Father Muller, oldest priest in the archdiocese, dies after 70 years as a priest

Father Myles Muller, former chaplain of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the oldest priest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, died April 3 at 97. In February, he celebrated 70 years as a priest.

“He was probably the most unselfish person you’d ever want to meet,” said Mary Lou Engers, Father Muller’s niece.

Father Muller ministered as a chaplain in the Archdiocese of Baltimore at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1970 to his retirement in 1989.

“If a doctor, nurse or family needed him, he was available,” Engers said, adding that the job was every day of the week and at all hours.

He continued that spirit of giving into his retirement at Mercy Ridge, where Engers said that he would often sit and talk for hours to anyone who wanted to talk to a priest.

Born July 13, 1920, in Baltimore, Father Muller was the oldest of Lawrence Barnhart and Mary Catherine (O’Reilly) Muller’s five children. He was baptized at St. Mary, Star of the Sea in Federal Hill.

He attended St. Elizabeth Elementary School in Highlandtown until second grade and completed his elementary education at Immaculate Conception School in Towson.

After studying for one year at Towson Catholic High School in Towson, he completed high school at St. John’s Atonement Seminary in Graymoor, N.Y. He became a postulant for the Atonement Friars in 1938 and entered Graymoor Seminary at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he earned a bachelor’s in philosophy and a master’s in theology.

He was ordained a priest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City for the Atonement Friars Feb. 21, 1948 and returned to Baltimore to celebrate his first Mass at St. Dominic in Hamilton.

Father Muller was appointed procurator/treasurer for the Atonement Friars Seminary in Washington, D.C., and served the order in New York and British Columbia, Canada, as assistant director in a home for men and in parishes as pastor. As pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Golden, British Columbia (1958-64), he served First Nations people who lived on and around a local Native Reserve.

He ministered in healthcare in New York and Washington, D.C., before returning to Baltimore to serve at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was incardinated into the archdiocese in 1974.

In Baltimore, he was the supervisor for the Chaplaincy Internship Program, overseeing the training of men from St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park, where he also was a part-time faculty member. He served on the archdiocesan Advisory Committee for Chaplaincy Affairs and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and the Association of Mental Health Chaplains.

Father Muller was a family man who enjoyed time spent outdoors playing sports, fishing and hunting. His mother taught him and his brothers how to shoot a rifle and handgun when they were young, and he was an excellent shot.

“My uncle lived a very happy, fulfilling life,” Engers said.

All services will be held in Stella Maris Chapel in Timonium. Reception of the body and visitation will be held April 6, 10-11 a.m. A funeral Mass will be offered by Archbishop William E. Lori April 6 at 11 a.m.

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Emily Rosenthal

Emily Rosenthal

Emily Rosenthal is a staff writer for the Catholic Review. She is a lifelong resident of Maryland and a parishioner of St. John in Westminster.

A love of learning inspired Emily’s path into the field of journalism. Her desire to continuously grow in her Catholic faith led her to writing for the Review, where she is dedicated to sharing the stories of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Emily is a graduate of Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, Pa. She holds a bachelor's degree in business communication from Stevenson University and is currently pursuing a master's degree in nonfiction writing from The Johns Hopkins University.