Born: Cloître Playben (Finistère), July 7, 1833.
Took the habit: Nancy, May 1, 1857.
Vows: Nancy, May 3, 1858 (N. 455).
Priestly ordination: Marseille, June 23, 1859.
Died: Borella, Ceylon, December 13, 1916.
Yves Le Cam was born in Cloître-Pleyben, diocese of Quimper, France, on July 7, 1833. After seven years of study in the minor seminary at Pont-Croix and a further two years at the major seminary at Quimper, he began his novitiate in Nancy on May 1, 1857 and took vows there in May 3 of the following year. He did his scholasticate in Montolivet (1858-1859) and was ordained priest by Bishop de Mazenod on June 23, 1859. In his reports for June 1857, the novice master wrote that Brothers Le Cam and Le Bihan “had made the sacrifice of giving up snuff quite admirably”. During the following months the notes on Brother Le Cam say that “he is quite shy, a little scrupulous, makes very little noise, exact and punctual”. In 1859, Father Antoine Mouchette, moderator of scholastics, wrote that this scholastic is still quite scrupulous, not very communicative, but that “he is more at ease and better in everything interiorly, because exteriorly he is very good. He has mediocre talents, but is courageous and persevering. I have no doubt that will be a good worker. He will gain much by being concerned for others; in that way he will be freed from concentration on himself.”
After a few months at Notre-Dame de la Garde in the summer of 1859, he received his obedience for Ceylon. He arrived in Colombo on December 19. He ministered in the vicariate of Jaffna for 36 years: in Batticaloa (1860-1866), Point Pedro (1866-1869, 1875-1883), Valigamam (1889-1875), Kayts (1883-1884), Akkaraipattu (1884-1885), then in Jaffna as pastor in the cathedral (1885-1892), Saint James (1892-1895). In 1895 he was sent to the archdiocese of Colombo. He ministered in Puttalam (1895-1900), Negombo (1900), Pettah (1901), Kotahena (1902), and again in Negombo (1902-1916).
The author of a hand written necrology notice wrote: “Throughout his whole life, Father Le Cam devoted himself to a most serious study of doctrinal and historical questions. It is no exaggeration to say few of his confreres equalled him in his knowledge of moral theology. His great competence in this subject together with the common sense and sound judgement of a Breton made him eminently suited for the ministry of confessions, which was, in fact, his work of predilection during his last years. Right to the end, he cultivated his taste for hagiography and the history of the Church. That became the food for his piety and he had the art of being able to use it to make his instructions useful and interesting”.
At the beginning of December 1916 he became ill and he was brought to archbishop’s house in Colombo (Borella). That is where he died on December 13 at the age of 84.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.