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The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail

by and

The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail Cover

ISBN13: 9780143037170
ISBN10: 014303717x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting team, the extraordinary and inspiring story of Mother Antonia, the remarkable woman who at middle age found her life's calling by bringing the transformative power of her spiritual guidance to the most hardened criminals.

The winners of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting tell the astonishing story of Mary Clarke. At the age of fifty, Clarke left her comfortable life in suburban Los Angeles to follow a spiritual calling to care for the prisoners in one of Mexico's most notorious jails. She actually moved into a cell to live among drug king pins and petty thieves. She has led many of them through profound spiritual transformations in which they turned away from their lives of crime, and has deeply touched the lives of all who have witnessed the depth of her compassion. Donning a nun's habit, she became Mother Antonia, renowned as "the prison angel," and has now organized a new community of sisters — the Servants of the Eleventh Hour — widows and divorced women seeking new meaning in their lives. "We had never heard a story like hers," Jordan and Sullivan write, "a story of such powerful goodness."

Born in Beverly Hills, Clarke was raised around the glamour of Hollywood and looked like a star herself, a beautiful blonde reminiscent of Grace Kelly. The choreographer Busby Berkeley spotted her at a restaurant and offered her a job, but Mary's dream was to be a happy wife and mother. She raised seven children, but her two unfulfilling marriages ended in divorce. Then in the late 1960s, in midlife, she began devoting herself to charity work, realizing she had an extraordinary talent for drumming up donations for the sick and poor.

On one charity mission across the Mexican border to the drug-trafficking capitol of Tijuana, she visited La Mesa prison and experienced an intense feeling that she had found her true life's work. As she recalls, "I felt like I had come home." Receiving the blessings of the Catholic Church for her mission, on March 19, 1977, at the age of fifty, she moved into a cell in La Mesa, sleeping on a bunk with female prisoners above and below her. Nearly twenty-eight years later she is still living in that cell, and the remarkable power of her spiritual counseling to the prisoners has become legendary.

The story of both one woman's profound journey of discovery and growth and of the deep spiritual awakenings she has called forth in so many lost souls, The Prison Angel is an astonishing testament to the powers of personal transformation.

Review:

"[A]n inspiring story of one woman's compassion and her own journey of spiritual growth." Booklist

Review:

"Brilliant storytelling. A towering, uplifting tale of genuine conscience and the discovery of the true joy in selflessness." Bob Woodward

Review:

"[N]o one will be untouched by this remarkable book about a remarkable woman." Washington Post

Review:

"Mother Antonia lives out her passion for the poor in a dismal prison fortress in Tijuana, Mexico.... Her story is simply told by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan..." Providence Journal

Review:

"Thanks to the authors, this astonishing story of how one woman's journey of spiritual growth has transformed innumerable lives is now available as an inspiration to all. Highly recommended..." Library Journal

Review:

"Chapter after chapter of this litany of good works grows tedious — unlike the first half, which culminates in Mary's move to Tijuana, the second has no change, turning point, tension or climax. Inspiring, if a touch hagiographic." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

The winners of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting tell the astonishing story of Mary Clarke. At the age of fifty, Clarke left her comfortable life in suburban Los Angeles to follow a spiritual calling to care for the prisoners in one of Mexico's most notorious jails. She actually moved into a cell to live among drug king pins and petty thieves. She has led many of them through profound spiritual transformations in which they turned away from their lives of crime, and has deeply touched the lives of all who have witnessed the depth of her compassion. Donning a nun's habit, she became Mother Antonia, renowned as "the prison angel," and has now organized a new community of sisters-the Servants of the Eleventh Hourandmdash;widows and divorced women seeking new meaning in their lives. "We had never heard a story like hers," Jordan and Sullivan write, "a story of such powerful goodness."

Born in Beverly Hills, Clarke was raised around the glamour of Hollywood and looked like a star herself, a beautiful blonde reminiscent of Grace Kelly. The choreographer Busby Berkeley spotted her at a restaurant and offered her a job, but Mary's dream was to be a happy wife and mother. She raised seven children, but her two unfulfilling marriages ended in divorce. Then in the late 1960s, in midlife, she began devoting herself to charity work, realizing she had an extraordinary talent for drumming up donations for the sick and poor.

On one charity mission across the Mexican border to the drug-trafficking capitol of Tijuana, she visited La Mesa prison and experienced an intense feeling that she had found her true life's work. As she recalls, "I felt like I had come home." Receiving the blessings of the Catholic Church for her mission, on March 19, 1977, at the age of fifty, she moved into a cell in La Mesa, sleeping on a bunk with female prisoners above and below her. Nearly twenty-eight years later she is still living in that cell, and the remarkable power of her spiritual counseling to the prisoners has become legendary.

