BAY RIDGE — Decades ago, an advertisement for The New York Times classified ad section featured the catchy slogan, “I Got My Job Through The New York Times,” a motto that quickly became well known throughout the city.
If Rocco Gentile, the new principal of Fontbonne Hall Academy in Bay Ridge, were to rewrite that slogan, it would probably read something like this: “I Got My Job Through The Tablet.”
Gentile, who lives in Bay Ridge with his wife Theresa and their two daughters, is a parishioner of Our Lady of Angels Church. He was sitting in church one Sunday last March waiting for the 9:00 a.m. Mass to begin when he decided to thumb through The Tablet.
There, toward the back of the paper, he spotted an ad that said Fontbonne Hall was looking for a new principal. In the spur of the moment, the veteran educator decided to send the school his resume and apply for the job. He was hired in April, and took the helm of the all-girls high school when the current school year began.
“I was reading the paper and when I saw the ad, something clicked for me. I told my wife, ‘I’m going to do this,’ ” he recalled.
Gentile, who had 18 years of experience in the public school system, was an assistant principal at Cobble Hill High School at the time.
While he wasn’t actively seeking new employment, he had been doing some thinking about his future and began to wonder what the next phase of his career might be. After he got the Fontbonne Hall job, he was convinced it was God’s hand at work in his life.
“This, to me, was divine. No one else had told me that there was an opening,” he said. “And I didn’t see the job listing anywhere until I was reading The Tablet.”
Gentile, who graduated from Holy Cross High School, earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University, and holds two master’s degrees from Brooklyn College.
He is an active parishioner at Our Lady of Angels Church, serving as a catechist and as a member of the parish pastoral council. His new job allows him to work close to home.
Needless to say, Gentile is an avid reader of The Tablet. “I’ve always been a big fan. The articles give a good sense of what’s going on in the diocese and in the world. But now I think I realize it’s important for other reasons too,” he said.