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While hundreds of parishes are being closed and merged across the nation, this is an exception — a traditional community, a public association of the faithful, canonically established in the diocese of Lansing, Michigan.
Refurbished largely with his own hands, Fr. Jeffrey Robideau recently offered an inaugural Mass in the traditional form for the St. Gregory the Great Community at their newly established Church.
Fr. Robideau: "Myself and a couple of my parishioners did most of the work ourselves. I did construction before I was a priest and so I have taken advantage of those talents and skills."
Once a Protestant building, pastored by a lesbian with a partner and known for hosting New Age and Wicca practices, Fr. Robideau exorcised the building in September with the bishop's permission.
Established in 2010, St. Gregory the Great Community parishioners are excited to have their own place.
Parishioner: "Nine years we have been in the crypt of the Cathedral, but it is also very good to be in our own building tonight, and we're really looking forward to it."
Another parishioner spoke about his children's love of the traditional Mass.
Parishioner: "I've got three kids, and the oldest is 6, and all of them are just entranced by what they see every Mass."
Fr. Robideau: "Not everything is quite done yet. The altar rail is not in yet. There is woodwork that is not done yet. The reredos is not in yet, so there is still some work we have to do around here."
This new community is seen as a portent of things to come. As the Novus Ordo Mass continues to be ignored or abandoned at an increasing rate, the only significant growth is in the more traditional ranks.