The peaceful death of Father Francis Cameron, age 88, occurred on Monday, March 27, 2023, at Harbourstone Enhanced Care, Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Father Cameron was a son of the late Finlay and Sarah (Beaton) Cameron of Mabou, Nova Scotia. He was born on April 18, 1934, in Mabou and raised in Boisdale where he received his elementary education. He attended high school at Iona High School after which he attended St. F. X. University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in June, 1958. The following September he entered Holy Heart Seminary for his theological studies and priestly training.
Father Cameron was ordained to the priesthood in St. Ninian Cathedral on June 16, 1962, by the Most Reverend William E. Power, Bishop of Antigonish. Father Cameron’s first assignment was as Assistant at St. Michael Parish, River Ryan, and as Chaplain at the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital. For three years he was on loan to the Halifax Archdiocese. In 1967, he returned to the Diocese of Antigonish where he served as Assistant at Sacred Heart Parish, Sydney, from 1967 to 1975. In February, 1975, Father Cameron was appointed pastor of St. Peter Parish, Larry’s River; he later served as pastor of St. Mary, Mabou, Stella Maris, Louisbourg, and attached mission, Mira Ferry; St. Joseph, North Sydney, St. Peter, St. Peter’s, and St. Joseph, Reserve Mines, and Holy Family, Glace Bay.
Father Cameron served the Diocese of Antigonish as Dean of the Guysborough Deanery, as a member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, as a member of the Senate of Priests.
He was predeceased by his siblings, Mary, Janet, Fr. Leo and Margie. He is survived by his sister, Isabel (Harold) Hirlehey; nephews, Patrick (Robyn) and David (Helen); grandnephews, Cameron and Damian; grandnieces, Anna and Olivia and many relatives and friends.
Fr. Francis was a fiddler, a priest, a putterer, a personality, a Cape Bretoner and a Gaelic conversationalist. He was a kind and generous priest; always helpful in times of need. His priestly work was of utmost importance in his life. He enjoyed playing the fiddle, reading his Breviary daily, dancing and having a meal with family and friends along with a shot of Johnnie Walker (Scotch). He also worked hard on learning to speak the Gaelic language.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, April 15, with Bishop Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick officiating. Funeral arrangements under the care and direction of W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney. In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to St. Andrew’s Church in Boisdale, Cape Breton. Online condolences may be sent to the family by leaving a message on the tribute wall of the obituary at www.wjdooley.com.