Bro. Michael J. Rosenello, Jr., OSFS, professed member of the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales for 71 years, died on September 20, 2019.
Brother Mike was born on July 17, 1927 in Camden, New Jersey, the son of the late Michael J. Rosenello, Sr. and Anna (Carey) Rosenello. He attended St. Benedict parochial school in Philadelphia and graduated from Northeast Catholic High School in 1946. That summer, he entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, made first profession of vows on January 18, 1948 and made perpetual profession on January 18, 1953.
From 1948 through 1954, Bro. Mike served as director of maintenance and reconstruction at De Chantal Hall in Lewistown, NY. From 1954 through 1962, he served as pastoral assistant at St. Anthony of Padua parish in Wilmington, Delaware. Other duties included Director of Youth Ministry, Director of Maintenance/Cafeteria at the original Padua Academy and helping with the construction of the new parish elementary school. From 1962 through 1966, Bro. Mike supervised the reconstruction of the Villa Maria Retreat House (today’s Caron Foundation) in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. In 1966 he returned to St. Anthony of Padua parish and resumed his former responsibilities, including assisting with construction of the present Padua Academy beginning in 1967. After serving both the Church and the City of Wilmington’s “Little Italy” neighborhood for over six decades, Bro. Rosenello was assigned to the Oblate retirement community at Childs, Maryland in 2017.
Bro. Mike was many things to many people. Words used to describe him include “contractor”, “chef”, “caterer”, “coach”, “confidant” and “carnival barker”. His model railroad display at Padua Academy during the Christmas season was legendary, as was his affection for St. Bernard dogs. He was featured in articles in the News Journal and the Dialogue. In 1990, Bro. Mike made the cover of Delaware Today magazine. Simply put, Bro. Mike Rosenello, OSFS was bigger than life.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:45 AM on Saturday, September 28, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 901 N. DuPont Street (19805) in Wilmington, DE, where visitation will begin at 8:30 AM. Interment will take place following the Mass at the Oblate Cemetery, 1120 Blue Ball Road in Childs, Maryland.
Donations in honor of Bro. Mike’s life and legacy may be made to the Oblate Development Fund, 2200 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE. 19806.
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