Thursday, August 21, 2008

Patrick McCollum, a Witch Hero in Need


Many of you know or have heard of Patrick McCollum. A man of many accomplishments and a devoted Priest of Brigit and goldsmith, Patrick has done as much, if not more, than anyone to ensure Pagan rights. For years he has served with the Lady Liberty League, in which he was an active participant in the Pentacle Quest*, has been consulted by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

In the area of prison ministries alone, Patrick has been the Wiccan/Pagan Chaplain for the California State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for many years, serving about 900 Pagan inmates in the enormous California prison system (a major growth industry, I'm sorry to say). This service requires him to travel up and down the state to remote areas where prisons are located, all at his own expense -- and we all know what's happened to the price of gas.

He has consulted on religious accommodation in prisons with the governors, attorneys general and/or prison authorities in at least 14 states plus the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He serves as liaison between the American Academy of Religion and the state chaplains of all 50 states. Furthermore, this past February he testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on religious accommodation; his testimony appears in the Congressional Record.

A sober-looking Patrick testifying before the
U.S. Civil Rights Commission in Washington, DC

Not only is Patrick a dear personal friend, but also he serves as the Director of the Chaplaincy Program at Cherry Hill Seminary, the first Pagan chaplaincy course ever.

Patrick fiddling at a Cherry Hill
Seminary retreat at Camp Salamander
in the Santa Cruz Mountains

The reason I'm writing all this about Patrick -- and I am only scratching the surface -- is to tell you that he is dealing with a medical condition for which I'm asking your help. On August 15, Patrick underwent surgery for a long-standing problem with his spine. The surgery itself went well, but two days later Patrick suffered a complication that necessitated further surgery on August 18. He has been in ICU at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, California since then, and remains there, although much improved.

Patrick welcomes healing. Given what I've told you about him, and that you have a photo and know where is is, I ask that you remember him in your prayers and rituals, light candles, appeal to his Lady Brigit, and do whatever else you can to hasten Patrick's relief from extreme pain and his ultimate recovery.

Patrick welcomes cards, but, please, no phone calls or visitors yet. His wife, Barbara, could also use some energy.

* Dr. Todd Berntson's film about the quest, "A Hero Denied," will have its first public screening at the Cherry Hill Seminary Winter Intensive in San Jose (the day before PantheaCon begins) in San Jose, California in February. The screening will be followed by a talk by Todd about the making of the film, and by both Todd and Patrick about the quest.


Beth Owl's Daughter said...

Oh, no!

This is dreadful news. Healing and green energy flying immediately to him. He truly is a hero and a giant-hearted, generous soul who is so desperately needed in this world.

Thanks so much for letting us know!
- Beth Owl

Anonymous said...

I'm putting Patrick and Barbara in Brighid's flame tonight, Macha.

Thanks for posting this.

love, Brighde

Hecate RavenMoon said...

Blessed be.

Thank you so much for posting this information. I will most definitely be sending some healing energy his way.

Thank you again for sharing this vital information and have a great week.

Anonymous said...

From across the water comes love, hope and power.

To you too, Macha.



Yewtree said...

My energy is on its way!

I was really impressed with Patrick's efforts on behalf of Pagans in the prison system.

Incidentally, I thought it was the case that many prison inmates discover Pagan spirituality after being incarcerated, not before - in which case, the fact that it's a growth industry is a good thing.

Mandyz said...

Thank you for letting us know Macha. We shall send healing energy immediately.

Anonymous said...

Greetings All

Thank You Macha for posting the news ...

I've been off line lately ...

Energies being sent immediately for Patrick and all those connected with Him.

I will watch for good news to follow ...

Francena Marie

Jay Andrew said...

A good guy deserving of much healing thoughts and kindness, which, from reading the posts above, he will receive many times over. Blessings to you Patrick and to all your family and friends.

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