Raising Gentle Men

Lives at the Orphanage Edge

Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge

by Jay Sullivan - December 19th, 2012.
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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



6 Responses to Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge

  1. Jay, That’s brilliant. I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment!

  2. HI Jay
    how are you? When will the hard copy be available in Jamaica

  3. Q. I am well. Thanks for your message. The book is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble on line (BN.com) It’s also available via Kindle. I am working with the publisher to figure out how to ship copies to Jamaica. I will keep you posted.

  4. Jay,
    I would like to order a large quantity for a discussion group. Are you considering doing talks with groups older teen through college?

  5. Thanks for telling our story. I was not at Alpha when you were there (1984- 1986), but my older brother was(1980-1987). I went there in 1989. He said he remember you when I told him about the book. We are looking forword to buy one. I was at St. John Bosco School in Hatfield (1986-1989) ; the other boys home the same Alpha Sisters of Mercy founded in rual Jamaica. Do you know there? . The Sisters of Mercy recently published a book called ” YOU DID IT UNTO ME; The Story of Alpha and the Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica.” You should work with them in order to get some of your books out here for sale. Thanks…..Devon

  6. Jay, I loved the book. What a wonderful heartfelt story abut your experience in Jamaica. Through your words I came to know these young men at Alpha and became part of their world. Thank you for taking the time to share story!

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