A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Father Robert Swann Pittman, SSS, at 11 a.m. April 28 in Holy Family Chapel at Regina Health Center, 5232 Broadview Road, Richfield. Visitation and a vigil will take place at 10 a.m. in the chapel.
Father Pittman, 93, died April 24 at Regina Health Center.
The son of the late Robert and Alice (nee Wade) Pittman, he was born June 22, 1928 in Washington, D.C. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by three brothers.
Father Pittman began his journey of religious life with the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in Barre, Massachusetts, beginning with postulancy in 1950 and continuing through novitiate to his profession of religious vows on Aug. 3, 1953.
He studied philosophy at the congregation’s major seminary of St. Joseph in Cleveland and continued studies for his doctorate in theology, Greek and Latin and classical languages in Rome. Later in life, Father Pittman studied for a master’s degree in agricultural education at the University of Maryland due to his extensive work in agriculture at the Body of Christ Farm Community in Waldorf, Maryland, which he founded in 1981.
He was ordained a priest on July 13, 1958 in Rome.
After ordination, Father Pittman taught in the seminary in Maputo, Mozambique, Africa, 1959-1960; Wareside, England, 1960-1964; and Washington, D.C., 1964-1980.
Father Pittman ministered at The Body of Christ Farm from 1981 until a stroke in 2017 required him to seek supportive health care at Regina Health Center. He lived at Regina from 2017 until his death.
His passion was founding the Black Leadership and Christ’s Kingdom Society, teaching local children at the farm about the Eucharist and preparing them for their first Communion. He also instructed many people who frequented the farm about prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and living the Eucharist to bring about justice and unity.
Father Pittman will be missed by members of his religious community, his remaining family and the Body of Christ Farm Community.
Burial will be private.
Memorial contributions in honor of Father Pittman can be made to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, 5384 Wilson Mills Road, Highland Heights, Ohio 44113 or the Body of Christ Farm, P.O. Box 410, Waldorf, Maryland 20604.