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Bishop commissions first group of Lay Ecclesial Ministers

Pictured from left to right are Lisa Gorton, Kim Chapman, Christa Blomstrom, Joyce Denton, Judy Hopkinson, Alfie Martinez-Coyle, Steve Branning, John Domingo, Bishop DiLorenzo, Lise Mikkelson, Nicole Lancour, Melissa Murtagh, Karen Melendez, Allison Welch and Tiffany Watson. Not pictured but commissioned was Jessica Ann McCoy.

On June 3, 2016, Bishop DiLorenzo commissioned the first group of lay leaders who completed the requirements for the four-year Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute (LEMI). LEMI Is a comprehensive leadership training program for those who hold catechetical-related ministry leadership positions in the Diocese of Richmond. The purpose of Commissioning is to establish a formal relationship between the lay ecclesial minister and the Bishop, demonstrating to the community that these leaders have the Bishop’s confidence and trust. A Rite of Commissioning was celebrated in the context of a Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond. Bishop DiLorenzo was assisted by Msgr. Mark Richard Lane, Vicar General, Msgr. Walter C. Barrett, episcopal Vicar for the eastern Vicariate, and Fr. Michael G. Boehling, Vicar of Vocations. Msgr. Patrick D. Golden, Rector of the Cathedral, and Deacons of the Diocese were also present as part of the procession and as readers.

“These LEMI candidates have shown tremendous commitment and sacrifice,” said Bernadette Harris, Director for the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute. “They’ve spent the past four years studying theology, enhancing ministry skills, and developing a deeper spirituality. In most cases, they’ve accomplished all this while working full time jobs and raising families.” LEMI Is open to Directors of Religious Education, Youth Ministers, RCIA Coordinators, Adult Faith Formation Coordinators, Campus Ministers and Catholic School Teachers of Religion. There are currently 45 lay ministers from across the Diocese enrolled in the LEMI formation program. Bishop DiLorenzo will commission a second group on Saturday, June 10, 2017.


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