The street in front of St. Luke’s Church in Whitestone now bears the name of the man who led the parish since 2005.
Member of the Knights of Columbus, who pushed for the renaming, were on hand for the unveiling of “Monsignor John Tosi Way” last Friday on Clintonville Street at Locke Avenue.
Councilman Paul Vallone sponsored the renaming, and State Senator John Liu, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein and Borough President Donovan Richards joined the councilman at the ceremony.
“It can be a little intimidating to think that I am going to be the pastor on Monsignor John Tosi Way,” said Tosi’s successor, Father John Costello. “Not Monsignor John Tosi Street, not Monsignor John Tosi Avenue, Monsignor John Tosi Way.
“Those of you who know and love Monsignor Tosi know his way could be a little daunting,” he added. “But as pastor, at the very bottom of his heart Monsignor John Tosi’s way was the way of Jesus. So that’s what I hope to model when I see that sign.”
Tosi was born in Flushing and attended St. Ann’s School, Monsignor McClancy High School, Cathedral College in Douglaston and Immaculate Conception Seminary.
He was ordained a priest in 1973 and named a monsignor in 1997. He passed away last May due to a heart condition.
Tosi also spent time at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach, Resurrection Ascension in Rego Park, and as rector of St. James Cathedral in Downtown Brooklyn.
During his tenure at the 151-year-old St. Luke’s, Tosi made many renovations to the Queens parish based on his experiences with the Diocesan Liturgical Commission. In Whitestone, he also joined the local Knights of Columbus.
“Once we heard of Monsignor Tosi’s passing, we put our heads together thinking, ‘how can we memorialize him,’” said grand knight Enrico Urgo.
Also on hand for the renaming was Tosi’s sister, Susan Zaretti, and her husband John.
“I really, really appreciate all the love shown to him while he was here,” she told the parishioners gathered for the event. “You treated him like family and he loved this place so much.”