Paulist Fathers elect native of Belize as order’s next president
Paulist Father René Constanza, who has served as rector of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids, Michigan, since 2018, is the new president of the Paulist Fathers.
NEW YORK — Paulist Father René Constanza, who has served as rector of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids, Michigan, since 2018, is the new president of the Paulist Fathers.
The 43-year-old priest will succeed Paulist Father Eric Andrews, who is nearing the end of his second four-year term leading the congregation.
A native of Belize, Constanza was elected by congregation members and will begin his duties in June.
“I am deeply humbled and honored by the overwhelming support I have received from my Paulist Brothers. 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,” Constanza wrote to the cathedral parish community.
“It is also comforting to continue trusting in God who has always placed wonderful and talented people around me in every leadership role I have had,” he added.
In addition to his ministry at the cathedral, Father Constanza has served as a member of the Paulist General Council. He also has been the superior of the Paulist Fathers in Grand Rapids since 2018 and director of the Catholic Information Center in Grand Rapids since 2016.
Constanza was ordained a priest in 2012 and served four years as associate pastor of St. Austin Catholic Parish in Austin, Texas. Prior to ordination, he was founding principal of Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk Town, in northern Belize.
Established in 1858, the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle was the first society of Catholic priests founded in the United States. Members serve in media, missions, campus ministries, parishes, downtown centers and the arts.
The order’s broad media ministry includes Paulist Press, the oldest Catholic publishing company in the U.S.; Paulist Productions, known for producing films and television programs; and Busted Halo, a website and satellite radio program.
Paulist priests lead parishes in New York City, Boston; Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Knoxville, Tennessee; Austin and Horseshoe Bay, Texas; and Rome and head campus ministry programs at five U.S. universities.