We felt Divine providence brought us to the Eparchy of Passaic. Time forged that sentiment into a conviction. To repeat: Our past forty years can be described as a two-lane road, Church and Monastery. (Ecclesial and Monastic)
The Decree on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite (1964) mandated that Churches of Eastern Rite "should retain its traditions, whole and entire"; "if they have fallen short, due to contingencies of time and persons, they should take steps to return to their ancestral traditions".
That the Eastern Rite Catholics are a minority "goes without saying". A minority means there is a majority (Roman Catholic). Majority should not mean superiority - but it can be given that un-truth by both sides, perhaps even, at time, imperceptibly.
This was "in the air" when we came to Sugarloaf. Bishop Michael appointed the Franciscan Father Anthony and [the then] Father Basil Schott as our mentors, guides and chaplains. We saw less of the Franciscans during the years the Auxiliary Bishops, resident in Conyngham, were our chaplains.
In 1977 a young, 61 years old, Bishop Dudick wore the garb of the Roman Hierarchy as did his Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Dolinay. We were blessed in their friendship and support, truly an idyllic time. Change came soon.
In 1982 Bishop George Kuzma, became Auxiliary of the Passaic Eparchy (and our chaplain), succeeding Auxiliary Bishop Pataki (who was appointed Bishop of Parma; Thomas Dolinay had left Passaic and us to be Bishop of Van Nuys). Bishop George, always affable, was generous in support and encouragement. He also expressed strong opinions favoring our implementing Russian monastic customs, namely their dress.
Bishop Pataki was the least "visible" (so to speak) and dare I say it, the most disapproving of us where previous Bishops approved. It seemed to be Carmel. We realized that to be Carmelite was not enough, so to speak. Bishop Pataki refused to accept our Carmelites OCDS (begun about 1978 by Father Michael Griffin, OCD). So Roman Rite Bishop James Timlin of Scranton accepted their request to become a canonical Chapter OCDS) in his jurisdiction.