Queens lawmaker proposes street co-naming in honor of late Whitestone Monsignor

Screen Shot 2020-10-29 at 1.44.06 PM
Courtesy of Councilman Paul Vallone’s office

Councilman Paul Vallone has submitted legislation to co-name an intersection of Clintonville Street and Locke Avenue in Whitestone as “Msgr. John C. Tosi Way.”

Community Board 7 voted on and approved the co-naming at their meeting on Monday, Oct. 26, and the bill is currently being reviewed by the Speaker’s office. 

Tosi was a priest for over 45 years and a monsignor for 23 years in the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens. Tosi died on May 23 after suffering from a coronary condition for the past several years. He was 73 years old.

Monsignor Tosi was a man of deep faith and firm commitment to bettering each and every community he served throughout his lifetime,” Vallone said. “His loss is felt profoundly throughout the Whitestone community and I’m proud to propose this street co-naming in his honor.”

Born in Flushing, Tosi attended St. Ann’s School, Msgr. McClancy H.S., Cathedral College, Douglaston, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. 

Tosi was ordained in May 1973 by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero at St. James Pro-Cathedral in downtown Brooklyn. He served as an assistant at Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach from 1973-87 and Resurrection-Ascension in Rego Park from 1987-91.

In 1991, he was appointed executive secretary of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, a position he held until 2005, and in 1995, he assumed the additional duty of rector of St. James Cathedral. 

In 1997, Tosi was named Monsignor. In January 2005, he was named pastor of St. Luke’s in Whitestone, where he remained until his death. Tosi rebuilt St. Luke’s Church and made many renovations to the Queens parish based on his experiences with the Diocesan Liturgical Commission.

Enrico Urgo, Grand Knight of the Msgr. Francis Dillon Council #5872, said they had proposed and requested the street co-naming to honor Tosi for all of his dedication, not only to their council, but to the elderly, veterans, and the children of St. Luke school in the community. 

 “We felt, what better way to memorialize him than to have the street co-named in front of the very own rectory/church where he served for 15 years and touched the lives of many parishioners as well as community members,” Urgo said. “So now this is an opportunity to say thank you, not only from myself, but also from all the brother knights of the Msgr. Francis Dillon Council #5872 and all those in the St. Luke community.”

 The City Council is scheduled to vote on a slate of street co-namings this winter.