointed, but their faith was not shaken. They did not blame God for their misfortune. As Ed and Pat look back on this
tragedy, they credit a pilgrimage to Medjugorje as the reason their faith never wavered. "No matter how bad things seemed
to be, we trusted that Our Lord and Our Lady would take care of us," Pat relates. "We submitted to Our Lord's will
and became more dependent than ever on His Divine Providence"
With Ed's solid
background in Nuclear Engineering they started a new consulting and construction business and the family prospered. But everyone,
especially the children, longed to return to the farm in Windsor, Ohio. Ed and Pat told the children that if they wanted the
farm back they would have to pray to Jesus and Mary, and that only Our Lord could now restore their family farm. Setting hope
against all odds during a visit to the States, Pat returned briefly to the farm and built a statue of St. Joseph and a medal
of St Benedict on the property. Back in England, the family started a fervent devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. They took
advantage of each opportunity to pray before Our Lord's Eucharistic presence in the tabernacle. Carl and Rachael who were
three and four years old thought it was normal to stop in every Catholic Church along the way. Upon entering a church, the
children would always go first to the tabernacle and implore Jesus to give the farm back to them. When Pat asked why he wanted
to go back to the farm so much, Carl told Pat that "Mary told him to go back to the farm and wait".
to the Farm
Across the Atlantic, the farm sat vacant for two years. Purchase offers fell through. The bank
was not able to sell the farm! Finally, at the end of January, 1992, the bank was going to auction the farm in a public Sheriff's
sale. A third party intervened and Ed and Pat were able to purchase the farm. God had answered the Heinz's prayers in a dramatic
fashion! Pat and the kids moved back to the farm on February 2, 1992, the same day we left in 1990. While Ed remained in England
to continue his work for the next year and a half, Ed commuted between the U.S. and England. Though Our Lord's generosity,
the profits from the company retired the farm debt in less than one year.
Back in the States
found herself with a dilapidated old house. Nothing worked! The house needed new bathrooms and a kitchen, but Pat insisted
that the first order of business was to build a room for Our Lord; a chapel right in the middle of the house. She maintained
that since God had restored their home, He deserved the first room. Although this make little practical sense (with all the
other pressing needs), the older children and Pat started the first renovation, and that was the family prayer chapel. After
redecoration of some bedrooms and getting the bathrooms in working order, the family built a shrine to Our Lady of Grace on
a small island in the pond in front of the house. A significant quantity of large stone was needed to complete the shrine
and the older children did not know where they would find the stone. Pat told them if Our Lady wants the shrine she will provide
the stone. As the older boys started building a new front porch, they found all the large stones necessary to complete the
project. The pond is 15 feet deep. When the excavator finished the digging he declared it would take two years to fill the
pond with water. The awesome power of God proved him wrong! After placing a life size statue of Our Lady of Grace on the island,
a dear friend, Fr. John McFadden, consecrated the Heinz farm as the Servants of Mary Center for Peace on July 9, 1992 to the
Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. On July 13th-a special Fatima apparition feast day-rain poured down upon their property. By
July 16th -three days later-the pond was full and ran over its edge for a week.
Statue of Our Lady
On August 5, 1992, the Center hosted its first program in a tent. Among one of the speakers that day was Tony Zuniga
from Philadelphia, Pa. Because Tony is Mexican/American and has a great devotion of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ed and Pat asked
him to walk the property and designate a spot for the shrine to her. After three days of prayer, Tony suggested the shrine
to be built on the island in a small lake that had been excavated out in the field in the back of the house. He said the statue
should be 33 feet high in honor of Jesus' life on earth. With great anticipation, Ed and Pat promised Tony that if he found
a sculptor, they would build the statue! Within weeks, Tony discovered a talented sculptor named Richard Hyslin in Texas.
Richard's first model did not include the base, the rays or the supporting angel. When he adjusted the model to replicate
the real tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the total image rose to 50 feet.
Servants of Mary
Center for Peace
Ed's company continued to flourish in England and Pat continued to improve the Center
for Peace. As a couple, they endured the trial and travel to ensure the center could be built in honor of Our Lord and Our
Lady. Inspired by a healing service with Fr. Peter Mary Rookey during the summer of 1993, the boys built an open-sided 100'
by 46' pavilion. By winter, the pavilion was enclosed, insulated and heated. It now serves as the chapel and as a stage for
nationally renowned speakers, musicians, and holiday programs. Over the summer of 1994, Richard Hyslin and his crew raised
and finished the concrete substrate of Our Lady of Guadalupe near the back of the lake. After allowing the statue to cure
properly over the winter, Our Lady was completed with 450 thousand colored 1" tiles and stainless steel rays by late
spring, 1995. Ed summarized the family's zeal for Our Lord, "When we prayed for Our Lord to return the farm,
we promised Him that we would use it for the Greater Glory of God. We have invested of our income to improve the farm and
to develop the Servants of Mary Center for Peace." Pat adds, "We want to bring Our Lord glory by having Mass said
regularly here, and by offering our home as a haven of peace. Here, ordained and lay Catholic speakers and singers from all
over the world can teach and share the treasures of tour Catholic faith with people of all faiths."
Ed related, "The Servants of Mary Center for Peace is more "grassroots" Catholic.
Our desire is to provide a holy and peaceful environment where God's people can learn more about their faith and share in
the fellowship of the Body of Christ". Now that Ed has moved permanently back to the States, the Heinz family is together
again and working more diligently to glorify the Lord. They want to share the joy they found with you and they invite you
Mission Statement: The mission of the
Servants of Mary organization is to foster devotion to Jesus and Mary, help direct individuals to parish communities and
other appropriate resources, while supporting a culturally diverse community, providing a place of spiritual refuge, and
serving as a model for peace and a beacon of hope in an uncertain world.