Fr. Joseph Pitts OMI

Fr. Joseph Pitts OMI
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Rev. Joseph A. Pitts, OMI, age 82, died in Belleville IL, on Sunday, December 18, 2016. The only child of his parents, he was born on February 22, 1934 in Chicago, IL to Joseph and Veronica, nee Szymarek, Pitts, who preceded him in death. He is survived by cousins and friends.

His Oblate education was at the Our Lady of the Ozarks Juniorate in Carthage, MO, Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate, Godfrey, IL, and Our Lady of the Snows Scholasticate in Pass Christian, MS. He received further education in counseling and spirituality at Loyola University, DePaul University and St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL.  He professed first vows as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate in 1954, and was ordained a priest on September 13, 1959.

His ministry included teaching assignments at St. Thomas College in St. Paul, MN and St. Benedict’s High School in Chicago, IL.  He served as Pastor in International Falls, MN and in Richfield, MN. He served on the Oblate vocation and formation staff at St. Henry’s in Belleville, IL, in Omaha, NE, and Oblate House of Theology in Chicago, IL.  He coordinated youth retreats at LaSalle Manor Retreat Center in Plano, IL and was Campus Minster at St. Scholastica High School in Chicago, IL, St. Mary’s College in Winona, MN, and Harper/Northeastern University in Chicago, IL.  His latest assignments were the Ministry Team at King’s House and the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL before retiring there at the Apartment Community, where he resided at the time of his death.

Memorials may be made to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Thursday, December 22, 2016, at the Chapel of the Apartment Community at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, December 22, 2016, at the Chapel of the Apartment Community at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL, with Fr. Jim Brobst, OMI officiating.

Burial will be later that afternoon at St. Henry’s Oblate Cemetery Belleville, IL.

Arrangements by George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL

Condolences Left For Fr. Joseph Pitts OMI

I am sorry to hear about Fr. Joe’s death. I remember his being at King’s House when I attended gatherings there. May he rest in peace.

Sister Therese Anne Kiefer, ASC, St. Louis, MO, 63123


3 Comments on Fr. Joseph Pitts OMI

Santa Garcia said : Guest Report Mar 11, 2020 at 8:18 PM

I was so sad to hear of your passing Fr. Joe, but you served as God's Shepherd to his people excellently as you walked this earth! We met while working in Ministry in Higher Education serving within the Archdiocese of Chicago. It was there that we became friends. Caroline, my daughter, and I will always remember how you were there and shared our grief before and after Val's passing so suddenly. Long ago you sent my family a Christmas card and wrote " Friends such as you are worth more than all the gold and silver..." Now, through my tears, I find myself repeating your written words as I send my prayers off to you. I will always remember your laugh and your smile and that twinkle in your eyes! Rest in God's presence Fr. Joe, Santa Garcia

  • Western Springs
  • IL
David Briars said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2019 at 10:19 PM

Fr. Joe was my college minister when I as at university. I didn't know it at the time, but what he taught me by word and by deed, were life-long lessons. Fr. Joe was very much one of the saints in our midst. My condolences to his friends and family, and please know of my feeling that St. Peter reunited Fr. Joe with beloved Volkswagon Bug, at the pearly gates. :-)

  • Chicago
  • IL
Bill Gaughan said : Guest Report Sep 10, 2017 at 7:13 PM

I was hurt to hear of Fr. Joe's death last December. I remember the Masses he used to say at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bellevue, NE. Mat you rest in peace Fr. Joe , knowing you were a special person who brought Jesus to others. I am a better person for having known oh. Bill Gaughan Omaha, NE

  • Omaha
  • NE

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