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January 18, 2024 — Fr. Gil Gentile, SJ, was honored by Nativity Prep Academy of San Diego at its sixth annual Magi Circle Award Ceremony on January 7, which recognized those critical to the establishment and growth of the school. Fr. Gentile served as the chaplain and a board member in Nativity Prep’s early years.

Deacon Mike Daniels of St. Brigid Parish in San Diego; Fr. Gil Gentile, SJ; and Jessica Hooper, president of Nativity Prep

The Magi Circle honorees have given significant contributions of their time and talent to make the Nativity Prep experience possible. As chaplain, Fr. Gentile helped to establish the Jesuit identity that is characteristic of Nativity today. He led weekly Mass, was a present minister on campus, and offered sacraments to students and faculty. Most importantly, he accompanied students as they developed their spirituality by offering a consistent and meaningful pastoral presence.

Founded in 2001, Nativity Prep is an all-scholarship Catholic middle school and college access program dedicated to improving the lives of historically underserved, low-income students from San Diego who represent the first generation of their family who will go on to graduate from college. Eleven years of support empower its students to excel through high school, college and beyond, becoming role models and leaders in their communities.

Fr. Gentile with other honorees, president Jessica Hooper and Nativity Prep students

As an independent Catholic school that does not have a sponsoring order, Nativity Prep created its Catholic Identity through the combination of Catholic teachings and charisms. Namely, Nativity Prep is most rooted in the work of the Jesuits; since its founding, it has used the inspiration of the Jesuits to guide its work.