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A New York City priest with long ties to the Buffalo area has been appointed as the new president of Canisius High School.

The Rev. Joseph Costantino, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in New York City since September 2006, will be returning to the site of his first assignment since serving as a Jesuit novice at Canisius High School back in 1978.

“He spent some time in the school, and that was kind of when he first became acquainted with the school and Buffalo and Western New York,” David J. Kersten, chairman of the school’s board of trustees, said Friday.

Costantino will assume his new role beginning July 1.

A Brooklyn native, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1977 and was ordained in 1987. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees at Canisius College, where, more than 30 years ago, he spent three years teaching philosophy.

“So he has an orientation, certainly, to Western New York higher ed and education, in general,” Kersten said.

“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,” he added.

Costantino holds a bachelor of arts degree from New York University, a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University, and both a master of divinity and licentiate from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.

He has served seven years as executive director of St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset and is a past board member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corp., which provides service opportunities for retirees with the poor. He also was director of vocations for the New York and Maryland provinces, Society of Jesus.

Costantino will have his first opportunity to be reintroduced to Canisius High School staff Tuesday. More formal introductory gatherings involving the wider Canisius community will be scheduled for the fall.

email: hmcneil@buffnews.com