We are sending a special edition of our ENews in order to pay tribute to PJ, who has just last week finished his time with Catholic Youth Broken Bay. It was beautiful that PJ was still here to organise the first in-person Praisefest coming out of lockdown.
After eight years of serving the youth of Broken Bay, PJ Almendras has decided to go down the path of education and so he has brought his work at Catholic Youth Broken Bay to a close. While it has been hard to see him leave, it is abundantly easy see the great impact he has made on the Diocese of Broken Bay. Since 2013 PJ has poured himself out into ministry, seeking to uplift parishes and schools and the entire community of Broken Bay, particularly through the beauty of music ministry. From Praisefests to #PraiseGodItsMonday, the initiatives he has fostered have brought light and joy to our Christian journey. PJ also attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, where he was part of the house band in 2017 and led a Praise and Worship Session in 2019. However, he was not just renowned for his musical abilities and editing skills, but for his gift of time and attention for others: through youth groups and Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Conferences, World Youth Days in Kraków and Panama, PJ has unceasingly invested his time into the young people around him, in whom he saw great potential before they recognised it themselves.
For those of us who were fortunate enough to be ministered to and minister alongside him, it has been a bittersweet moment saying goodbye and watching PJ take up new opportunities that bring him great joy. He will be pursuing studies in teaching and, in the meantime, will most likely still be enjoying Diet Coke and coaching CrossFit. Please pray for PJ as he continues this great adventure of life!
Alex Leach (Team Leader of Catholic Youth Broken Bay)