About this Website

This is the official website for Fr. Saunders’ Straight Answers about the Catholic Faith. This website contains all of the questions and answers that Fr. Saunders covered in his books Straight Answers I and Straight Answers II as well as newly asked questions. It also contains Fr. Saunders 20-part RCIA class, which provides a comprehensive overview of the Catholic Faith.

You are invited to ask a question (if you can’t find the answer on this site already!). And if you prefer the printed word to the digital word, you can buy the books – Book I and Book II.

About Rev. William P. Saunders


Father William P. Saunders was born on March 9, 1957 in Washington, DC to Dr. Joseph F. and Pauline C. Saunders. In 1959, his family moved to Springfield, Virginia where he was raised. He has one older brother, Joseph F. Saunders, Jr.

After graduating from West Springfield High School as the class valedictorian in 1975, he attended the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and with membership in Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.

During the summer after college graduation, Father Saunders focused on the vocation to the priesthood, with which he had been wrestling since college. He applied to the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia for admission into the seminary, and was assigned to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1984 Father Saunders graduated from St. Charles Seminary with a Master of Arts in Sacred Theology, Summa cum laude, and was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on May 12.

Life as a Priest

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.

Our Lady of Hope

On March 29, 2000, Father Saunders was selected 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 Development for the Diocese of Arlington, on behalf of Bishop Loverde.

In 2005 Fr. Saunders opened Our Lady of Hope Catholic School for grades K-8. On January 17, 2006, Bishop Loverde consecrated the altar of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church. Fr. Saunders has been transferred to St. Agnes Catholic Church in Arlington VA, as of June 25, 2020.