Header Our Grounds


(written in the year 2000)

Approximately fourteen years ago a member of the M.A.N. Foundation discovered an abandoned chapel in Edmeston, New York. She had been told that the chapel was built under the direction of Mother Elena Leonardi (now deceased) from Italy. Mother Leonardi was given coordinates by the Blessed Virgin Mary that led to Angel Hill, in Edmeston, New York.

In 1985, Franciscan monks from Canada built the chapel. After many trials and difficulties the chapel was not completed and lay abandoned.
The member of the M.A.N. Foundation then donated the funds to purchase the chapel. However, the beautiful statue of Mary, under the title of “Rosa Mystica,” was removed by the priest who was selling the chapel.

The first thing the foundation did was to raise $18,000 to have the statue returned. Anyone who ever laid eyes on the statue knew the chapel would never be the same until the magnificent 8.5 foot statue of Mary, carved in Montichiari, Italy, was returned.

Our History

The M.A.N. Foundation’s mission has always been to build Catholic churches, religious schoolhouses and convents in 3rd world countries as well as the promotion of the Rosary, education of seminarians and novitiates.

However, Noreen Von Zwehl and the board of M.A.N. rather hesitantly decided to take on this challenge. Now, to give you a little background on M.A.N. Foundation, we were only six years in existence and running tight on funds at the time. Our belief was “money in – money out.” Build another church for the poor today – they need it.

Well, as the story goes, unfortunately when the repairs on the chapel were originally estimated, there was no heat, water, nor bathrooms, – not even an altar, statues, pews etc. The board met on the subject and everybody agreed, “Hand this chapel over to the religious order. This is out of our league.” Father William McCarthy of My Father’s House in Moodus, Connecticut was recommended to us by FOCUS TV’s Archbishop Hannon to run the chapel. We all arranged to meet at the chapel and Father McCarthy agreed to take it over and conduct retreats there. The night before the contract was to be signed Father McCarthy was taken ill; consequently he decided he could not undertake the responsibility.

When I got word of this, it immediately came to me that this was not what we should be doing with the chapel. We were passing the buck so to speak. I then had a strong feeling that the Blessed Mother wanted the M.A.N. Foundation to stay with the project, involve the religious and, find out what Mary’s message is under the title of Rosa Mystica.

Upon reading the literature on Rosa Mystica it became more apparent why we should be involved – very definitely involved. A good part of our work was in helping to build up the clergy in the Catholic Church. We had in fact just completed a library at Stella Maris seminary, South Vietnam, and we were on our way to educating 50 seminarians. In Montichiari Mary appeared as the Rosa Mystica with three swords in her heart – all three swords for the sins of priests – later replaced by three roses – healing these sins.

When the chapel was built nineteen years ago who would ever have thought that we would have seen what is happening with the priests of today? …everything started coming together. However, M.A.N. Foundation funds were still so limited – we had already raised funds to bring the statue back. How could we go out and ask sponsors for more money?

In discussing this with our board of directors, I said that I would put up the funds to complete the chapel – to show how strong my feelings were that this chapel should be completed. Perhaps others would then join in and see this as a place of healing, a place for the laity to come and for priests to come to Our Lady for deep reconciliation. It also came across my mind that our mission must be – the poor will always be with us but without our priests there is no Eucharist, no mass, no Catholic church. What could possibly be more important than such a mission?

Where do we go from here? I am praying on it. We cannot undertake this mission without good people involved – without sponsors who fully support our efforts and join us in this mission –


Noreen Von Zwehl
Chairman of the Board, M.A.N. Foundation

Blessed Mother Queen of America Protect Us

M.A.N. Foundation (which Rosa Mystica is under the umbrella of ) started over 26 years ago by Noreen Von Zwehl to help mankind spiritually under the teachings of St Therese Martin, St. Teresa Avila and Therese Neuman. Noreen’s small, local mission grew exponentially into worldwide assistance to the spirituality impoverished. When the African Church was completed in 2011, the M.A.N. Foundation touched the lives of people on each continent of the globe.

The Foundation began focusing on strengthening the mission at home. Under the guidance of Our Blessed Mother, Rosa Mystica Chapel opened for prayer in 2001. Rosa Mystica has since grown into a spiritual haven with retreats, conferences and more, with accommodations to house over 70 people.

With inspiration from Our Blessed Mother, we also have provided financial assistance to men entering the seminary. With their financial burden being lightened, we hope it will allow them to concentrate more fully on their theological studies. It is the hope of the foundation, that men of the Priesthood, In Addition to laity, will utilize the Chapel and Village as an opportunity for personal prayer and retreats; a chance to refocus and rejuvenate their spirituality.

It became clear the Rosa Mystica would become our main focus and mission. The Board of Directors unanimously decided to to transition from M.A.N. Foundation’s initial worldwide missions under the three saints – to the new mission under The Blessed Mother; Rosa Mystica Foundation of America.

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to join us advance this mission.

Pictoral History