June 15, 2021 | Local News

Seminarian Corey, with family Emily, Sue, Larry and Brody Bruns at an Easter Vigil at St. Joseph Parish in Bowling Green several years ago. Today, Fr. Bruns is assigned to St. Joseph as parochial vicar. COURTESY OF EMILY BRUNS

As ‘first friends,’ triplet siblings saw Fr. Corey D. Bruns’s vocation flourish

Brody Bruns (far left) prays the Litany of the Saints as his triplet brother Corey lies prostrate on the floor of St. Stephen Cathedral during the May 22, 2021 Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood. ELIZABETH WONG BARNSTEAD | WKC


At the May 22, 2021 priesthood ordination of Fr. Corey D. Bruns, Bishop William F. Medley told the soon-to-be ordained that “God chose you Corey… because from your mother’s womb, God knew you. Even if it might have been a little crowded there,” he added, to a general chuckle throughout St. Stephen Cathedral.

Because you see, Fr. Bruns is a triplet.

His triplet brother, Brody, and triplet sister, Emily, attended their brother’s Mass of Ordination to the Order of the Priesthood for the Diocese of Owensboro – and later told The Western Kentucky Catholic that their brother’s vocation has deeply impacted their own lives.

Born on June 15, 1994, triplets Corey, Brody and Emily Bruns (and older brothers Adam and Nathan) were raised in the Catholic faith from a young age.

Their family had moved from Illinois to Crittenden County in Kentucky when the Bruns triplets were in third grade.

The three were inseparable: they were each other’s “first friends,” according to Brody Bruns.

The triplets Brody, Corey and Emily Bruns at a very young age. COURTESY OF EMILY BRUNS

“We came out of the womb together, so you do tend to be close,” he told the WKC on June 1. “There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t know my siblings.”

Their mother dressed them in matching outfits when they were little, and though that didn’t last forever, the Bruns triplets continued to be close as they grew up, said Emily Bruns.

Their family was one of the few practicing Catholic families in their hometown at the time. Fr. Bruns, in a June 11 phone call, credited their mother for their faith formation, much of which she taught them at home.

“Thankfully my mom did that with us because it helped us understand our faith from a young age,” he said, calling the experience “really beneficial.”

So it only made sense that the Bruns kids even incorporated the faith into their made-up games.

Emily Bruns (far left) smiles during her triplet brother Corey’s May 22, 2021 Mass of Ordination to the Priesthood at St. Stephen Cathedral. ELIZABETH WONG BARNSTEAD | WKC

“Growing up, we played Mass all the time,” said Emily Bruns in a June 1 interview, adding that Corey was typically the priest, Brody was the server, and she was the lector.

Emily Bruns said they would “process” down the long hallway in their house, with altar server Brody holding up the “processional cross,” which was actually a toy vacuum cleaner.

“Corey’s first chasuble was a checkered tablecloth,” she said. “We would line up our stuffed animals in chairs” to serve as the assembly.

Fr. Bruns said their parents, Larry and Sue Bruns, kept up a tradition of taking the family to Adoration on Saturdays, which he could not praise highly enough.

And in fifth grade, Corey, Brody and Emily asked – and were granted permission – to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation early, after explaining their desire “to have those gifts (of the Holy Spirit),” said Fr. Bruns.

Throughout their childhood, the triplets learned that “we can do so much but the Lord does so much more. When my dad lost his job, we turned to prayer,” said Fr. Bruns. “I am most grateful to my parents for teaching us how to pray.”

As toddlers, Emily, Brody and Corey go for a ride in their triplet stroller. COURTESY OF EMILY BRUNS

Following years of sharing a homeroom, a car and a shift at Dairy Queen, the siblings inevitably “found our own things we wanted to do,” said Brody Bruns. “We definitely developed our own personalities and lives.”

Today, Brody Bruns works as a software developer in Columbus, Ohio. Emily Bruns is a missionary in Winona, Minn., with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). But they remain close in spirit, even when not physically in the same location.

Brody Bruns said his brother’s vocation was “definitely not a quick decision.”

Indeed, he and his sister knew this had been developing for many years before future Fr. Bruns left for Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis in 2012.

“You could tell he was attracted to a love for the Mass, a reverence for it,” said Brody Bruns. Emily Bruns added that their brother was usually the go-to for Catholic questions from classmates at school.

She said Fr. Bruns’s Mass of Ordination was a “beautiful reminder” of “the Lord’s goodness and that he has a plan for Corey’s life.”

Brody Bruns is glad he had a “good front row seat of seeing Corey’s growth from seminary into Fr. Bruns.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing where else it takes him, and I’ll be right there along the way,” said Brody Bruns.


‘Listen to, pray for, and tend Christ’s flock’ – Fr. Corey D. Bruns ordained May 22

‘It’s a beautiful vocation and a beautiful life’ says seminarian anticipating ordination


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Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
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