Robert J. Renison was ordained a deacon in 1896 in Toronto and as a priest 1899 in Moose Factory by Bishop Newnham, Bishop of the Diocese of Moosonee at the time. In 1898, accompanied by his brothers William and George, Robert J. travelled to Moose Factory to work as a missionary. His youngest brother George left at the end of the summer to attend school at Bishop’s University. His brother William stayed for a couple of years but then left to continue his education at St. John’s College in Winnipeg. Robert J. stayed in the Moose Factory area until 1912, when he was called to be the Rector of the Church of the Ascension in Hamilton, Ontario, with the exception of a yearlong furlough as Assistant Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Francisco, California sometime around 1905.