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|Born||April 11, 1950|
Reverend Patrick McCollum (born April 11, 1950) is a Wiccan minister and presenter on Pagan topics, prison chaplain, author and jeweler. He is dedicated to being a warrior for human rights, social justice, and pluralism. Patrick McCollum has been working as a Pagan chaplain and activist for well over twenty years. He was one of the founding members of the Lady Liberty League, and has been involved in numerous legal struggles involving modern Pagans. Read more here
Patrick McCollum Foundation and its World Peace Initiative
Patrick was inspired by the Great Mother to promote a sacred planetary vision that respects religious diversity and advances pluralism. He began the Patrick McCollum Foundation to begin a new narrative that respects each individual as a sacred being that deserves equal rights. Patrick is dedicated to being a warrior for human rights, social justice, and pluralism. Through religion and spirituality he is bringing a new message of planetary consciousness on a global level that will alert the world to the sacredness of connection with Divinity and with each other.
Recipient of Mahatma Gandhi Award
Rev. McCollum was initiated in 1966 and ordained by the Cauldron of Cerridwen in 1971, by Covenant of the Goddess in 1987, and by Circle Sanctuary  in 2001, and has been ordained and/or endorsed by several other Pagan organizations, including the National Prison Kindred and Irminsul. He serves as the National Prison Chaplaincy Affairs Coordinator for the Lady Liberty League, and is the Director of Public Chaplaincy for Cherry Hill Seminary.
In 1997, after the settlement of a case involving a Wiccan inmate, the California Attorney General's Office asked Rev. McCollum to serve as a Wiccan chaplain, making him the first government-recognized Wiccan chaplain. Subsequently, he has served as a statewide correctional chaplain for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. According to the Finding of Fact by the U.S. District Court in McCollum, et al. v. CDCR, et al.,
"Plaintiff Patrick McCollum is a Wiccan [footnote omitted] clergyman who became a volunteer chaplain at the California Corrections Institution (“CCI”) Tehachapi in January 1998. By February 2000, McCollum served as a volunteer, non-salaried Wiccan chaplain for all 33 CDCR correctional institutions."
He is currently engaged in litigation in the US 9th Circuit Court (McCollum, et al. v. CDCR, et al., C 04-03339 CRB) challenging the California Department of Corrections' "Five Faiths" policy which recognizes only five major world religions for inclusion in California's prison chaplaincy program. A summary judgment was filed on February 23, 2009, claiming that Rev. McCollum did not have proper standing in the case, and is currently under appeal. Appellants' brief was filed on November 19, 2009. Three amicus briefs in the case have been filed by (1) Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Interfaith Alliance, and the Hindu American Foundation, (2) Interfaith Community Representatives (i.e., numerous individuals and organizations "committed to facilitating dialogue between the faiths and ensuring that all faiths are treated fairly," including the American Correctional Chaplains Association), and (3) Florida Justice Institute and Legal Aid Society of New York City.
2011 Official Statement from Patrick on Ninth Circuit Ruling: “The employment discrimination ruling is especially disturbing and is one that all religious people should be worried about, not only Pagans. It creates precedent that gives the state the power to discriminate on the basis of religion for chaplain jobs, for example chaplains in prisons, hospitals, the veterans’ administration, and the military. The court ruled that the state could choose to prefer some religions over others, even when (as the defendants in my case admitted and the court noted) those religions are chosen for no reason at all – are not based on any criteria. Read more here...
Rev. McCollum is a member of the American Correctional Chaplain Association, the Program Chair for the National Correctional Chaplaincy Directors Association, and the Chaplaincy Liaison for the American Academy of Religion.
On February 5, 2008, Rev. McCollum testified before the U.S Commission on Civil Rights, and his remarks were widely quoted in the Commission's report entitled "Enforcing Religious Freedom in Prison"  (.pdf).
Publications and presentations
March 2011 India Trip- His Highness, Jyotendrasinhji Vikramsinhji Sahib, Maharaja of Gondal, invited McCollum to participate in the facilitation of the ancient ritual of Maha Shivarati, inside the sacred Bhavnath Temple at Junagadh in the Ghia Forrest. It is estimated by the Gujarat Police that over a Million pilgrims flocked to the site to be blessed by the ritual. Read more...
February 2011 International Conference on Spiritual Paradigm- On February 26, McCollum spoke at the International Conference on Spiritual Paradigm for Surmounting Global Management Crisis at the School of Management Sciences, Varanasi, sharing a Pagan perspective toward resolving the Global crisis.
July 27, 2011 Amman, Jordan: McCollum met with prominent Middle Eastern leaders and participates in Arab – Israeli dialogues toward peace in Palestine and the Middle East. Rev. Patrick McCollum had the rare opportunity to meet with His Excellency, Taher Al Masri, President of the Jordanian Senate and former Jordanian Prime Minister at his home in Amman, Jordan. The meeting took place at the end of weeklong dialogues with youth and adults from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and other countries, for which McCollum served as one of the speakers and dialogue facilitators. Read more...
October 17, 2010 McCollum at the World Forum of Spiritual Culture: McCollum addressed the Kazakhstan Parliament, and people from all over the world about the importance of nature, the interconnectedness of all life on earth, and the importance of diverse spiritual points of view working together to stop the destruction of the earth and her resources. He also gave input into the development of the Noosphere Ethical Ecological Constitution for Mankind. Read more here.
World Inner Peace Ambassador: McCollum travelled to Thailand where he was honored by Buddhists with the title: World Inner Peace Ambassador. McCollum was an honored guest at a gathering of over 150,000 Buddhist monks from around the world at the Dhammakaya temple in the Pathumtani Province. His trip included spiritual meditation, sharing of Pagan ritual and practices, and meetings with Buddhist Lamas to work together on world peace. Read More
McCollum is the author of "Courting the Lady: A Wiccan Journey, Book One: The Sacred Path". He has also been published in Circle Magazine, Green Egg and Paganet News. He also compiled the Wiccan Chaplains' Manual for the California Department of Corrections in 1999.
He was featured in the 1996 A&E documentary "Witches", narrated by Leonard Nimoy, which has also been shown on The History Channel and Lifetime.
McCollum has presented on a number of topics at Pagan festivals and other religious gatherings including the Pagan Spirit Gathering, PantheaCon, Sacred Harvest Festival, and the Parliament of the World's Religions in 2004 (Barcelona) and 2009 (Melbourne). He was also selected as the Keeper of the Light (i.e. Parade Marshal) for the Annual Pagan Festival in Berkeley in 2007.
McCollum is also a professional jeweler creating custom designs, and his work has appeared in many high-end stores such as Fred Segal, Barneys New York, Ice Beverly, Rodeo Drive, and the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. He has designed for the Edward H. Bohlin Company and for Jeanine Payer. McCollum has designed pieces for stars including Larry Hagman, Meg Ryan, and Russell Crowe. While Head Designer at the Edward H. Bohlin Company, McCollum had the honor of designing a United States Presidential Belt Buckle for President Ronald Reagan.
- Circle Sanctuary Ministers Roster
- Cherry Hill Seminary staff listing
- The Wild Hunt Blog
- Motion for Summary Judgment
- Wiccan Prison Chaplain Case Before Ninth Circuit
- AU Press Release
- ADL Press Release
- Lady Liberty League press release
- USCCR Final Report - Enforcing Religious Freedom in Prison
- Circle Sanctuary - PSG Leadership Institute
- Courting The Lady, A Wiccan Journey, Book One: The Sacred Path (Our Lady of the Wells Press, 2006).