Father René Constanza, C.S.P., was elected the next president of the Paulist Fathers and will assume his new role in June.
Father Constanza has served as rector of St. Andrew Cathedral in Grand Rapids, Mich., since 2018 as well as superior of the Paulist Fathers in Grand Rapids. He has directed the Catholic Information Center in Grand Rapids since 2016.
“Despite the challenging and exciting task ahead, I feel a pervading sense of peace knowing that the Holy Spirit is the one in charge of our community and its mission,” said Father Constanza in a message to his parishioners. “It also is comforting to continue trusting in God who has always placed wonderful and talented people around me in every leadership role I have had.”
A native of Belize, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky., where he studied biology and secondary education; a master’s in higher education administration from the University of Louisville; and a Master of Divinity from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where he studied for the priesthood.
Ordained a priest in 2012, he served as parochial vicar of St. Austin Catholic parish in Austin, Texas, 2012-2016, and as a member of the Paulist General Council since 2018.
He will succeed Father Eric Andrews, C.S.P., who served as president for eight years. Father Andrews is a Poughkeepsie native who grew up in Pleasant Valley. He served at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan, the mother church of the Paulist Fathers, 1995-1999.
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