Local author to recount years spent in Jamaican orphanage
There are few benefits to the being the only man in the convent, or being the only “big brother” to 250 boys in an orphanage. But for local author Jay Sullivan, those benefits include broadened perspective, deeper insight and greater compassion.
Sullivan is the author of “Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge,” a memoir about the two years he spent living at Alpha Boys School, an orphanage in Kingston, Jamaica, run by the Sisters of Mercy. He will present a public lecture and sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 in the DiStefano Lecture Hall.
Named the Catholic Press Association’s 2014 Best Book by a Small Publisher, Sullivan’s book is already used in classes and programs in nearly a dozen universities. All proceeds from its sales support the work of the Sisters of Mercy and the Jesuits in Jamaica.
Through the stories of the boys, the nuns and the lay volunteers at Alpha, Sullivan will discuss three central themes: Our common struggle to define our identity in life; the goal of ensuring our identity adds value to the world; and the need to build a community around us to help us achieve that value.
Sullivan is the managing partner at Exec-Comm, a communications consulting firm. He and his 70-plus colleagues help professionals improve their effectiveness on the job by honing their communication skills. Sullivan joined Exec-Comm after nine years as a practicing attorney. He received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1989.