To be fair, the U.S. itself “first exploded in the Northeast and then into the Midwest.”
Nevertheless, in past generations, when access to transportation was more limited, neighborhood enterprises were necessary. These days, when most have one or more cars in their household, this limitation is no longer present. So, whereas a mega-store for groceries or other goods is now a possibility, it couldn’t possibly have taken hold 100 years ago.
Similarly, then, the ‘need’ for a parish in every neighborhood – let alone an ethnic parish in every town – is no longer a necessity. Large parishes are able to minister to people from a much wider geographic spread than in previous generations.
Does it ‘feel’ weird to American Catholics in the Rust Belt? Undoubtedly. Is it necessary – or even the best use of our diocesan and parish resources? Hardly.