My family only recently committed to the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church a few weeks ago. We used to attend trad parishes but found them to be very unwelcoming and not spiritually beneficial to our lives, our marriage, our kids, etc. I admit that I frst approacahed Eastern Christianity out of a desire to flee Rome and all her problems. What made me stay, was the beauty, truth, and goodness to be found in Eastern Christianity. I left for anti-roman reasons. I stayed for Christ.

I'd been tempted to join the Orthodox Church many times (and the desire ebbs and flows with time). Ultimately, however, I know Eastern Catholicism is the truly faithful and full expression of Eastern Christianity. I still have great love for Holy Orthodoxy, and my family will attend the occasional service during the week, but Eastern Catholicism is where it's at for us.

That being said, our Ruthenian parish is still in a state of transition as well. Our parish was started by a few families of Eastern Catholics. What made it grow from a mission community meeting in one of the families homes to having a beautiful temple of their own, was the influx of disgrunted Roman trads following the Second Vatican Council. These members have largely remained this entire time in the Byzantine Church. Unfortunately, they bring their roman customs and devotions with them. We are not able to do Orthros before Divine Liturgy on Sunday because one of the older trads insists upon praying a rosary before the start of Divine Liturgy (while kneeling, no less). Our gift shop/book store is FULL of Roman devotional stuff. Marian rosaries, icons of western saints, images of the sacred heart and immaculate heart, books about Mother Teresa and John Paul II, etc. There's very little by way of Eastern materials. A few books on Eastern theology, a couple on Eastern saints, some prayer ropes and a handful of Eastern icons. It's a real shame.

Thankfully, we have an awesome priest. He recognizes all these problems and desires to change them, but in a way that won't scandalize or make the romans feel unwelcome. He's been looking for more people in introduce more and more Eastern customs and devotions, and wants to slowly phase these latinizations out. It's a tightrope Father is walking on, and I ask everyone to pray for his/our success! Without the Roman Catholic majority in our parish, we would not have the numbers and financial resources to continue to exist. We are dependent upon them.

What "I" don't understand is why a Roman Catholic who, after spending time (weeks, months, couple years even) at an Eastern parish and who makes the decision to make that their parish for the rest of their lives, why on earth would you not fully embrace the Eastern faith? Make the canonical transfer, become Ruthenian officially. Drop all your western devotions and embrace Eastern ones (at least for anything involving the public life of the parish). At home, anyone can pray as they like. But at church, keep it authentic. I tried gently bringing this up in conversation with one of the traditional members and when he heard I used to be a latin mass going Catholic, the conversation changed and was all about him railing on Vatican II and modernist heretics and blah blah blah.