Deacon Profile: Paul Hittner 


Name: Paul Francis Hittner
Spouse: Mary
Children: Nicholas (Jill), Frances (John Pugh), Claire (Scott Shafer), Gwendolyn (Anthony Huke), Steven, Laura, and Christopher (Kristen).
Parish: Our Lady of Victory, Davenport.
Date and place of ordination: Dec. 13, 1980, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.
Occupation: Retired Latin/English teacher and high school librarian.
Why did you become a deacon? 
I was elated when Pope Paul VI restored the diaconate.  I thought my seminary training as a young man could be put to good use if, through discernment, I was found to be worthy of the call to this ministry.
What ministries are you involved in?
Over the years I have served in a variety of ministries including education in RCIA and parish programs, jail ministry, eucharistic ministry to the nursing homes and the elderly, eucharistic hours spent with Christ and fellow parishioners and witnessing with Mary to the richness of sacrificial giving.
Outside of parish:
Because of a past injury which requires that I avoid falling, we go to Texas during the winter. At our parish there, Holy Spirit in McAllen, I have been involved with presentations on the Mass. I have always enjoyed teaching. The Mass and insights into the Mass are my favorite subjects. The Eucharist is so very important. I want to help people to properly understand how Christ in this sacrifice/sacrament brings us all to the Father.
What are your challenges?
My health is a challenge. For the past three years I have had many episodes involving high fevers and extremely low blood pressure which sent me to the hospital ICU and left me physically and emotionally exhausted.  My doctor in Texas called me his “mystery” patient.  Finally, after three hospitalizations this spring, several labs (acting independently) discovered a blood infection caused by the bacteria that causes acne. Since this is a skin bacteria, no one could explain how it could survive, much less thrive, in the blood system.  A six-week daily regimen of antibiotic infusions has effectively taken care of the infection, but has left me with a weakened heart and a low energy threshold.
Favorite Scripture passage:  
“With that he set out for his father’s house. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was deeply moved. He ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.”  — Luke 15:20.  The prodigal son — aren’t we all — returns to the embrace and love of his Prodigal Father.

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