Robert began his ministry career immediately after high school when he served on the National Evangelization Team (N.E.T.), a retreat ministry for high school and middle school youth. Always feeling a ministerial call, he entered St. Meinrad College Seminary for his home diocese of Jackson, MS. After graduating from St. Meinrad, he continued his graduate studies in theology at the Catholic University of America. Under the mentorship of the Benedictine monks of St. Meinrad, Robert learned the depth of contemplative prayer and absorbed the heart of the Church. During his time at Catholic University, the academic and scholarly rigor formed his intellect and he absorbed the mind of the Church.
He discerned that he was called to the sacrament of Matrimony rather than to Holy Orders and in 1994 he and wife were married. Still feeling a call to ministry, Robert served the Church as a parish youth minister and started a dynamic outreach to teens. He then returned to his alma mater, Saint Meinrad, as a staff member. The staff of Saint Meinrad and he pursued and received a $1.2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to launch the Youth Liturgical Leadership Program with One Bread, One Cup as the flagship program. These week-long conferences form teenage leaders in liturgical catechesis, ministerial skills, and in liturgical spirituality. One Bread, One Cup is still going strong after its founding in 2000.
After his time with One Bread, One Cup, Robert served as a development editor for St. Mary's Press and then became the general manager for Spirit & Song, the contemporary music division of Oregon Catholic Press. During these years, Robert's national reputation as a speaker, retreat leader, and writer began to grow.
He has taught theology to deacon candidates in dioceses around the country. He has been the keynote speaker at numerous diocesan conferences and is recognized as an expert in the New Evangelization having written the evangelization document for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. He has been a frequent contributor to OCP's Today's Liturgy and to the Center for Ministry Development's Youth Ministry Access. He has spoken at Life Teen's Catholic Youth Ministry Convention on several occasions and has served on the planning committees for the National Catholic Youth Conference and for the US bishops' World Youth Day efforts.
He lives in the Nashville area with Kathleen, his wife, and their two sons and two daughters.