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
Sept. 20. He was 92.
Brother Mike entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in the summer of 1946, after graduating from Philadelphia’s Northeast Catholic High School. He made first profession of vows on Jan. 18, 1948, and made perpetual profession on Jan. 18, 1953.
From 1948 through 1954, Bro. Mike served as director of maintenance and reconstruction at De Chantal Hall in Lewistown, New York. From 1954 through 1962, he served as pastoral assistant at St. Anthony of Padua parish in Wilmington. 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 in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. In 1966 he returned to St. Anthony of Padua parish and resumed his former responsibilities, including assisting with construction of 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 variously described as a “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.
Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Sept. 28 in St. Anthony’s, and he was interred in the Mass at the Oblate Cemetery, 1120 Blue Ball Road in Childs, Maryland.
Donations may be made to the Oblate Development Fund, 2200 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington 19806. IAH
In Memoriam: Bro. Michael Rosenello Jr. helped build Padua Academy