Whitestone street reamed for late St. Luke’s pastor

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.”

STJ players end careers on high note

Already some of the most decorated players in the history of St. John’s softball, graduate students Gretchen Bowie, Kaitlin Mattera and Marissa Rizzi each earned spots on the 2021 All-Big East Teams.
Bowie and Rizzi were selected to the First Team for the fourth and second times in their careers, respectively, while Mattera landed on the Second Team, marking the third time she has been honored by the conference over her collegiate career.
“Gretchen and Marissa will be remembered as two of the most successful student-athletes in the history of St. John’s softball,” said coach Bob Guerriero. “The leadership and on-field performance of Kaitlin will not be easily replaced either.”
Bowie, Mattera and Rizzi have combined for nine selections to the All-Big East First and Second Teams over their respective careers.
The trio of graduate students combined to hit nearly .375 in Big East play this season, with Bowie and Rizzi each finishing in the top-ten in batting average in conference play.
The three five-year athletes were an integral part of the Red Storm’s success over the last few years, having been keys to the program’s 2017 and 2019 Big East Regular Season Championships.
This marks the fourth season that Bowie was named to the All-Big East First Team, the most in program history. The Red Storm third baseman hit .378 in conference play this season, adding eight doubles, which was tied with Rizzi for second in the conference.
The former Big East Defensive Player of the Year’s 28 hits were tied for the best mark in the conference this season, while her ten stolen bases were also tied atop the Big East in conference action.
Overall, Bowie’s .340 average on the season was the second best of her career. In 200 games played, the Johnnies third baseman caps off her career as the program leader in triples in a career with 13, while just three RBIs short of the all-time program mark.
Bowie also recorded 193 hits, finishing just seven shy of 200.
As for Rizzi, the Red Storm first baseman earned her second consecutive First Team selection. The graduate student hit .386 in Big East play, finishing ninth in the conference, while smacking eight doubles, tied for second, and landing tied atop the conference in stolen bases.
Rizzi’s 22 hits were good enough for fifth while she led the conference in triples with two in Big East action.
Overall, Rizzi finished the 2021 campaign with a .402 batting average, just one point off her pace from 2019. She finished the season in the top five overall in the conference in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, doubles and stolen bases.
The Red Storm first baseman is the only player in program history to bat over .400 in multiple seasons in their career, as just eight other Johnnies have done it even once in the 40-year history of the program.
Mattera got stronger as the season went on in 2021. The Red Storm catcher hit .375 in conference play this season, finishing just three points outside the top ten, while collecting 24 hits, good enough for fourth in the conference.
Each of Mattera’s three home runs this season came against Big East opponents as well.
Overall, Mattera finished the season with a .354 batting average, which was the third-highest mark on the team and in her career. Like Bowie and Rizzi, she down as one of the top players in program history, as she caps off her career a .324 lifetime hitter.
Mattera racked up 157 hits, 31 doubles and 85 RBIs as a member of the Red Storm, while also holding the program record for hit by pitches in a career with 23.

