PJ Brandimarti grew up in an Italian, Catholic family in Pittsburgh as a self proclaimed, “Nona’s boy.” He enjoyed being a boy scout and then made eagle scout before attending Duquesne University at 18 and applying to the seminary for the first time.
“I have thought about the priesthood my entire life,” says PJ. “I used to ‘play church’ when I was four years old and I was the priest and would flatten down bread to be the host.”
PJ decided that he wasn’t ready for the seminary yet and threw himself into his jobs at Circuit City and Sony. For a while he worked, hung out with his friends, dated and did not dedicate time to his faith. When PJ began his 9-5 sales job with Motorola, he had more time in the car where he could listen to Catholic Radio. He went back to attending church regularly, and getting involved with his parish. Eventually he met with the Columbus Vocations Director, Father Noble, who helped PJ determine when the time was right to answer God’s call.
“I knew at some point I would circle back around to the seminary but wasn’t sure when I’d be ready for the commitment,” says PJ. His parents are extremely supportive; both his mom and dad discerned vocations and his aunt is a religious sister.
“For my parents, my being ordained is better than having grandchildren,” explains PJ. “I will be involved with tons of families and children from my community.”
PJ is looking forward to being ordained and having a structured day although he is aware that one phone call can change the entire outcome of a day. “I am really excited to give out the sacraments and show people just how much God loves them.”
Favorite Activities: PJ likes to work out an hour per day and spend lots of time with friends. He enjoys sports and especially likes watching hockey. “I root for the Blue Jackets… unless they are playing the Penguins.” He also loves watching Science Fiction movies and is a huge fan of Star Trek and Star Wars.
Favorite Food: PJ loves to cook Italian food, especially homemade pasta and sauce. “But I can’t eat any of it right now because I’m on the Keto Diet which is no carbs. I’ve lost 65 lbs in the last three months! So my current favorite is hamburgers and steak.”
Favorite Ice Cream: Vanilla
Favorite Music: “I’m very eclectic and like everything from classic rock to country to classical to chant.” PJ especially enjoys early 2000’s music like Fall Out Boy, Blink 182 and Story of the Year.
Something about PJ that no one would guess: “I’m actually naturally introverted. I need to spend at least an hour a day alone to recharge my batteries before going back to being with people.” This is hard to believe since PJ served on student senate for six years and announces the play by play and commentary for football and basketball tournaments at the PCJ. “The path to becoming a priest where my job is to speak to people and in front of a congregation is outside of my comfort zone, but I’m really enjoying it.”