Faith Matters Mrs. Rosenello.jpeg

Mary Rosenello loved her family, community, and remained committed to her faith. 

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NORTH WILDWOOD – “Outside of the ordained people that I know, Mom was the most faithful layperson I know,” North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello said Jan. 5.  

Mary Rosenello, 88, passed away peacefully Dec. 24, leaving “a large and loving family,” according to her obituary.  Although the mayor is a well-known public figure, he spoke as a son who misses his mother and desires to carry on her legacy.  

Rosenello lived 44 years in North Wildwood and involved herself in community life. According to the mayor, she especially loved young people and wanted them to succeed in life.  

Humble Beginnings  

Born in 1933, Rosenello entered the world during America’s Great Depression. Her early life revolved around family and religious values. Raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, Rosenello grew up attending services with her parents, James and Catherine Conway, in Philadelphia.  

The lack of material possessions didn’t dampen her spirit, according to the mayor. Even as a grown woman, Rosenello gave to those in need around her. She annually sponsored a student at Holy Name School, in Camden. She also participated at the Lazarus House Ministries, in Wildwood.   

“She tried to live the best Christian life that she could,” Mayor Rosenello said.  

How did an Irish girl obtain an Italian last name? According to the mayor, his parents met at a parish dance.  

“The rest is history,” he said.  

Shore Bound 

In 1977, Rosenello and her husband, Joseph, relocated to North Wildwood. Her ninth child joined them after the move.  

With nine children to raise, Rosenello’s life brimmed with the rhythms of family life. During summer vacation, she still ensured her children received faith-based instruction. 

“Mom had no problem sending me to the Baptist Bible study,” Patrick Rosenello said.  

The mayor also reflected on his mother’s “consistency” and love for God and the Bible. She respected others and their beliefs.  

Even in life’s ups and downs, Rosenello moved forward in faith.  

Luminous Legacy  

As her children began leaving home, Rosenello found a new source of fulfillment as a guidance counselor at Wildwood Catholic Academy. She met with high school seniors and helped them with their college applications from 1987–2001.  

“She took a lot of pride in helping students,” the mayor explained.  

Rosenello ensured that every senior submitted their applications on time and in the correct manner. She helped over 1,200 students during her tenure, according to the mayor.  

Proud of her ancestry and heritage, Rosenello was a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH). She “kept track” of the AOH essay scholarship program.  

“Mom loved North Wildwood,” the mayor said.  

Her faith and love for others will remain.  

“Mom wasn’t afraid of death,” the mayor said.  

The greatest impact often comes in quiet ways and Rosenello’s life reminds all of what truly matters.  

Rosenello’s funeral took place at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church Jan. 8. 

Faith Matters is an ongoing series exploring the connection between individuals and their faith, impacting their families, community, and beyond. Those with a story of faith       


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