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St. Joseph parish in Raleigh, NC
Since Sylwester, I have been very edified by a Polish-American group much closer to home. One day, I stopped at an intersection on Fort Bragg, where a younger U.S. soldier came up to my window and addressed me in Polish! I was shocked! His name is Tomasz, and proceeded to tell me how his father fought in the Warsaw Resistance after seeing the kotwica emblem of that WWII movement on my car. What was for me a memorial of culture, was for Tomasz a symbol of family history. He introduced me to a group of U.S. soldiers with Polish-American backgrounds who often meet at a local coffeehouse to speak the language and catch up with each other. As with the PAC in Raleigh, the Fort Bragg & Pope AFB Polish Community was very welcoming and even celebrated the other cultural backgrounds of their spouses.
I admit that I first explored my Polish-American background in order to find something about myself. However, the experience has really helped me belong to something greater than my own concerns - and has even aided in the continuation of my Christian faith. The experience of being Polish-American has been spiritual as well as a lesson in cultural exchanges.