Catholic Lawyers Guild celebrates St. Patrick and St. Joseph days at annual dinner
Members of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Brooklyn celebrated both St. Patrick and St. Joseph’s days with a dinner at Marco Polo in Carroll Gardens on Thursday.
“Most of the time we’re all so busy that when we pass each other in the courthouse we can’t really stop to chat,” said Dominic Famulari, president of the Guild. “This event is a way to kick off the spring and bring all of our members together for a dinner where we aren’t so rushed, or there primarily for CLE. It’s a great event with no speeches or programs. It’s just camaraderie amongst our members and a little bit of singing.”
It’s an annual tradition that goes back to the days of past President Sara Gozo, who helped to organize the celebration of the two Catholic saints. Prior to combining the two events it would be hard for the group to get both its Irish Catholic members and its Italian Catholic members together at one dinner.
The only speech on Thursday was by Justice Matthew D’Emic, the administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term. He spoke briefly about the two saints who the group was there to celebrate.
“I’ve been asked to say a few words about tonight’s honorees — St. Patrick and St. Joseph,” Justice D’Emic said. “I would say they were both listeners and generously responded to what they heard.
“Although Joseph and Patrick are separated by 400 years and extremely different cultures, we celebrate their feast days tonight because they listened, overcame their fears and answered the call,” D’Emic concluded.
Angelo Venuto then sang Italian classics throughout dinner. He was only interrupted briefly by members Steven Smith, a past president, and Justice James Starkey, who have continued an annual tradition of singing a few songs themselves.
“Someone asked me to sing at the first St. Patrick’s and St. Joseph’s dinner,” Justice Starkey said. “To the surprise of guests assembled that night, I sang a tribute to St. Joseph and I’ve been doing it since.”
The Catholic Lawyers’ next event will be its annual awards dinner that will be held at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island on May 16. There will be six honorees that night including Dominick Napoletano, John Famulari, Hon. Thomas P. Aliotta, Hon. George Silver, Keith Olarnick and Father Peter Mahoney.
New board members and directors will also be installed at that dinner. Maria Aragona will be sworn in as president-elect, Yolanda Guadagnoli as first vice president and Gregory Cerchione as treasurer. Janet McFarland, Betsey Jean-Jacques and Gianna Famulari will be sworn in as directors.
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