- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 9, 2006

The parish of St. Leo the Great has more than 8,000 members and a 490-student K-8 school. Located near George Mason University, it attracts a large number of college-age members as well as local older generations. It was renovated extensively in 2002.

The head pastor, the Rev. John D. Kelly, was ordained in May 1986 after attending seminary at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md. Father Kelly is assisted by two parochial vicars: the Rev. Stephen McGraw and the Rev. Phillip Cozzi.

Father Cozzi was ordained June 10 with six other men from the Diocese of Arlington. He received his bachelor of arts degree in philosophy at the University of Virginia and studied pre-theology in Maryland and Pennsylvania before attending seminary at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

“It’s a unique opportunity to study theology,” he said of his time in Italy. It was “a blessing to be in the city of the shepherd,” he added, referring to Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

While in seminary, Father Cozzi traveled across Europe. He said the “Holy House of Loretto” in central Italy was his favorite place to visit. Thought to have been the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it was transported to Loretto during the Crusades. Father Cozzi said his visit there helped him discern the will of God for his life.

Alison Hoover

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