Back in October, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the Congregation of the Great Spirit could stay open if it could fully support itself. For whatever reason, I did not comment on that situation then, but it has been in the back of my mind ever since.
The Congregation of the Great Spirit is a Native American Catholic Church. They follow the Roman rite, but have tweaked certain portions (following the scholarship of liturgists) in order to incorporate their Indian cultures (especially the Lakota and Ojibwe). This includes a co-ed drumming circle and a penitential rite with burning sage.
As the Archdiocesan spokeswoman stated, the Milwaukee Archdiocese has a policy of each parish covering the salary of the priest. That is obviously only a general guideline since they have until now covered the Great Spirit's salary dole.
While if the parish does close, the parishioners can go to another Catholic Church, I doubt they will be able to bring their drums and burning sage. They may not be welcomed anywhere. This could in effect kill the Native American Catholic community. It is reminiscent of the US bishops, as a whole, refusing to reach out to African Americans after the Civil War (this is considered the main reason for there being so few black Catholics). Oddly, enough, I wonder if the two "black" parishes in Milwaukee (All Saints & St. Martin de Porres) could not financially support a priest because of poverty, would the Archbishop close them?
A Faithful Catholic