Raising Gentle Men

Lives at the Orphanage Edge

Bringing Who You Are to What You Do – September 19, 2014 – University of Scranton

by Jay Sullivan - July 30th, 2014

On September 19, 2014, I will be joined at the University of Scranton’s Community Breakfast by Desmond Plunkett, Dr. Thomas Check, and Irene DeGroot Thompson, three people profiled in Raising Gentle Men, to discuss how to bring the essence of who you are into your professional life.  See the attached flier for more information.

Fall Community Breakfast email version


RGM wins 2014 Catholic Press Award

by Jay Sullivan - June 23rd, 2014

The Catholic Press Association awarded First Prize for 2014 Best Book by a Small Publisher to Raising Gentle Men! We’re very pleased they found the plight of the boys of Alpha so compelling and the dedication of the Sisters of Mercy so inspiring.

The judges said:

“This book stands out for its honesty. An account of the author’s two post-Boston College years as a volunteer in Jamaica, it touches on his teaching job at a Jesuit school but focuses on his year as an after-school live-in role model at a boys’ orphanage in Kingston. Without being maudlin, writer Jay Sullivan portrays the orphans’ hunger for adult attention and affection as well as their very real hungers for food and other necessities as provided by the Sisters of Mercy who operate Alpha Boys School. Sullivan clearly delights in his time with the boys; at the same time he is frank about the necessary balance provided by interaction with the other American volunteers in his group. “Raising Gentle Men” is a winner.”

RGM Selected at “Royal Read” at U. of Scranton!

by Jay Sullivan - June 16th, 2014

Raising Gentle Men has been selected as the 2014 Royal Read at the University of Scranton! All incoming freshmen in September will be reading the book. Faculty who lead classes for the freshmen will be encouraged to incorporate the lessons in the book into their curriculum.
On September 18, Desmond Plunkett (pictured on the back cover of the book) and I will be speaking to the university community. Check out;


Upcoming events

by Jay Sullivan - September 21st, 2013

Join us for Tales from the Only Man at the Convent –

September 18, 2014 – Holy Cross High School – Scranton, PA – 8:00 a.m.

September 18, 2014 – Scranton University – Scranton, PA – 6:00 p.m.

September 19, 2014 – Scranton, PA – Community Brunch – 8:30 a.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


RGM cover

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.


Back cover 9