Since being ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Rite in 1980, Father Robert Rankin has had the privilege of serving a variety of pastoral ministries. At Saint Melany Byzantine Catholic Church, he is the current full-time priest who specializes in marriage and family counseling. His other roles include evangelization, faith formation, sacramental preparation, and religious studies education.
Though raised in the Roman Catholic Rite, Father Robert was introduced to the Byzantine Catholic Rite at an early age by his godparents. He experienced the Divine Liturgy at Saints Peter&Paul Byzantine Catholic Church in Peek-skill, NY, and Saints Peter&Paul Byzantine Catholic Church in Endicott, NY.
Father Robert's exposure to the Byzantine Eastern Rite continued while he was a student at the University of Scranton and Saint Pius X College Seminary where he specialized in Eastern Christian studies and Greek Patristics. He also attended Saint Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary as an exchange student. Upon receiving bi-ritual faculties in 1984, Father Robert assisted at the Byzantine Proto-Cathedral of Saint Mary Protection of the Mother of God for 18 years before transferring to full-time ministry in the Byzantine Rite Eparchy of Phoenix.
Father Robert has been the pastor of Saint Melany Byzantine Catholic Church in Tucson, AZ, since 2002. He is the Syncellus for Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, Pastor of the Mission at Dove Mountain and pastor of the Mary Undoer of Knots Byzantine Catholic Shrine.
Father Rankin likes to credit his vocation to his parents for putting forth a simple, uncomplicated piety of observing the precepts of church discipleship in a way that was both loving and consistent. He is grateful to the Franciscan and Jesuit orders for being such an influential part of his faith formation.