Wiccan chaplain to serve inmates

Chicago Tribune wire services
Published December 21, 2001

MADISON, Wis. -- The first Wiccan minister to serve as a Wisconsin prison chaplain says her job is to work with prisoners and volunteers of all faiths, not to convert people to witchcraft.

"The minute I walk through these walls I'm an interfaith minister, not a Wiccan," said Rev. Jamyi Witch, a mother of two whose original name was Jamyi Welch.

Word of her work at maximum security Waupun Correctional Institution puzzled some legislators and brought a flurry of phone calls to the state corrections department, pro and con.

Wiccans celebrate nature and Earth, and follow various gods and goddesses. They are sometimes called witches, though many prefer the term Wiccan.