Remembering Fr. Bernard Filmyer, SJ, Navy chaplain, pastoral minister and TV director

Rev. Bernard G. Filmyer, SJ, was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on October 23, 1920. He graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in Philadelphia and entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. in 1939. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Al., and a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Woodstock College, Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 22, 1952.

As a Jesuit scholastic, Fr. Filmyer taught Biology at Loyola College in Maryland, Scranton Prep, and was the assisting curator of the biology laboratory at Georgetown University. Following ordination, he served as the prefect of discipline at Loyola High School in Baltimore. He then spent two years as the chaplain at Berks County prison in Pennsylvania.

Following a short assignment as a minister at his high school alma mater, St. Joseph’s Prep, Fr. Filmyer entered the United States Navy in 1961 as a chaplain. He would remain for more than 15 years, including time spent in the Vietnam War, saying Mass and providing spiritual direction for our troops.

In 1978, Fr. Filmyer went back to school and received his Master’s in Communications from San Diego State University. He then spent the next 13 years, from 1980 through 1993, as a television director for the San Diego Ecumenical Conference and an auxiliary chaplain at Camp Pendleton. He then served as a chaplain for the Carmelite Nuns in San Diego for 18 years.

In 2011, Fr. Filmyer returned to the East Coast to live at the Columbiere Jesuit Community in Baltimore, praying for the Church and the Society of Jesus. He died on October 30, 2016 at the age of 96.

Recent News

Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, Fifth Bishop of Youngstown, OH, dies at 71.

June 1, 2020 — “As a black man living in America, the video of George Floyd’s suffocation cues unhealed experiences with police in this country and makes me less optimistic that change between the Black community and the police will soon change."

May 27, 2020 - Now more than ever, we invoke God to wipe away the darkness of anxiety, allowing us to be guided by the light of Christ and to trust in God’s promise of new life. Over the last few months, our Jesuit provinces have been in a place we don’t often find ourselves, a place that saw our schools closed, parishes empty, and the halls of our retreat centers giving new meaning to the word “silent.”

May 13, 2020 - Fr. Daniel Lahart, SJ, president of Regis High School recently asked one of the school’s alumni, Dr. Anthony Fauci, class of ’58, to record a video for the Jesuit graduates of 2020.

May 12, 2020 - Susan Baber has been named the Associate Provincial Assistant for Secondary Education for the new USA East Jesuit Province. The new province will come into being on July 31, Susan will assume this new role in August.

Fr. Dennis E. McNally, SJ, beloved painter and professor of fine arts at Saint Joseph’s University, dies at 76.

May 5, 2020 - Let us pray that deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church.

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