ST. ANDREWS, Ontario – On Sunday, October 15, 2017, Father Bernard (Bernie) Cameron died at the Cornwall Community Hospital. He had not been well during the last two years.
Fr. Bernie, as he was affectionately known, was born in St. Andrews West on April 15, 1933. He was one of 10 children, 7 boys and 3 girls, born to Alexander and Helen (MacDonell) Cameron. He attended St. Andrew’s Private High School and later, Scarboro’s Nazareth House in St. Marys, Ontario. He attended le Grand Séminaire de Saint Sulpice in Montreal where he obtained his Bachelor in Theology.
He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall at St. Andrew’s Parish on May 30, 1958 by Bishop Rosario Brodeur. His first assignment was Curate at St. Columban’s Parish where he remained for three years before being given charge of his first parish in 1961, St. Catherine of Sienna in Greenfield.
During his more than 59 years of priesthood, he served in many of the Diocese’s English language parishes including St. Mary’s in Williamstown, Blessed Sacrament in Cornwall, St. Columban’s in Cornwall, Our Lady of Grace in Ingleside, St. Pius X in Long Sault, St. Alexander’s in Lochiel, St. Catherine of Sienna in Greenfield, St. Anthony’s in Apple Hill and St. Michael’s in Monkland. In addition, he served 10 years as rector of the Cathedral of St. Finnan’s in Alexandria.
In 2001, his long held dream of pastoring in his home parish was finally realized when he was named to St. Andrew’s. He remained as pastor until his retirment in October 2013. Following his retirement, Fr. Cameron regularly replaced his fellow priests when they had to be absent from their parish. He very much enjoyed this phase of his priesthood until his health forced a permanent retirement.
During his nearly six decades as a priest, Fr. Cameron contributed to diocesan life by taking on a number of pastoral services, including professor of religious instruction at CCVS and General Vanier, Spiritual Advisor to the Diocesan Council of the Catholic Women’s League and Diocesan Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus. He also held positions of responsibility among his brother priests as Dean on several occasions and Co-Chairman of the Diocesan Synod.
Fr. Cameron will be remembered for his life of service and dedication in our Diocese. He will also be remembered for his great devotion to the Virgin Mary and in particular Our Lady of Medjugorje, having led more than a dozen pilgrimages to Medjugorje. Fr. Cameron was a great story teller and historian who utilized these gifts during his homilies. He cared for the people he served and he will be missed.
The Solemn Translation from Wilson Funeral Home to St. Andrew’s Parish will take place on Wednesday, October 18th where he will lay in state from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. There will be no visitation at the funeral home. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Prendergast on Thursday, October 19th at 2:00 pm. Internment to follow at St. Andrew’s Parish Cemetery, St. Andrews West.