SHC Jubilee Honors Frs. Borbridge and Kitten

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 1:15pm
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Spring Hill College President Richard J. Salmi, S.J. will preside over the Sept. 8 Mass in St. Joseph Chapel celebrating significant milestones in the lives of two SHC leaders integral to our campus life and spirituality.

This year, Rev. Marvin Kitten, S.J., marks 60 years as a Jesuit and Rev. David Borbridge, S.J., will commemorate 50 years in the priesthood. The public is invited to share in this very special occasion, with a reception immediately following the 11 a.m. Mass.

Rev. Marvin Kitten, S.J.

As the son of a cotton farmer raised in Lubbock County, Texas, Marvin Kitten had his first brush with the Jesuit priesthood during his undergraduate education.

“I had not even heard the word until I ran across it in a history course while attending Texas Tech University,” recalls Kitten. “The Jesuits sounded like an interesting group doing interesting ministries, somewhat different from that of the local diocesan priests that I had known.”

The director of Texas Tech’s small campus ministry center approached Kitten, asking if he’d ever considered priesthood. After giving the idea brief, but thoughtful consideration, the college senior promptly signed a contract with Geophysical Service, Inc.

“While working in California, Fr. Bud Powers continued to write letters to me concerning priesthood,” adds Kitten. “At the time, I was faced with three options: accept the company’s offer to transfer to Brazil, return to a young lady at Tech, or consider the priesthood. With help from a friend, I opted for the third option. And as is said: the rest is history.”

After ordination, Kitten was assigned to Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, where he taught sophomore theology and worked in the guidance department.  At the end of 12 years, he was transferred to Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston.  During his sixth year at Strake, Kitten was asked to help with campus ministry at Texas A&M University.

After five years at Texas A&M, the Provincial then asked Kitten to become the Vocation Director for the New Orleans Province. “During the 17 years of this assignment, I was privileged to have journeyed with many young men considering a call to the Jesuit life,” says Kitten. “At the gathering to celebrate these years, Fr. Mark Thibodeaux pointed out that I had opened the doors of our novitiate to 126 young men.”

In 2008, Kitten was assigned to his current position at Spring Hill College as a member of the Campus Ministry staff.  “At Spring Hill College, I am once again privileged to journey with young people,” says Kitten. “Let the journey continue!”

Rev. David Borbridge, S.J.

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., David Borbridge attended Spring Hill College in the early 1960s and graduated with a dual degree in history and philosophy. After studying theology at Santa Clara University, Borbridge finished his M.A. and Ph.D. in history at the University of California at Berkeley. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1950 and was ordained in 1963.

Prior to joining the Spring Hill College family, Borbridge served as an instructor at the University of San Francisco, a lecturer at Rice University, and a visiting instructor at the University of Hamburg in Germany. In 1989 and 1990, he spent four months in India studying and participating in inter-religious dialogue. In 1983 he served at Spring Hill College until 1989 and then at the Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for seven years. He returned to the SHC campus in 1996.

Borbridge’s research field involves church-state relations in 19th century Latin America. His publications include “Lord of History,” in Alma Studies, and “From a Russian Diary,” in Philsoforum. He has presented discussions on religious history at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

His professional society memberships include the American Historical Association, the Latin American Historical Association, and the Jesuit Educational Association. Borbridge also received the Houston Metropolitan Ministries Award for Service. He is involved in the Spring Hill College chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students as well as professors of history.

Borbridge enjoys teaching a wide variety of courses to Spring Hill students, among them, Latin American History, Asian History, World Cultures, Honors History, and Western Civilization.

Spring Hill College Jesuits serve in the College’s administration, campus ministry, student residence halls, and in pastoral outreach in the region, especially to the Hispanic community. The Jesuit commitment to intellectual, moral, and spiritual values continues to be an important influence in continuing the SHC mission: Forming leaders engaged in learning, faith, justice, and service to others.