Bishop Brian Nunes’ siblings knew that he was pretty active in their local church and Catholic school growing up, but they were at different levels of surprise when he told them he wanted to become a priest.

“To be honest, I never expected it,” said his sister, Denise Johnson. “I did not see Brian becoming a priest.”

“I was surprised, but kind of not surprised,” said his sister, Anne Nunes. “It kind of made sense. Because I know how involved he'd always been in the church. But at the same time, he’d gone to college, he had a career.”

“I have to say I thought it would’ve been earlier,” said his brother, Michael Nunes. “The grandparents and schoolteachers kind of always assumed he was going to be a priest.”

After basking in the glow of Nunes’ ordination, his siblings reminisced on how he grew up, what he was like as an older brother, and what it’s like to have a bishop in the family. Here are their stories:

Being active in the church

“Brian was an altar server, then became a lector afterward. I don’t know that the rest of us were as involved in volunteering in the church. But I think we all could tell from how my mom volunteers and what my brother was doing that there’s definitely a service aspect that we probably all want to do.” — Anne

“I mean, he was always a very religious person. He was an altar boy. He was part of the class liturgical group that would kind of put together the school Masses and things like that.” — Michael

Being the older brother

“He’s the oldest and I’m the youngest. So we argued all the time. He was the annoying older brother who had to babysit us and tell us what to do. And I didn’t like to listen. So that was his frustration, I’m sure, it was me and that I didn’t want to listen.” — Denise

“He was a relatively quiet, bookish person. He was very much into radio, a tape-recorder guy. ‘Star Trek’ fan. I’m still swinging him toward ‘Star Wars’ a bit.” — Michael

Bishop Brian Nunes, top left, is pictured along with his brother, Michael, and sisters, Anne and Denise, in a 1991 family portrait. (Submitted photo)

“Michael, Denise, and I would play together, we’d go outside and do stuff with the neighbors and Brian was tuned in with his headphones and listened to the radio or he would record stuff on cassettes. … We remember him and his friends. It seemed like they were just a different class from us. For school, instead of a backpack, it seemed like he would have, like, a little briefcase, which is always more mature.” — Anne

Being a priest in the family

“It used to be whoever's house it was, you lead the prayers, but then when he became a priest, we’re like we’ve got a holy man here, he should do that.” — Denise

“We were calling him Father Brother. And he was Father Uncle. Now I guess it’s gonna be Bishop Brother. … I don't think he would want us to treat him any differently.” — Anne

Being a bishop

“It’s not just us who are really happy and proud for him, but it’s all these other people. At one point, I thought, wow, how special it is for our family to have this, but it’s not just our family. It’s everybody. I don’t typically get really emotional like that. It just hit me that it’s way bigger.” — Michael

“[My parents’] phone was ringing off the hook when people started to find out. So they took the time with each person to talk about how blessed we are as a family and how proud they are of Brian and how he’s progressed and just how wonderful it is to have a priest, now bishop, in the family.” — Denise

“I think that’s when it started to hit home that Brian is becoming — out of all these priests and everybody — he’s becoming a bishop. … I can't even explain what kind of blessing it seems to be for the family. And knowing that if my grandparents were alive, how amazed and thrilled they would be.” — Anne