Brooklyn Boro

Catholic Lawyers’ holiday tradition bigger than ever

December 12, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Father Patrick Keating, Gregory Cerchione, Sara Gozo, Father Peter Mahoney and Hon. Lizette Colon. Photos by Mario Belluomo
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A tradition that goes back more than 20 years was continued last Thursday as the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kings County (CLG) met in front of the Brooklyn Supreme Court around the crèche to pray, sing hymns and spread holiday cheer.

“I’m blown away by the fellowship, the turnout and the warmth from our spiritual community,” said Hon. Lizette Colon, president of the CLG. “I have to say that because our brothers and sisters from the Muslim faith and the Jewish faith were also there with us.

“Celebrating the birth of Christ is the seminal reason we exist, so it is important to us to keep this tradition alive and share it with as many people as we can,” Judge Colon continued. “Our hope is that we can all live the path that Jesus taught us. We have a lot of positive energy here.”

The practice of meeting outside of the courthouse each year was started by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger more than 20 years ago. In 2001, the group started meeting at Caffe Buon Gusto on Montague Street afterward for a dinner celebration and ever since then, the event has taken off.

“Tonight has been my favorite celebration since we started doing this,” said Gregory T. Cerchione. “Every year it gets bigger and bigger and every year it gets better. This year is definitely the best-attended event that we’ve ever had. It’s certainly an incredible event.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had this many people outside before,” Cerchione continued. “It’s a wonderful community event that brings everyone together. That’s what this time of year is really all about.”

Usually, the celebration is led by Frank Composto, who sings traditional religious songs in German. Father Patrick Keating took his place this year, however, and led the group in prayer. Afterwards, the members sang “Silent Night” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

Following the prayers and carols, the group made its way down Montague Street for an Italian dinner at Caffe Buon Gusto. However, if the popularity of the event continues to grow, the CLG may have to find a new venue.


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