Assignment Record – Rev. John M. Costello, s.j.

Summary of Case: Costello was accused in November 2003 of sexually abusing a 15-year-old male student in 1980 at Regis High School in the New York archdiocese, where Costello worked before ordination. The Jesuits suspended him from his job at McQuaid High School in the Rochester diocese in November 2003. (He had also been principal of Canisius High School in the Buffalo diocese 1989-1992.) He was reinstated in January 2004 because, according to the Jesuits, the accuser had recanted. Costello was transferred in 2005 to Murray-Weigel Hall, a Jesuit residence in the Bronx, where he was given the role of "minister." He was also assigned to campus ministry at Fordham Prep High School.

Ordained: 1984

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes
    Regis High School

New York (Manhattan)

• Costello was accused in November 2003 of sexually abusing a 15-year-old male student at Regis in 1980. In an internal investigation, Jesuits clearedCostello, stating that the accuser had recanted.

NY teacher; seminarian Costello taught at Regis before his ordination. The precise years are not known.
1984 1985 Regis University Toronto Ontario, Canada student The 1985 Directory lists Costello at 23 Sultan St.


Bishop of Rochester was Matthew Harvey Clark (1979-).

1988 McQuaid Jesuit High School Rochester NY   School had 828-765 students, grades 7-12, all male.


New York archbishop was John Joseph O'Connor (1984-2000).

1989 Jesuit Community at Fordham University New York NY  



Buffalo bishop was Edward Dennis Head (1973-1995).

1992 Canisius High School Buffalo NY principal Number of students not indicated.


Rochester diocese

1998 McQuaid Jesuit High School Rochester NY  

School had 680-769 students.


New York archdiocese

1999 Jesuit Provincial's Office Bronx NY   The 1999 Directory indexes Costello under "Jesuit Provincial's Office" in NYC, his address c/o the Office. He is not indexed at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, but he is still listed there in the Rochester diocesan pages.


Rochester diocese

2005 McQuaid Jesuit High School Rochester NY English and religion teacher

School had 839-886 students.

Costello was suspended November 2003 for an abuse allegation and reinstated on January 7, 2004. He finished the 2003-2004 school year, and then apparently one more year, before he was transferred to the infirmary for elderly and sick Jesuits in New York City, where he was the minister.

    Bishop Kearney High School Rochester NY sacramental minister Position mentioned in 2004 article, which states that Costello had also taught here.


New York archbishop was Edward Michael Egan (2000-).


Murray-Weigel Hall Bronx NY minister This is the infirmary building for the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) of the New York Province.
2009 2015 Fordham Preparatory School     campus minister Fordham Prep. had 930-950 students, all male. Per Fordham Prep's website in February 2015, Costello remains on staff.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1985-2014

Welehan Letter to Alumni, November 7, 2003
McQuaid Press Release , November 15, 2003
McQuaid Suspends Faculty Member Accused of Sexual Misconduct, By Matthew Daneman, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 16, 2003
Inquiries Made into Priest's Past, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 21, 2003
Charge Names Ex-Principal of Canisius, Buffalo News, November 22, 2003
Priest Returns to McQuaid, By Patrice Walsh, WOKR-TV, January 7, 2004
Priest Cleared in Abuse Case, By Jeffrey Blackwell, Democrat and Chronicle, January 8, 2004
Fordham Preparatory School, accessed February 9, 2015

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy & Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Costello's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on February 9, 2015.


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