Bishop to commission three lay ecclesial ministers

Bishop Barry C. Knestout at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond, before the LEMI commissioning on June 18, 2022. (Photo/Vy Barto)

Bishop Barry C. Knestout will commission three people from across the diocese as lay ecclesial ministers on Saturday, June 15, 10:30 a.m., at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond.

Kelly Ann Bruno, Felimar R. Guzman, and Diane Lohr completed studies through the diocese’s Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute (LEMI).

The diocesan Office of Christian Formation created LEMI in 2011 at the request of the late Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo. Bishop DiLorenzo wanted to help lay leaders better serve our diocese by giving them an opportunity to develop in human, pastoral, intellectual and spiritual formation.

The candidates participated in a Catholic university’s master’s degree in theology, or certificate study in a related field. They also attended formation workshops and spiritual retreats.

Since 2016, 64 lay leaders have been commissioned.

In anticipation of their commissioning, the candidates shared their experience with LEMI and how the formation will impact their ministries.

For more information about LEMI, contact Tracy Brookmire at 804-622-5157 or email [email protected].



Kelly Ann Bruno

Kelly Ann Bruno

Parish: Prince of Peace, Chesapeake

Position: Youth and Young Adult Coordinator

Course study: M.A. in Theology, Saint Leo University

 As I conclude one phase of my LEMI journey and step into the next as a Lay Ecclesial Minister, I am overflowing with excitement and anticipation for the future. God has entrusted me with the mission of filling the hearts of our teens and young adults with love for Jesus. Taking Christ into the world can be daunting, but LEMI has prepared me through its exceptional education, seminars, retreats, and exposure to incredibly gifted mentors. I am eager and thrilled to see where God will lead me on this life journey, and I am deeply grateful for the role LEMI has played in shaping me for this mission. Being commissioned as a Lay Ecclesial Minister is a testament to the grace of God, who has blessed me with the unwavering support and love of my family, friends, and the LEMI team.



Felimar R. Guzman

Felimar R. Guzman

Parish: St. Mark, Virginia Beach

Position: Director of Religious Formation and Youth Minister

Course study: Certificates in Youth Ministry and Catechesis, University of Dayton

LEMI formation encouraged me to be a better youth minister, a more active parishioner and more compassionate person. Overall, my LEMI experience not only opened opportunities for my professional advancement, it also renewed and recharged relationships with family, friends and others who I meet. Now with added responsibilities and expectations, LEMI provided me the tools to go and serve the Lord in knowledge and faith. It also helped me to become aware of the need to continue to develop my own faith and formation, and to walk with God in a special way. This journey humbled me and gave me great pleasure to be able to follow the example of Christ, so that others will come to know the Lord’s everlasting love and mercy.



Diane Lohr

Diane Lohr

Parish: Resurrection, Moneta

Position: Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation

Course study: Certificate in Catechesis Levels I and II, University of Dayton

I have always had a calling to learn more about my faith and religion. Being part of LEMI allowed me to answer that call. LEMI allowed me to grow intellectually through the course study, in preparing to be certified as a catechist. More importantly, I grew spiritually, deepening my faith and relationship with God. Through course study, workshops and retreats, LEMI provided me with new skills, knowledge and ways to share the faith. LEMI encouraged me to work on becoming the best version of myself. LEMI re-ignited my desire to share my knowledge and faith with others of all ages.


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