Jesuit Father Joseph Costantino has been appointed as the new president of Canisius High School, in Buffalo, N.Y., beginning July 1. Fr. Costantino is returning to the site of his first assignment as a Jesuit novice in 1978.
His appointment also marks a return to a Jesuit president for the 143-year-old school. He succeeds John Knight, the first lay president in the school’s history. Knight left Canisius in 2012 to lead St. Ignatius Preparatory School in San Francisco. In the interim, P. Joseph Koessler served as president while the Canisius High board searched for a permanent replacement.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to have a Jesuit back at the helm of Canisius. That was one of our key objectives we were seeking to fulfill,” said the chair of the school’s board of trustees David Kersten.
Fr. Costantino has been the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in New York City since September 2006.. A Brooklyn native, Fr. Costantino entered the Society of Jesus in 1977 and was ordained in 1987. Fr. Costantino is also a member of the board of trustees at Canisius College, where he spent three years teaching philosophy. He holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University, a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University and both a Master of Divinity and Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass. (now the Boston College School of Theology).
He was executive director of St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, N.Y., for seven years, and is a former board member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, which provides service opportunities for retirees with the poor. Fr. Costantino also served as director of vocations for the New York and Maryland Province Jesuits.
“Living in community with the Jesuits who served at the high school and working alongside a group of seasoned Canisius lay faculty members in the Higher Achievement Program, I experienced the joys of teaching and learned about the magnificent work of this special Jesuit apostolate in Buffalo,” said Fr. Costantino, recalling his time at Canisius High as a Jesuit novice. [Buffalo News, Business First]