Let me briefly end one bit of speculation right now - and I’ll go on to explain its history in a subsequent post. The parish in question did not translate from a Latin parish or any other ecclesia. It was born and bred as a Byzantine Ruthenian mission.
The parish that Thomas visited is a parish of the Byzantine Metropolia. I won’t identify to which of the four jurisdictions it belongs, as I don’t see any value to publicly doing so at this point in time.
The parish in question was begun almost 30 years ago, as a mission of another Byzantine Ruthenian parish. It did not exist prior to that time and never existed as a Latin Rite mission, parish, or other ecclesial entity - not even the building that currently serves as a temple was previously associated with the Latin Church.
Its mother was, at the time, itself only a mission (both were formed in the same year). The daughter mission was created to mitigate travel for a portion of the newly formed commnity that had gathered around the parent mission.
It initially met at college and seminary chapels and, to the credit of the priest who served both missions, the Divine Liturgy was served weekly at both. After a year, the daughter congregation purchased a small parcel of land with a residence on it and, in time, remodeled it into a functional chapel, with living quarters. About 6 years after formation, it was elevated to the status of a parish and, again, the same pastor served both. (He is not the current pastor and hasn’t been for several years.)
Since that time, the daughter parish has undergone further renovations, including some rather extensive iconography (especially considering the rather small physical plant) but has not been able to construct a new temple - which is reportedly badly needed, its congregation having outgrown its capacity.
The present community come from diverse backgrounds, I doubt that more than a very few are cradle Ruthenians and it may be that the persons speaking of having ‘changed over’ (or however they put it) were speaking of their own, individual, religious journeys.
(Hmm, the thought occurs that 8 years would be just about the time that said pastor, himself, came into Byzantine Catholicism - he may be using the royal ‘we’ in that case - but he did not come into the Ruthenian Church from the Latin Church, either, anymore than the congregation as a body or the temple itself did.)
The pastor himself is not bi-ritual*, he is an ordained and incardinated presbyter of the Metropolia. He does however originally come from a background other than Byzantine Catholicism and that may factor into the events that Thomas has described…
- At least not in the sense of being a Latin priest with Ruthenian faculties. He may, however, be bi-ritual in the sense of being a Ruthenian priest with Latin faculties.
Christ is among us!