Fr. Gringrich was one of the more traditional priests of ROCOR WR in my opinion. He had knowledge of how local SSPX missions in Ohio conducted themselves and how many Anglo-catholic anglican parishes conducted themselves and imitated them exceptionally well considering his meagre resources.
He had a sound mainstream orthodox seminary education, was very respected by most who met him - his mission held great possibilities. What he told me, is that he felt a great deal of subtle hostility or at least "misunderstanding" from local eastern rite churches, perhaps especially certain byzantine ROCOR not so far away (Bishop Peter?)
I believe Fr. Joseph Gringriche mission failing had significantly to do with lack of support or misunderstanding from loca eastern rite churches, which tendeed to somehow discourage prospective seekers from visiting.
I honestly do not fully understand the story in great detail, but that is part of the general idea.
The unfortunate reality within the ROCOR western rite vicariate is that in some locations of the USA, it seemed to have a certain ghetto mentality being promoted, it was not really being trusted or integrated within the byzantine rite churches, gaining trust from the regular bishops and priests as much as it should.
I can't say whose the cause of this really, and I dont want to be accused of gossip.
Needless to say, the Antiochians have done a better job with the Western rite so far, albeit not without their own weaknesses and legitimate criticisms. They may not grow much or grow slowly, but it seems during the past 20 years at least, they have grown more than shrunk, slowly but surely, and that itself is a great accomplishment.
Fr. Joseph was rather discouraged from his experience, but I would say glad that he tried it, and under much much better circumstances might even try it again some day ideally. Above all Fr. Joseph expressed disappointment at the "politics" involved in the Orthodox Church, and acknowleding also that Roman Catholic and Protestant churches also have their own difficult politics for priests to navigate through.
For the time being, when I last spoke to him 4 months ago, Fr. Joseph was again part of a local byzantine rite parish, trying to figure out in what role as a priest he may serve the church in the future. Fr. Joseph was an exceptionally dedicated man who imbued with a good monastic influence. He is very very traditional, yet very very practical - a unique important balance. He understands the ancient teaching and morality of the church well and stands up for it well, much like many roman catholic SSPX priest do for their own faith.
I know that whereever God leads Fr Joseph, he will be a marvelous shepherd to the flock. I wish him well !