Canisius High School has suffered some serious personal losses in the past year or so, of alumni, of leadership, of supporters.
The private Jesuit high school is an educational and cultural landmark in Buffalo and Western New York, and its graduates are known to carry the strength of the area with them in whatever they do.
The death this week of its former president, the Rev. James P. Higgins, at only 54, is another blow to an extended school community that is still recovering from the loss in 2008 of ardent Canisius supporters Tim Russert and Paul J. Koessler, and John M. Granville, a 1993 graduate who was killed leading peace and development projects in Sudan.
On Jan. 4, Canisius also lost another former president, the Rev. Robert G. Cregan, who headed the school from 1974 to 1981, and alumnus and benefactor Bernard Kennedy, who donated hundreds of thousands to the school through his Kennedy Family Foundation died in 2007.
We know Canisius will get through this rough patch. It has years of history, faith and tradition to guide it.
And as one of its alumni said, the high school will survive especially because of the contributions of these people and others like them.