The Prison Angel by Mary Jordan


Mary Clarke grew up in a wealthy family in Beverly Hills, dreaming of a fulfilling life as a wife and mother. At the age of fifty, two divorces and seven children later, she reevaluated her life. Now that her children were outgrowing their need for her attention, she could settle into life as a wealthy socialite. Or–she could move into a cell in a notorious Tijuana jail and  help the inmates. She chose the jail. Since she didn’t think that the Catholic Church would welcome her as a nun because of her age and her divorces, she simply made her own habit and took the name Mother Antonia. Since inmates had to pay for many of the things they needed in prison, she found fulfilling work in providing, from her own funds and from fund raising, for the needs of those who were unable to pay. Soon she was also giving emotional and spiritual comfort to inmates and their families. She loves each and every inmate, no matter what his crimes have been. The church has made her a “real” nun, and she has been blessed by Pope John Paul II and has founded a religious community of older women.  When a major drug dealer or the assassin of a Mexican presidential candidate needs her help and comfort, she comes to him immediately, treating him as if he were her own son. If there’s a riot in the prison, she fearlessly steps into the middle of it, bringing it to an end when no one else can. Now 78 years old and facing major physical challenges, she has no intention of leaving her work. This is an amazing, inspiring book!

(Helen Snow, Information Services)


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