Fresh Meadows street to be named after late bishop

By Madina Toure

A street in Fresh Meadows will be renamed after the late bishop Ignatius Catanello in a ceremony this summer.

The city announced that it will rename 74th Avenue between 175th Street and Utopia Parkway in Fresh Meadows Bishop Ignatius A. Catanello Way. The ceremony will take place June 7 at the Holy Family Church at 175-20 74th Ave. in Fresh Meadows.

Catanello, who died in March 2013, was bishop emeritus at the Holy Family Church for about 20 years.

Casper Furnari, Holy Family Church’s pastor, who administered the parish for Catanello for several years, said Catanello received many phone calls and visitors and that people would regularly attend his mass.

“When he died, many people felt that loss but we’re keeping his name going and this is another wonderful way of having the street named ater him as a reminder of his dedication, his time here,” Furnari said.

The street is among 56 thoroughfares and public places that have been approved for numerous renamings as part of a bill introduced by the City Council’s Committee on Parks and Recreation. The bill was enacted Feb. 5.

The Holy Knights of Columbus Council, which Catanello founded, approached City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), a co-sponsor of the bill, about two years ago about renaming a street in his honor, Furnari said.

The council will be changing its name to the Holy Family-Bishop Ignatius Catanello Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Lancman said the city was happy to honor the bishop.

“I had many positive interactions with the bishop, particularly when I was in the state assembly,” Lancman said.

Catanello lived and served in the Diocese of Brooklyn his entire life, according to the Diocese of Brooklyn. He graduated from St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights and attended Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington.

He received two master’s degrees from and taught theology as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University and received a doctorate in religious studies from New York University.

He also served as an assistant pastor at St. Rita’s in Long Island City, St. Helen’s in Howard Beach, St. Ann’s in Flushing and Our Lady of Angels in Bay Ridge.

Lancman said the city is currently trying to determine a time to hold the official unveiling ceremony, but that they have decided to do it some time in the spring when the weather is nicer.

“I think the Holy Family community is very excited about it,” he said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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