Raising Gentle Men

Lives at the Orphanage Edge

Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge

A memoir by Jay Sullivan


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Upcoming events:
September 23rd, 2013, at Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
September 24th, 2013, at Mt. Pleasant Public Library, Pleasantville, New York
Join us for “Tales from the Only Man at the Convent,” a talk about finding your role in life, making sure that role has meaning, and building a community of people to support you along the way.

September 30, 2013, book signing at Barnes & Noble, Union Square, Manhattan.

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 add value. 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.


All of 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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