This is a conversation that began many years ago, in our Boston College days, when I knew him simply as Gregory. He is, to me, the personification of joy. He is bubbly and playful and whether we were sitting in the Eagles Next cafeteria at BC or chatting over lunch or dancing in the streets of Boston, he always had a knack for making me laugh. We talk about paying attention to the world around you. About the lessons he learned from his mom and dad about how important it is to start right where you are. And although Msgr Gregory is now Catholic, he wasn’t always. He was raised in a Hindu family and schooled in the Muslim faith. He has an eclectic soul, filled with a kind of generosity of spirit that has always inspired me to want to be the best version of myself I can be.
Gregory Ramkissoon was born in Trinidad, West Indies as the 5th of 13 children. He holds a degree in Urban Planning, as well as Master’s degrees in Philosophy and Theology from Boston College. In 1978, Gregory Ramkissoon started Mustard Seed Communities (MSC). a home for a handful of the children who had been living on the streets of Kingston.
In 1984, when he was ordained a Catholic priest, he knew he wasn’t called to a parochial vocation. Instead he saw the need to address poverty in developing countries and dedicated himself to continuing the work he’d begun several years before.
Now, what started as a small home for a few dozen children in the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, has grown into homes, schools, and small business enterprises in Jamaica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
In 2010, Monsignor Ramkissoon was conferred with the Order of Jamaica, the country’s fourth highest award.
To learn more about Msgr. Gregory's work and Mustard Seed Communities, please check out their website.
Mustard Seed Communities Ireland website: https://mustardseedireland.ie/
Mustard Seed Communities Zimbabwe Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/msczim/
Mustard Seed Communities linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mustard-seed-communities
To learn more about Robert Maggio, the composer of our theme music, please check out his website.
To learn more about the inspiration for this podcast, please check out Suzanne's memoir, Estrellas - Moments of Illumination Along El Camino de Santiago.