In a photo from around 2004 when then-Msgr. Barry Knestout was installed as the new pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Silver Spring, the future bishop stands with members of his family. Standing in front, from left to right, are Bishop Knestout’s nephew David Knestout; his nephew Bryan Colvin; his sister Janice Colvin; the future bishop; his mother Caroline Knestout; his brother, Father Mark Knestout; his sister Rose Maslo, and his brother Brian Knestout and Brian’s wife Cathy with their daughter, Teresa. Standing in back, from left to right, are Bishop Knestout’s nephew, Michael Knestout; his twin brother, Thomas Knestout and Tom’s wife, Jaci; his brother Robert Knestout; his nephew Brandon Clark; Robert Hoffmann , the fiancé of his niece Kristina Colvin; his nephew John Maslo; his niece Kristina Colvin; his brother-in-law, Joe Maslo; and his niece, Sarah Maslo.
In a photo from around 2004 when then-Msgr. Barry Knestout was installed as the new pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Silver Spring, the future bishop stands with members of his family. Standing in front, from left to right, are Bishop Knestout’s nephew David Knestout; his nephew Bryan Colvin; his sister Janice Colvin; the future bishop; his mother Caroline Knestout; his brother, Father Mark Knestout; his sister Rose Maslo, and his brother Brian Knestout and Brian’s wife Cathy with their daughter, Teresa. Standing in back, from left to right, are Bishop Knestout’s nephew, Michael Knestout; his twin brother, Thomas Knestout and Tom’s wife, Jaci; his brother Robert Knestout; his nephew Brandon Clark; Robert Hoffmann , the fiancé of his niece Kristina Colvin; his nephew John Maslo; his niece Kristina Colvin; his brother-in-law, Joe Maslo; and his niece, Sarah Maslo.
New Washington Auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout's twin brother, Thomas Knestout, said having a bishop in the family is like having a celebrity in the house.

"He has 3,500 hits on Google," Thomas Knestout said.

Most of his siblings -- five brothers and three sisters -- feel the same way about his appointment to bishop.

"I'm just kind of blown away by that, because it's so far out of context, it is out of my normal life or anything I grew up expecting," said Brian Knestout, the youngest sibling in Bishop Knestout's family. "He just wanted to be a parish priest. It's funny and ironic."

Rose Maslo, the second oldest child who remembers being a "little mother" to Bishop Knestout as he grew up, said, "What an honor this is for my brother."

The Knestout family attended St. Pius X Parish in Bowie.

Brian Knestout said his family is so proud of both siblings who became priests - Bishop-elect Barry Knestout and Father Mark Knestout, who serves as director of the Office of Wor-ship for the Archdiocese of Washington.

"I'm immensely proud of both of them. Being a priest is a difficult road," he said. After Bishop Knestout was ordained a priest in 1989 his father, the late Deacon Thomas Knestout, who headed the archdiocesan office for the permanent diaconate for many years, told his children to stay close with their brothers because the priesthood can sometimes be a "lonely life," Thomas Knestout said.

Brian Knestout said, "My dad got choked up ...he would say 'It's a difficult life they have chosen.' He told me I need to help them get through this."

Brian Knestout said his parents had a big influence on the faith of their children.

Caroline Knestout, the new bishop's mother, said she and her husband would say grace before and after meals. They also read Scripture and had regular discussions about the Church and Scripture at the dinner table, she said. Deacon Knestout also brought some of his children along with him as he ministered in a hospital that served people with disabilities.

"He was always helping other people," Caroline Knestout said.

On the day Pope Benedict XVI named him to his new ministry, Bishop Knestout remembered being a seventh grader, and accompanying his dad on visits to the hospital. "He (dad) would cart us along, my brothers and me ...We as a family felt very much a part of his vocation," he said. The future bishop added that he was inspired by his mother's "quiet service" and that he is grateful for all of his siblings "who have always been both loving family and true friends."

Brian Knestout said their father, who was friends with many priests, showed them that priests were not an "untouched caste ...they are pretty normal people."

Priests would "come over for a visit, talk a bit, and have a beer ...we saw them in a different context," he said.

His brother, like those priests, found his calling, he said. "They do it because they were called to it. Because they made that choice to make people's lives better," he said.

Brian Knestout said the relationship he had with his brother growing up was "very normal."

"We fought over the TV, or who got to choose the channel, or who got the last of the Cocoa Puffs," he said.

But there was also a compassionate side to Bishop Knestout that was evident at an early age, Brian Knestout said. When they shared a room together as children, Brian Knestout said he would occasionally have nightmares. Scared, he would go over to his brother Barry's bed, and his older brother would talk him through it.

"I could count on him," he said.

Caroline Knestout said when she wakes up, she thinks about how soon her son will be ordained as a bishop at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington on Dec. 29.

"I'm glad I'm here to see this, it's a great honor," she said.