Rev. William Saunders
As a priest, Father Saunders has served as the Assistant Pastor at St. Mary Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia (1984-1988), the Campus Chaplain and Adjunct professor of Theology for Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia (1988-1993), and the Assistant Pastor (1993-1995) and subsequently the Pastor (1995-2000) at Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia.
During this time, Father Saunders pursued studies at Catholic University, receiving a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration in 1992.
He was appointed as President of the Notre Dame Institute for Catechectics in 1992, and Graduate School offering a Master of Arts in Catechectics, Sacred Scripture, and Spirituality. On February 1, 1997, the Notre Dame Institute officially merged with Christendom College, Front Royal, Virginia, becoming the Notre Dame Graduate School. At that time, Father Saunders was appointed Dean of the Graduate School.
All of his education and experience until now were needed to prepare Father Saunders for his next challenge. On March 29, 2000, Father was tapped by Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia to be the founding Pastor of a new parish to be located in Potomac Falls, Virginia. The appointment was made public on June 6, 2000, in the Arlington Catholic Herald.
The parish of Our Lady of Hope held it’s first Mass on August 6, 2000 at Potomac Falls High School. Father Saunders was officially installed as Pastor by Rev. Msgr. James W. McMurtrie, Episcopal Vicar for Parish Devleopment for the Diocese of Arlington, on behalf of Bishop Loverde.