The Most Reverend Efren A. Garza, RN, AASN, a former Episcopal Priest, is of Latino descent, born of migrant parents in Nixon Texas. He began his ministry career Dec 1992 when he, his wife and two young daughters joined Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in San Jose, California. He was called to Holy Orders while with Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Episcopal Parish and received his priestly formation at the Episcopal School for Deacons Cross Cultural program for Spanish speaking persons. He was ordained to the Deaconate on April 29, 1999, on the Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena. at St Paul's Episcopal Church in Salinas, California and to the Priesthood on November 23, 1999, on the Feast of St. Clement I at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in San Jose, California by The Right Reverend Richard Symphky, DD, second Bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real. The following year on Easter Day on April 4th of 2000, a bilingual Spanish/English mission founded by The Reverend Efren Garza on Easter Day of 1999, was officially named Santa Maria Virgen by Bishop Sympky. Santa Maria Virgen ministry use's the Book of Common Prayer for all of our liturgical and sacramental worship. While with the Episcopal Church The Reverend Efren A. Garza served as both lay leader and as Priest on various committees and task forces as well as on on the Board of Directors of the Diocese of El Camino Real. In 2009 The Reverend Efren Garza and Santa Maria Virgen left its denominational affiliation with the Episcopal Church and began a journey with Christ seeking the Old Catholic Church tradition.
In August of 2012 The Reverend Efren A. Garza was consecrated as Bishop of the Apostolic Succession of the Old Catholic Church following the Roman Pontifical rite, as translated in 1904, by Archbishop Gerard Gul of Utrect and Archbishop Matthew Harris. The Bishop is a retired nurse manager and continues to work as a Registered Nurse in the field of psychiatry.
The Reverend Anthony Vespa Yanos, Youth Pastor, AA Criminal Justice, was born in Honolulu Hawaii of Filipino American decent. He is a veteran having served in the Air force. He works in the Silicon Valley Industry and is currently the youth pastor for Santa Maria Virgen Parish. He teaches classes for first communion and confirmation. He, his wife, young son, and daughter are residents of Milipitas. He is active in the lives of his children as well as being a role model for the youth of the parish.
The Associate Pastor:
The Reverend Steven Wesley Cook , M.Div, a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, is a California native employed as an educator. He is a former Church History instructor at the Episcopal School for Deacons. He was ordained to the Deaconate and the Priesthood in the Old Catholic tradition. He currently is the Diocesan Secretary as well as Pastor of Saint Clare's Bible Chapel located in San Jose, California. At Saint Clare's Chapel, there is a choice of attending on Sunday morning: 9:00 AM Rosary, the 9:30 AM English Mass using the Book of Common Prayer, or the 1045 AM Bible study. Contact Pastor Steven Cook at 408.286.7357 Monday through Saturday to make arrangements to be greeted at the lobby.