St. Moses the Black Priory in Raymond, Mississippi

Apostolates (Areas of Service)

We call our charism "communio", which is described in our Constitution as the existence of persons in relation to and for one another, expressed through every kind of service, counsel, edification, courtesy, dialog, communication, consultation and a truly common life. In short, it means we seek to build community both internally with the brethren, and externally, among those we serve. Below are descriptions of the varying kinds of service in which we are involved:

Rt Rev E Thomas De Wane at St. Moses the Black Priory


Rt. Rev. E. Thomas De Wane, O.Praem. Fr. Tom is the former Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere and is presently the superior in charge of St. Moses the Black Priory. Abbot De Wane is the Catholic Chaplain at the VA Hospital in Jackson, MS. He is also involved in ministry at the Federal Prison in Yazoo City. Fr. Tom serves as swing man covering parishes when pastors are on vacation, etc.






Fr Richard Chiles at St Moses the Black PrioryFr. Richard Chiles. His vocation to religious life is actually lived through ministry to his own community of St. Moses the Black. Living in community is caring about other members, respecting the space of others, praying with others and eating meals. Community living seeks a kind of presence that is invisible and sometimes difficult to know or name. Another aspect of his vocation is ministry with the Parish Mission of Immaculate Conception in Raymond, Mississippi. This ministry is filled with all the joys of preaching, celebrating the Eucharist, celebrating the sacrament of Confession, Baptism, and serving the people of God in the fullest sense. It is a deep source of peace and joy for Fr. Chiles. His other ministry is full-time teaching at Jackson State University. He teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level in the department of psychology. The ministry and art of teaching is a very ancient vocation which was usually reserved for monks or those in some aspect of church ministry. In ancient Greece to educate was to bring one out of oneself, that is, to broaden one’s awareness. Teaching properly understood always has a spiritual dimension. 80% of Fr. Chile’s students are from families in which they are the first person to enter and study at a university. This ministry is in the tradition of the Norbertines in Wisconsin.



Fr. Norbert N’Zilamba. The ministry of a local church or a diocese has to strive to fulfill many charisms to minister to its people but also to embody the universal church in its diversity. One aspect of that diversity of the church is religious life. During the last century the church in Africa  benefited from religious Caucasian men and women. In this century of globalization the divine providence has prompted other continents to see women and men of African descent as priests and religious especially in Europe and North America. Fr. Norbert’s ministry is to participate in that endeavor without pretense as a Norbertine in the diocese of Jackson, MS



Fr. Sebastian Schalk at St Moses the Black Priory


Fr. Sebastian Schalk. As treasurer of the priory, his duties include banking the receipts, paying the bills and keeping financial records. He also does needed maintenance work on the property or arranges for it to be done. Outside of the priory, Fr. Schalk has prison ministry, visits the sick and elderly in hospitals, nursing homes, and in their own homes. His parish ministry includes emphasis on serving the Spanish speaking population.





Fr. Jeremy Tobin at St Moses the Black PrioryFr. Jeremy Tobin. Fr. Jeremy’s area of ministry lies in social justice. After a career in social work, he came to Mississippi and engaged in advocacy around issues affecting poverty, human rights, juvenile justice, labor, health and human services. He is affiliated with several organizations who advocate in the state capitol around these issues. A big effort is in community education with forums, media conferences, rallies and other events. His chief venue is freelance writing. He has a column in the MS Catholic that has been running ten years and counting. This paper reaches throughout our 65 county diocese. He has published in other newspapers, magazines and the Mississippi Forum, a division of American Forum, which reaches to every media outlet in the state.

Fr. Jeremy also serves St. Anne’s church in Leake County which is poor, however very diverse with African Americans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Choctaw Indians, Guatemalans and Euro-Americans. This church has a long history in the struggle for civil rights. He also preaches missions or revivals as they are called in some places, and assists in hosting various events at the Priory.


Address: 7100 Midway Rd, Raymond, Mississippi 39154 | Phone: 601.857.0157 | Fax: 601.857.5076
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