Mary Clarke in California, left, and in her current life in Mexico, from the cover of The Prison Angel.
Twenty-eight years ago, Mary Clarke left her life as a wealthy divorced mother of seven in Beverly Hills to live and work in one of Mexico's most notorious prisons, the La Mesa State Penitentiary in Tijuana. Through her work, she became Mother Antonia; now Pulitzer-winning authors Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan have written about her story.
As an older, divorced woman, Clarke was banned by church rules from joining any religious order, so she went about her work on her own. She founded an order for those in her situation: the Servants of the Eleventh Hour. The Church has since blessed her mission.
Mother Antonia is the subject of the new book The Prison Angel: Mother Antonia's Journey From Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail, by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors They won the 2003 Pulitzer for international reporting for their coverage of Mexico's criminal system.