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New Archdeacon Appointed as Bishop Seeks to Grow Diaconate

Mar 21, 2024 | News Releases

The Rt. Rev’d E. Mark Stevenson says Frederico Garza will collaborate with Archdeacon Holly Hanback to shepherd and grow the number of deacons in The Diocese of Virginia.

“With great joy and gratitude, I am excited to announce the appointment of The Rev. Frederico Garza to serve alongside The Rev. Holly Hanback as Archdeacon,” Bishop Stevenson said following Garza’s confirmation by the Standing Committee of the diocese.


“Frederico brings a wealth of experience, deep faith, and a passion for serving the people of God. His leadership and dedication will undoubtedly enrich our diocese and contribute to the flourishing of our shared ministry.


“I ask you to join me in offering prayers of blessing and support as he embarks on this new chapter of service. May God grant Frederico wisdom, strength, and compassion in this call,” Bishop Stevenson said.

Archdeacon Garza fills the vacancy left by David Curtis, who has stepped down to pursue a new call.

Canon to the Ordinary The Rev. d’Rue Hazel, said Garza and Hanback will work closely with The Rev. Dr. Sarah Kye Price to “grow the Ministry of the Diaconate and help deacons discern the focus of their ministries with the 173 churches of the diocese.”

The Rev. Price, who is Vocations Minister for the diocese said,

“I am looking forward to working with Archdeacon Frederico who has a passion for growing and forming the diaconate and has been an instrumental part of helping to envision new pathways for Spanish-language discernment and formation as well.”

Hanback, who has known Garza since they were part of the same deacon formation group, said she looks forward to working with him.

“I am so excited to be working with Frederico and serving our community of deacons. I think we’re going to have a really great time together, hopefully uplifting and equipping our community and all the beautiful work that they do,” she said.

Garza, who works at the nonprofit Food For The Poor, has been a deacon in the diocese since 2012. He said being a deacon has been the most fulfilling and satisfying experience of his life.

“The Deacon, I believe, is the most special of the orders because our vocation requires us to go out and spend time with the poor and the outcast. There we see Jesus. And we see God performing miracles, all the time, and we see lives restored. We see hopes renewed. And we see people resurrected. And then we get to go back to the church and tell those stories,” Garza said.

For anyone who would like to explore being a deacon, Garza said “It is a vocation that will constantly feed you through seeing God with our own eyes and knowing that God is alive and working hard in this world. God does all the heavy lifting.”

“All we do is go to the places where God invites us, where God already is. And if anybody wants to be a part of that, it will be a life-changing experience. I would encourage them to explore looking into the diaconate,” Garza said.

The diocese now has almost 40 deacons, but hopes to greatly increase that number, Hanback said.

“We started ordaining deacons 13 years ago and we have grown to the community of 40 folks now with 24 actively serving in parishes and others who are serving in non parochial assignments such as Frederico who serves with Food for the Poor,” she said. “We have folks who are doing everything from prison ministry to food justice to affordable housing. We have folks working on racial reconciliation. We have folks who are working on immigration. So, we have folks doing all kinds of work out there and it’s really exciting to see where they’re leading the church.”

Deacons are members of one of three distinct orders of ordained ministry (with bishops and priests). In The Episcopal Church, a deacon exercises “a special ministry of servanthood” directly under the deacon’s bishop, serving all people, and especially those in need (BCP, p. 543). Learn about becoming a deacon in The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.