Rev. Bernard G. Filmyer, Jesuit priest
The Rev. Bernard G. Filmyer, a Jesuit priest who served as a Navy chaplain and also held positions at Loyola University Maryland and Loyola High School, died Sunday of heart failure at the Colombiere Jesuit Community in North Roland Park. He was 96. The son of Edward Aloysius Filmyer and Anna Heger Filmyer, Bernard Grover Filmyer was born and raised in Philadelphia, where he graduated from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School.
He entered the Society of Jesus in 1939 in Wernersville, Pa., and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala.
He also earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from the old Woodstock College, a Jesuit seminary in Baltimore County.
As a Jesuit scholastic, Father Filmyer taught biology at Loyola University Maryland from 1946 to 1947, then at Scranton Preparatory School in Scranton, Pa.
Later, he was assistant curator of the biology department at Georgetown University in Washington.
Ordained into the priesthood in 1952, Father Filmyer was prefect of discipline at Loyola High School from 1954 to 1956, and for the next two years served as chaplain at the Berks County Prison in Leesport, Pa.
After teaching briefly at St. Joseph’s Preparatory in Philadelphia, Father Filmyer entered the Navy in 1961 as a chaplain. He served 15 years, including time he was assigned to Vietnam during the war. There, he offered Masses and provided spiritual counsel for troops.
In 1978, Father Filmyer entered San Diego State University and earned a master’s degree in communications. From 1980 until 1993, he served as television director for the San Diego Ecumenical Conference and as an assistant chaplain at the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton in Southern California.
He was also chaplain for 18 years for the Carmelite Nuns at the Carmelite Monastery in San Diego until his retirement in 2011.
Since then, he had been a resident of the Colombiere Community in Baltimore.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Luke the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 2316 Fairhill Ave., in Glenside, Pa.
He is survived by many nieces and nephews.