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Catholic Lawyers Guild sings carols in front of courthouse to kick off holiday celebration

December 13, 2019 Rob Abruzzese
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The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kings County held its annual Christmas party at Caffe Buon Gusto in Brooklyn Heights Wednesday night.

The event is unique because members meet at the creche in front of the Supreme Court on Adams Street for a Catholic blessing and then they sing Christmas carols. After about five or six songs, or when the cold weather sets in, the group then walks up Montague Street for an Italian dinner.

Andrew Clemenza and Maria Aragona.

Father Peter Mahoney led the group in the prayer. That was followed by President Maria Aragona leading the group in Christmas carols — “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Deck the Halls,” “Joy to the World” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

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The other big thing about the party is that it’s free and it’s open to all members, people of other faiths and all courthouse employees. Each year, Caffe Buon Gusto is packed with court employees from all levels, like it was last week with nearly 100 judges, lawyers, court clerks, specialists, interpreters and officers.

Joe Rosato, president of the Nathan R. Sobel Inns of Court, and Monique Holaman sell raffle tickets inside Cafe Buon Gusto

To make this possible, the guild uses funds raised through member dues, but also raffles off gifts that people and law firms have donated.

Gregory Cerchione, a past president of the organization, explained that the party wasn’t always open to everyone. But, over the years, as other groups died off or stopped having parties around the holidays, the Catholic Lawyers Guild began inviting those groups’ members to join them for Christmas, whether or not Christmas was the holiday they were initially celebrating.

“That’s the spirit of the season,” Cerchione said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, it’s good to see everyone come together during the holiday.”

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