Msgr. Boy Sosing, 67: Good friend, beloved uncle, great priest mentor

The first Filipino priest in Long Island, Monsignor Romualdo Sosing served the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He passed away from COVID complications on May 24.

By Boyet Loverita

November 14, 2004, it was a sad day for our family. It was the funeral of our beloved mother at St. Michael Parish Church in Laoang, Northern Samar. The funeral mass was officiated by my two clergy cousins, Fr. Poten Dulay and Fr. Jonathan Loverita.

census short

It’s a Filipino tradition that after the funeral mass, there will be some pictures taken by the altar. During our picture-taking a priest emerged from the side door, approached us, and gently told us to stop. He said, and I remember distinctly, that photo memories would just add to our sadness.

It was my first encounter with Monsignor Romualdo Sosing, at the time the parish priest of our town in Laoang. After eight years we met again at St. Dominic Catholic Church in Oyster Bay, Long Island and became very good friends. 

Monsignor Sosing – called “Boy or Rom” by close friends and family — passed away May 24 at 6:15 p.m. from coronavirus complications in a hospital in Maryland. Monsignor, whom I called “Monsi Boy,” was 67.

During his last few days at the ICU he was surrounded, via Zoom, by his family, relatives, friends and parishioners all over the world, wishing him well and urging him keep his spirits up.  He passed away on May 24, and is survived by his three siblings Marieta Bansig, Sister Lourdes Sosing, and Mayor Felipe Sosing; nieces and nephews. 

Monsignor was born February 7, 1953 in Samar. His father died when he was 7 years old.  Since then, he became an altar boy in their town parish church and became the father of the family. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas in 1977 with a degree in Theology and pursued a Licentiate Degree in Canon Law in Rome, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Shortly after, he began his priesthood at the Diocese of Catarman in Northern Samar.

The Monsignor with (from left) niece Carolyn Sosing-Macuha, family friends Lindy Rosales, and the author.

He came to the U.S. in 2004 admittedly for greener pastures so he could help send his nieces and nephews to school. He served the Diocese of Rockville Centre since 2004, according to CBCP News. Previously, he served as administrator of St. Luke’s Church, Brentwood, and associate pastor of Notre Dame, New Hyde Park and St. Dominic, Oyster Bay. He became the first Filipino parish priest in Long Island while serving at the Holy Name of Mary Parish in Valley Stream in 2017; he was appointed pastor by Bishop William Murphy. It was during his second term as pastor when he was infected with the Coronavirus.

He became a US citizen in 2013, according to CBCP News.

We were talking on the phone in mid-March as the virus was raging in New York City, and he was telling me, “Boyet, I’m sure I will get this virus one day, that’s why I already gave all instructions to my niece in Delaware on what to do when the time came.”

I was laughing at him and told him, “I’ll be the first one before you to get this virus since my wife is working at Elmhurst Hospital.”

In Samar, he was a witness to the kindergarten graduation of his goddaughter Dr. Sandie Mahusay.

And it happened. I was surprised and saddened to receive a text that Monsignor had COVID-like symptoms. His niece Carolyn Sosing-Macuha immediately took him to Delaware where her family lives so she could take care of her beloved uncle. Her husband drove Monsignor Sosing from New York all the way to Delaware. Monsignor stayed in isolation in a room in their residence until he become very ill and was taken to the hospital. 

“Our relationship was very close, we’re like ‘barkada,’” said Carolyn. “I don’t have anybody in my life like him that’s why I’m hurt so bad by his early departure. He is very dear to me as we celebrate all holidays together and speak almost every day. He was supposed to stay with us after his retirement but God had a different plan.”

His associate pastor Father Cleofas Anonuevo – a COVID-19 survivor —  is very grateful to Monsignor Sosing. He said, “I call him my Mayor. He really took good care of me ever since my seminary years and showed his affection and father image to me. I see God in him. He taught me the mission of the priesthood.”

“It is with great sadness that 6:15 tonight, Msgr. Sosing, surrounded by his family, had passed and is now at peace,” the Holy Name of Mary Parish said in a Facebook post.

Monsignor was cremated last May 28 in Delaware. His ashes will stay at his niece’s residence as he so wished. Circumstances allowing, he would like his remains to be brought to the Holy Name of Mary parish for services and to finally journey to the Philippines where he will be buried with his parents in Pambujan, Northern Samar.   

census square

© The FilAm 2020

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: