Right now the answer to the question posed in the title of this posting is Oceanside, New York, where I’m temporarily working in St. Anthony’s Parish. The people here are largely from New York City, most of them of Italian descent and some of them experiencing the financial problems that other Americans are facing these days in a time of almost-recession.
In many ways, the people of Oceanside are not very different from the Micronesians who have come to the US to seek what they could not find in their own country–a job that offers a decent salary, a good education for their kids, a new opportunity in a new place. Some of them can remember their grandparents telling them about what they had to go through when they first arrived in the US. “Italians belong in Italy,” seemed to be the cry at that time. “Irish belong in Ireland. Poles belong in Poland. America is for Americans.”