City Council approves passage of street co-naming in honor of late Whitestone monsignor

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Courtesy of Councilman Paul Vallone’s office

The City Council on Thursday, Dec. 17, voted to approve Councilman Paul Vallone’s bill to co-name the intersection of Clintonville Street and Locke Avenue in Whitestone after Monsignor John C. Tosi. 

An official ceremony to reveal “Msgr. John C. Tosi Way” is slated to take place in spring 2021 in front of St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church, located at 16-34 Clintonville St., where Tosi served as a pastor for 15 years.

“I’m proud to announce this much-deserved honor for Monsignor Tosi, who was regarded as a local stalwart and a man of deep faith,” Vallone said. “I look forward to joining together as a community in the new year to celebrate his life and legacy in northeast Queens.”

Tosi was a priest for more than 45 years and a monsignor for 23 years within the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens. He died at the age of 73 on May 23, after suffering from a coronary condition for the past several years. 

“He was a generous, dedicated, and caring priest who went out of his way to help others,” said Fr. John Costello, the current pastor of St. Luke’s. “He loved Jesus, he loved the Church, he loved the parish, and he loved the community – he was a Queen’s boy who grew up not too far away in Flushing. His memory and his legacy will live on for many years here at St. Luke.”

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

He was ordained in May 1973 by Bishop Francis Mugavero at St. James Pro-Cathedral, in downtown Brooklyn. Tosi was named a Monsignor in 1997, and in January 2005, was named pastor of St. Luke’s, 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. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus in Whitestone and supported the Veterans of Foreign Wars and many other local organizations, such as the Whitestone Taxpayers Association.

He also worked hard for quality education in St. Luke’s School, where students, parents and faculty were blessed to have had his guidance and support over the years.