Downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn legal community gathers for revitalized red mass tradition

October 10, 2023 Robert Abruzzese
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Click here for a slide show to see who was there.

Downtown Brooklyn witnessed a resurgence of an age-old tradition as the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kings County and the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn co-hosted the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint James on Thursday, Oct. 5.

The ceremony, led by Reverend Monsignor Joseph Grimaldi, Very Reverend Patrick Keating, a recent Brooklyn Law School graduate, and Very Reverend Bryan Patterson, serves as a prayer for the legal community and marks a new beginning after many local bar associations break for the summer.

Gregory Cerchione, past president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, Catholic Lawyers, and Columbian Lawyers, along with Yolanda Guadagnoli, the current Columbian Lawyers president, led the congregation with a pair of readings.

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Attendance this year was notably higher compared to recent years, a promising sign of community re-engagement following pandemic-related challenges.

Co-sponsored by the Kings & Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, the Knights of Columbus and the Columbiettes, and the Ceremonial Honor Guard of the New York State Court Officer’s Association, the event extends its invitation beyond lawyers and judges to court employees and people of different faiths.

A reception followed at the Brooklyn Bar Association, catered by Italian restaurant Marco Polo, reinforcing the event’s focus on camaraderie.

The roots of the Red Mass stretch back to 13th-century Catholic Europe. It made its way to American soil in 1928, called forth by Cardinal Hayes of New York. The Mass invites professionals across the legal spectrum to seek divine wisdom for the forthcoming term of the Court.

Not just an artifact of Catholic or European tradition, the Red Mass has evolved into a uniquely American and ecumenical event, underlining the diversity and unity within Brooklyn’s legal community.

From left: Gregory LaSpina, Linda LoCascio, Hon. Carl Landicino, Hon. Lara Genovesi, Hon. Wavny Toussaint, Hon. Frank Seddio, Hon. Genine Edwards, and Hon. Rosemarie Montalbano. Photo: Rob Abruzzese
From left: Rev. Msgr. Joseph Grimaldi, Hon. Inga O’Neale, Hon. Reginald Boddie, Hon. Jane Tully, Hon. Bernard Graham, Hon. Maria Aragona, and Hon. Joanne Quinones. Photo: Robert Abruzzese
Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello and Hon. Robert Miller. Photo: Robert Abruzzese
Dean Delianites (left) and Joseph Rosato, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association. Photo: Robert Abruzzese
Dominic Famulari, immediate past president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, and Very Reverend Patrick Keating. Photo: Robert Abruzzese
Gregory Cerchione (left) and Thomas Laquercia lead the procession at the start of the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint James in Downtown Brooklyn. Photo: Robert Abruzzese
The annual Red Mass event is led by the local bar associations and is always well supported by the local judiciary. Pictured sitting front row from left to right: Hon. Robert Miller, Hon. Lawrence Knipel, the administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term, Hon. Mark Partnow, and Hon. Dweynie Paul, supervising judge of the Kings County Civil Court. Photo: Robert Abruzzese
Clergymen at the altar conduct the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint James, a tradition uniting Brooklyn’s legal community in prayer and reflection for the upcoming year. Photo: Robert Abruzzese
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint James in Downtown Brooklyn serves as the setting for the annual Red Mass, gathering members of the legal community for a ceremonial start to the new year. Photo: Robert Abruzzese
Gregory Cerchione led everyone in prayer. Photo: Robert Abruzzese

Click here for a slide show to see who was there.

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