New pastor in Gainesville, administrator in Alexandria

After years of ministerial work as founding pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Gainesville, Father Francis Peffley has reached the decision that it is beneficial to step down from his current responsibilities and obligations. Accordingly, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde has accepted Father Peffley's resignation as pastor and has given him an assignment as parochial vicar of St. John the Apostle Parish in Leesburg.

The resignation as pastor and appointment as parochial vicar will be effective Oct. 12.

Father Peffley was appointed the founding pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in 2001. During his tenure there he oversaw the construction of the church, which was dedicated in February 2008.

Also effective Oct. 12 is the appointment of Father Thomas P. Vander Woude as pastor of Holy Trinity and Father Marcus A. Pollard as parochial administrator of Queen of Apostles Parish in Alexandria.

Father Pollard was born in Frankfurt, West Germany, Dec. 22, 1962, to David and Ilse Pollard. He has three brothers, including Father Christopher Pollard, now serving with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York.

He attended public school in Fairfax County, graduating from Oakton High School in Vienna in 1981. Father Pollard received a bachelor's from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., and continued his theological studies at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. His diaconate assignment was at St. Luke Parish in McLean.

He was ordained by the late Arlington Bishop John R. Keating May 19, 1990, and was appointed parochial vicar of Holy Family Parish in Dale City. Father Pollard served as parochial vicar of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Warrenton and St. Louis Parish in Alexandria. He was named administrator of the newly formed St. Veronica Parish in Herndon in 1999. He also served as parochial vicar of St. Bernadette Parish in Springfield.

Father Pollard has been a spiritual director in the Legion of Mary. He spearheaded evangelization efforts for the diocese as chairman of the Evangelization Committee of the Priests' Council.

Father Vander Woude was born March 26, 1966, in Meridian, Miss. He attended school in Marietta, Ga., until his parents moved their family to Nokesville, Va., so that their seven sons could attend Seton School in Manassas.

After graduating from Seton in 1984 and Christendom College in Front Royal in 1988, Father Vander Woude began his priestly formation at Mount St. Mary's Seminary. He spent his diaconate year of St. Joseph Parish in Herndon and was ordained by Bishop Keating on May 16, 1992.

His priestly assignments have been of St. Mary Parish in Alexandria, St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Great Falls, St. Agnes Parish in Arlington and Queen of Apostles.

An avid sportsman, Father Vander Woude is a member of the Earthen Vessels, a priests' basketball team that helps raise funds for schools and organizations through charity basketball games.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2011