In 1993, Monsignor R. Roy Cosby became the ninth pastor of St. James. Msgr. Cosby celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his ordination at St. James Church on May 4, 1994. Before entering the seminary, R. Roy Cosby earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree in Teaching Science from the University of Virginia. He began his career in the US Patent Office and taught at St. Francis College in Loretto, PA, before entering the seminary. One of his first assignments following his ordination in 1954 was a science teacher position at St. John Vianney Seminary High School in the Diocese of Richmond. Monsignor Cosby came to St. James placing a high value on a quality education. Together with the school principal, Sister Janet Regina, IHM, and plant supervisor, Mr. Bill McCarthy, Monsignor Cosby began a strategic plan to renovate and modernize St. James School. He had Air conditioning installed in the school, as well as a new heating system to replaced the old. The team allocated classroom space for the school’s first computer and science labs. Additional improvements saw Shelves and cubbies built in the classrooms, new tiles laid on the floors, ceilings, and walls were freshly painted and wood trims restained. These improvements to the school were made possible through the support of the parish and active involvement of the PTO.
In 1998, the U.S. Department of Education named St. James School a Blue Ribbon School for the first time. Sister Janet Regina, school principal, was honored to accept this award on behalf of the school’s students, faculty, staff, parents, and parish community.
Monsignor Cosby began communications with the IHM Motherhouse regarding the IHM Ministry Transition (retired teaching Sisters who assist parishes in various other ministries). This effort paved the way for our Visiting Ministry led by an IHM Sister, begun under Father Posey upon Monsignor Cosby’s retirement.
As classroom renovations continued, Monsignor Cosby began a new construction project with the support of the Parish Building Fund and the PTO, a gymnasium dedicated to the memory of Joseph B. Knecht, a graduate of St. James School. Knecht was an active parishioner and involved school parent until his untimely passing in a construction accident. Due to Knecht’s constant support of St. James, Monsignor Crosby decided to dedicate the new building to his memory. The $1.6 million Joseph B. Knecht Gymnasium opened on January 24, 1999.
Monsignor Cosby retired from St. James with an assignment in the Diocese of Arlington Chancery. He is now fully retired and living with his family in their home in Hanover County, Virginia. His hobbies include music, organ building, electronics, and electric autos.
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