About Margie Copeland
Margie Copeland has been involved in parish ministry for over 30 years, starting with her certification in youth ministry. This progressed to directorship of a full faith formation program for several parishes. Margie is presently Director of Faith Formation at St. Joseph Parish in Fairhaven, MA. She holds a bachelor’s in education from Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA, and several certificates in spiritual leadership. She has directed days of reflection and retreats for adults and youth for the last 20 years. Margie lives in Assonet, MA, with her husband of 40+ years.

Grace-Filled Moments Disguised as Stress

The three o’clock hour arrived. The rooms were ready for the children. Packets of Holy Week coloring pages were counted out. Then the first text came in: “The sitter is not coming. I cannot teach this afternoon.” Then the second text: “So sorry, I forgot about an appointment; I cannot teach this afternoon.” Yikes! Now came the stress. But being experienced, my overdrive kicked in, and I gathered my wits and combined groups, shuffled some […]

Directing Our Schedules

How do you feel when you look at your schedule? Do you see multiple activities of your family and faith formation world overlapping? Do you wonder: How can I fit another parents’ gathering into this cascade of children sessions, catechist trainings, paperwork, parish council meetings, lesson planning, sacramental preparation, and more? Let me suggest that since we direct our programs, we also need to direct our schedules. Each time we look into our datebooks, we […]

Reviewing and Renewing a Faith Formation Program

After more than 25 years in catechetical ministry, I started to look back on what was asked of me in five different parishes over those years. Some of the answers were to reorganize, create permanent records, minister to families, and all the rest of what we do. At each parish, however, something else happened: the numbers of families joining the program grew; the number of families “coming home” to the Catholic Church grew. What was […]

Six Ideas for Taking Care of the Spiritual Needs of Your Catechists

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Christ Our Life faith formation program. It seems so simplistic to suggest that as leaders in catechetical ministry we need to be catechists to our catechists, but that is what the Lord calls us to be. Just as a catechist needs a manual to guide him or her through leading the sessions, so, too, we may also need to provide a spiritual handbook or […]

A New Beginning This Advent

As Christmas approaches, life becomes hectic, overbooked, and our prayer time can shrink. But if we take intentional steps, Advent can become a period of deepening our relationship with our Savior. The word advent means “coming or arrival”—the coming of Christ into the world. Advent is a time of preparation. During this season, we direct our hearts and our minds toward Christmas, the anniversary of Christ’s birth. However, we also prepare for the second coming […]

Jesus in My Office: A Guided Reflection

As you prepare to begin a new catechetical year, take a few moments in prayer, reflecting on how the first day of classes might begin. Imagine Jesus visiting you in your office. Pause for a few moments to be still. Relax and turn your focus inward. Recognize that God is with you as you continue the journey of faith. It is September. It is also the first day of faith formation sessions. How are you […]

How Do We Recruit New Catechists? INVITE Them!

What is it that all DREs know about the majority of Catholic families today? They are overwhelmed by an overbooked schedule of events and work, and growing our faith is often deferred to those once-in-a-while moments when things are quiet; that is not necessarily weekend Mass. So how do we find future catechists? I propose we INVITE people to consider the call to be a catechist. I = INITIATE a conversation. Regular parent gatherings or […]

Evangelization and Joy-Filled Witness

One of the pastoral recommendations provided during the 2012–2013 Year of Faith jumped off the page for me: The Year of Faith is intended to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today—capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the “door of […]