The story of both one woman's profound journey of discovery and growth and of the deep spiritual awakenings she has called forth in so many lost souls, The Prison Angel is an astonishing testament to the powers of personal transformation.

About the Author

Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, a husband and wife team, report from Mexico for the Washington Post. They won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for stories about the lack of the rule of law in Mexico and the horrific conditions in the Mexican criminal justice system. Formerly the Post's correspondents in Tokyo, they also won a George Polk Award in 1998 for their reporting about the Asian financial crisis, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Overseas Press Club of America.

Table of Contents

One: La Madre

Two: Hollywood Girl

Three: Salesman for the Poor

Four: Becoming Mother

Five: Learning the Ropes

Six: New Faces, New Lives

Seven: Alias "La Sister"

Eight: Seeking Justice

Nine: Human Beings Like Anyone Else

Ten: Not Forgiving is Harder

Eleven: Angel on Call

Twelve: The Eleventh Hour

Acknowledgments

Index

About the Authors

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Danielle Tinker, August 12, 2008 (view all comments by Danielle Tinker)
This book reveals the love that each of us should live with. Mother Antonia's life shows that doing good and having good intentions prevails over all. Her heart, passion and love is admirable and inspiring. One need not be religious to appreciate this incredible story.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143037170
Author:
Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Jordan, Mary
Author:
Sullivan, Kevin
Subject:
General
Subject:
Religious
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Catholic church
Subject:
Mexico
Subject:
Antonia
Subject:
Church work with prisoners -- Catholic Church.
Subject:
Biography-Religious
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20060531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8-page b/w photo insert
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.46 x 0.63 in 0.5 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » Religious
Biography » Women
Religion » Christianity » Catholicism
Religion » Christianity » Christian Biographies
Religion » Christianity » Missionaries

The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143037170 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A]n inspiring story of one woman's compassion and her own journey of spiritual growth."
"Review" by , "Brilliant storytelling. A towering, uplifting tale of genuine conscience and the discovery of the true joy in selflessness."
"Review" by , "[N]o one will be untouched by this remarkable book about a remarkable woman."
"Review" by , "Mother Antonia lives out her passion for the poor in a dismal prison fortress in Tijuana, Mexico.... Her story is simply told by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan..."
"Review" by , "Thanks to the authors, this astonishing story of how one woman's journey of spiritual growth has transformed innumerable lives is now available as an inspiration to all. Highly recommended..."
"Review" by , "Chapter after chapter of this litany of good works grows tedious — unlike the first half, which culminates in Mary's move to Tijuana, the second has no change, turning point, tension or climax. Inspiring, if a touch hagiographic."
"Synopsis" by ,

The winners of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting tell the astonishing story of Mary Clarke. At the age of fifty, Clarke left her comfortable life in suburban Los Angeles to follow a spiritual calling to care for the prisoners in one of Mexico's most notorious jails. She actually moved into a cell to live among drug king pins and petty thieves. She has led many of them through profound spiritual transformations in which they turned away from their lives of crime, and has deeply touched the lives of all who have witnessed the depth of her compassion. Donning a nun's habit, she became Mother Antonia, renowned as "the prison angel," and has now organized a new community of sisters-the Servants of the Eleventh Hourandmdash;widows and divorced women seeking new meaning in their lives. "We had never heard a story like hers," Jordan and Sullivan write, "a story of such powerful goodness."

Born in Beverly Hills, Clarke was raised around the glamour of Hollywood and looked like a star herself, a beautiful blonde reminiscent of Grace Kelly. The choreographer Busby Berkeley spotted her at a restaurant and offered her a job, but Mary's dream was to be a happy wife and mother. She raised seven children, but her two unfulfilling marriages ended in divorce. Then in the late 1960s, in midlife, she began devoting herself to charity work, realizing she had an extraordinary talent for drumming up donations for the sick and poor.

On one charity mission across the Mexican border to the drug-trafficking capitol of Tijuana, she visited La Mesa prison and experienced an intense feeling that she had found her true life's work. As she recalls, "I felt like I had come home." Receiving the blessings of the Catholic Church for her mission, on March 19, 1977, at the age of fifty, she moved into a cell in La Mesa, sleeping on a bunk with female prisoners above and below her. Nearly twenty-eight years later she is still living in that cell, and the remarkable power of her spiritual counseling to the prisoners has become legendary.

The story of both one woman's profound journey of discovery and growth and of the deep spiritual awakenings she has called forth in so many lost souls, The Prison Angel is an astonishing testament to the powers of personal transformation.

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