Raising Gentle Men

Lives at the Orphanage Edge

Upcoming events

by Jay Sullivan - September 21st, 2013

Join us for Tales from the Only Man at the Convent –
September 23rd, 7:00, Georgetown University, White-Gravenor Hall, Room 211.
October 28, Loyola University Maryland. details TBD.

Book signing – Barnes & Noble, Union Square, New York City, September 30, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge

by Jay Sullivan - December 19th, 2012

A memoir by Jay Sullivan.

Published by:

Apprentice House  - Loyola University Maryland


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There are very few benefits to being the only man in the convent. There are fewer still being the only big brother to 250 boys in an orphanage. But if you keep busy, you stumble into opportunities to help. And if you’re clueless, you don’t know better than to try the improbable. And if you’re clumsy, you trip over life’s lessons at every turn.

For more than 100 years, a small band of nuns has run Alpha Boys School in Kingston, caring for the abandoned, abused and delinquent boys of Jamaica. From 1984 – 1986, they allowed the author to share their world.  He was one of many people during those years who lived on the periphery of the boys’ lives, trying to make a difference. He saw the relationships the boys built with each other that kept them from being completely alone in the world. Whether from the inside or the out, they all lived at the orphanage edge.


The events in the book are true.  The letters from Sister Magdalen are actual passages from her letters.


All of the author’s proceeds from this book go to support the work of the Mercy Sisters and the Jesuits in Jamaica.


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