Diocesan News

Double Life: Catholic Architect Renovates Old Churches and Inspires Young Faithful 

Jason Galindo (in green) is the head of the youth ministry team at St. Brigid Catholic Academy in Bushwick. (Photo: Courtesy of Jason Galindo)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — By day, Queens native Jason Galindo is an architect at Zaskorski & Associates, working to renovate churches across the diocese. At night, he heads out to St. Brigid Catholic Church in Bushwick, where he works as a youth minister. In both roles, he has found a way to celebrate his faith, woven into every aspect of his life.

“There are a lot of connections between architecture and youth groups. It’s not something you do on your own. It’s a collaboration. It’s a team effort,” Galindo said.

Every Thursday and Friday, Galindo hops on his electric scooter or in his car, driving from his home in Long Island City. Appointed as youth minister at St. Brigid in October, Galindo found himself starting fresh. 

In the year and a half he spent serving as the youth minister at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Elmhurst, Galindo grew the youth program to include extensive sports tournaments and a TikTok presence, utilizing multimedia platforms to engage young Catholics. 

In the five months he has been at St. Brigid, he has taken what he learned in Elmhurst to Bushwick, establishing a leadership team and helping them create a TikTok page to promote their Youth & Sports ministry. There are now 160 kids enrolled in the youth group, with ages ranging from middle to high school. 

After graduating college and finding his dream job just three years ago, Galindo can easily recall the anxiety that comes with self-discovery, which helps him as a youth minister. 

He supports them spiritually through prayer. For their futures and careers, he sits in on Zoom calls on his days away from the church to help his team with their resumes and practice interviews. 

“Especially my high school kids, a lot of them feel the pressure of not knowing what they want to be and what they want to do. So I talk to them and I tell them you’ve still got four years in high school to figure out, kind of, what you want to do. But even if you don’t, I figured it out just four years ago,” he said.

While at St. Bartholomew, this relationship was witnessed firsthand by Father Andrew Tsui, the church’s parochial vicar.

“He’s closer in age, and he can relate to them in terms of culture and in terms of life experience … just the mere fact that he is living out his faith is just great so they can see that [they] can actually be on fire for the Lord,” Father Tsui said. 

The connection between the two halves of Galindo’s life does not stop there. Even before Galindo was a youth minister, he was involved in the Church. From the time he was a teenager, he always thought it would be better for the Catholic Church if more young Catholics were involved, and decided it could start with him. But he didn’t know there was a formal way for him to follow this passion.

Jason Galindo speaks with members of the St. Brigid community. (Photo: Courtesy of Jason Galindo)

The same thing happened with becoming an architect. As a child, Galindo always knew he wanted to do something that involved building and drawing, constantly doodling squares and triangles on scrap paper — he just didn’t know there was a job for him that existed. 

As a teenager, he attended the specialized High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. He was considering a career in architecture — and for a time, he thought he might become a priest. However, he needed to take a break after he graduated high school in 2012 to find a job and support his family. 

But in 2019, he decided to go back to school, attending Queens Community College to earn his associate degree. During that time, he was working as a sacristan at St. Bartholomew, where he met a visiting priest who asked him what he wanted to do for his career. After taking a moment, Galindo said he always wanted to build a church. 

“I remember it like it was yesterday. He puts his hand on my head and says ‘We don’t need architects to build churches. We need architects to fix them.’ And in two years, I got into the most prestigious firm for renovating and restoring churches,” Galindo said.

His pastor, Father Richard Beuther, introduced him to Zaskorski & Associates, which had renovated St. Bartholomew in the past. As a Catholic, Galindo is at an advantage, bringing his knowledge of the Church into his renovation planning. The first place he looks to when he visits churches is the sacristy, making sure there aren’t any leaks there.

“To have that kind of shared mission of restoring a place of worship, not just fixing my house, I think this is something that I feel very grateful for,” he said.