St. Francis moving to new Brooklyn campus

On Tuesday morning, St. Francis College announced its plans to move to a newly designed campus in the center of downtown Brooklyn.
The relocation will move St. Francis a few blocks away from its current location and into a new 254,699-square-foot space across the fifth, six, and seventh floors of the Wheeler Building at 181 Livingston Street.
St. Francis College has offered a Franciscan education to New Yorkers for 162 years, and previously expanded from a small campus on Butler Street to an interconnected set of buildings on Remsen Street.
The new Livingston Street campus is expected to open in September 2022, and will help St. Francis welcome an ever-increasing number of students. In fall 2020, the school welcomed its largest first-year class ever.
“For more than 160 years, St. Francis College has demonstrated a commitment to providing an unmatched private education in the heart of New York City,” college president Miguel Martinez-Saenz. “This is a historic moment to completely re-envision our campus and meet the needs of our community, and we are thrilled to continue offering a first-rate, affordable education in a modern, flexible and welcoming learning space.”
Located above the art deco Macy’s on Livingston Street, the new campus was purposely designed to drive community engagement and innovation.
The facility includes flexible labs and classrooms, a 300-seat auditorium, a 260-seat cafeteria with kitchen, screening room for films, 6,600-square-foot library, and outdoor terraces with views of the city.
Although the new building contains no athletic facilities, St. Francis has confirmed that its athletic programs will continue without interruption and that the school is currently developing partnerships with nearby institutions for practice and competition space.
The new campus is a component of the school’s larger SFC Forward initiative, a long-term plan to modernize and make St. Francis competitive in the 21st century. Under SFC Forward, the college will offer new master of science degrees in exercise and sport science, special education, sports management and public health.
The school also plans on modifying its undergraduate education to offer more global perspectives and to allow for more remote learning options.
“Our students deserve nothing less than an education that meets the demands of the 21st-century economy,” said Jennifer Lancaster, vice president for Academic Affairs. “SFC Forward ensures that we are immersing our students in global perspectives and learning experiences, expanding into emerging fields, and reinforcing students as critical thinkers, leaders and lifelong learners.”
The campus announcement also marked an opportunity for St. Francis to celebrate its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Self-identified Black and Hispanic students continue to make up the majority of St. Francis College’s student body, and the college also enrolls international students as 10 percent of its student body.
“We are incredibly proud that the St. Francis College community increasingly reflects the rich diversity of this city and of our world,” said Monique Moore Pryor, Chief Engagement and External Affairs Officer. “Through an academic curriculum attuned to diverse voices, recruitment and retention of the very best employees of different backgrounds, and ongoing programming that promotes open dialogue, the college will continue to champion and grow our inclusivity with intent and thoughtfulness.”
Many of Brooklyn’s elected officials have expressed their support for the new campus.
“For years, SFC has provided topnotch educational opportunities to students from Brooklyn and beyond, helping to set them up for a lifetime of success,” said Borough President Eric Adams. “This move underscores that the future of higher education in our borough and our city is bright.”
“St. Francis College has propelled social mobility and created an excellent academic environment for students seeking to take advantage of all the opportunities New York City has to offer for more than 160 years,” added Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. “I am excited for all that is in store for the College and its future students at their new campus in Brooklyn.”

St. Joe’s sends off seniors

Senior Kevin Reyes went 4-for-4 at the plate and scored a run while Anthony Hernandez went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, however, the St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn) baseball team dropped the first game of Sunday’s twin bill to SUNY Maritime College, 7-5.
Joining Reyes and Hernandez with multi-hit games were Floral Park Memorial product Chris Leary and Nick Tapio, who both hit doubles and recorded an RBI each. Louis Lombardi also drove in a pair of runs.
Reyes would go 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored in the nightcap while Leary drove home both runs for the Bears (2-20, 1-14 Skyline) as the Privateers (10-5, 7-2) took the 14-2 win.
Along with Reyes, SJC honored their six graduating seniors from Gregg Alfano Field: C.J. Bunnicelli, Darius Cadle, William DeLuca, Nicholas Hernandez, and Maspeth native Matthew Rienzi. All six seniors would see action on Sunday.
In game one, the Privateers took an early 2-0 lead in the first thanks to a double that found the left-center field gap. Reyes’ leadoff double began the bottom half of the inning, scoring on Leary’s single to put the Bears on the board.
Hernandez followed that up with a single up the middle before he and Leary scored on a two-bagger by Lombardi; giving the Bears a 3-2 edge.
Vasilios Vafakos drew the game even at three with a single in the away half of the second. The freshman outfielder batted in the go-ahead run on a sac fly in the fourth, 4-3.
Leary doubled to begin the fifth. Hernandez blooped a single over the head of the Maritime first baseman and down the right-field line to once again tie the game, this time at four apiece.
It remained knotted until the eighth, when Danny Green’s RBI single gave the Privateers the lead at 5-4. Bunnicelli was pulled after 7.1 innings, allowing three earned runs and settling for the loss.
In the nightcap, a combination of passed balls and wild pitches plated Vafakos for the opening run of the game in the first, adding a couple more later in the frame.
As was the case in game one, Reyes led off the Bears’ half of the first with a double and scored on Leary’s single up the middle, grabbing a run back at 3-1.
Maritime saw their three-run lead restored in the second, but the Bears once again cut the deficit to two in the third with Leary bringing Reyes home, this time via a sac bunt, 4-2.
The Privateers further distanced themselves by scoring in each of the final four innings, headlined by a pair of doubles in that stretch and a seventh-inning homer, to win the non-conference game 14-2 and sweep the series from SJC.
DeLuca started the game on the mound for the Bears, tossing an inning and being dealt the loss. Rienzi played his 45th and final game in a Bears uniform, extending the program record for appearances by a pitcher, coming on for DeLuca in the second.
It was followed up by Cadle’s longest outing of the season, pitching 2.2 innings in relief and striking out three.
The seventh inning saw Reyes fan a pair in his first-ever appearance on the bump and Bunnicelli, entering as a pinch hitter, notching his first collegiate hit in the bottom of the inning.

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