Robert is a lifelong student and learner, but certain moments in his life resonate as particularly edifying.

In 1980, Robert was sent to Chile to work in a Russian Orthodox orphanage in Santiago. The hope was that he would become a priest for the orphanage and the nuns who lived with the orphans. Instead, Robert was faced with a military regime that would ultimately challenge his views of a trusted mentor and authority figure.

Shortly after, Robert found himself homeless, living on the streets of San Francisco and discovering for himself what it felt like to have no place you belong. The kindness and guidance of a Roman Catholic priest showed Robert the importance of serving the neglected – those marginalized by religious authorities.

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