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Mother Antonia, or Madre Antonia as she is known in Spanish, is an American-born Roman Catholic nun and activist, who resides in a Mexican maximum security prison. Born as Mary Clarke in 1926, she has lived for the past three decades in a 10’ x 10’ concrete cell at La Mesa penitentiary in Tijuana, Mexico, one of Mexico’s most notorious prisons, caring for the inmates. In the 1970s, she chose to devote her life to the Church after she had a nightmare, in 1969, that she was a prisoner at Calvary and about to be executed when Jesus appeared to her and offered to take her place. She refused his offer, touched him on the cheek and told him she would never leave him, no matter what happens to her. She had been married twice and had seven children, living in affluent Beverly Hills, but both her marriages ended in divorce. 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 sold her home and all her possessions, and founded an order for those in her situation in life: the Servants of the Eleventh Hour. Sister Antonia provides not only spiritual guidance to the guards and inmates, but she also helps with basic material comforts such as blankets, toiletries and medicines. The church has since blessed her mission and in 2009, she received the Peace Abby Courage of Conscience Award. She is profiled in the book “The Prison Angel” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan. Sister Antonia condemns crime, but loves the sinners and the victims. Her love and guidance have made a difference at the prison and, as a result, many who were imprisoned there have sought a better life. Mother Antonia Brenner participated in the 1983 Achievement Summit at Coronado, California, nearby the prison in Tijuana, Mexico, and spoke to the Academy student delegates about her inspiring ministry of caring for, and living with, the poorest prisoners in one of Mexico’s most dangerous and squalid jails.

Mother Antonia Academy of Achievement

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Mother Antonia, or Madre Antonia as she is known in Spanish, is an American-born Roman Catholic nun and activist, who resides in a Mexican maximum security prison. Born as Mary Clarke in 1926, she has lived for the past three decades in a 10’ x 10’ concrete cell at La Mesa penitentiary in Tijuana, Mexico, one of Mexico’s most notorious prisons, caring for the inmates. In the 1970s, she chose to devote her life to the Church after she had a nightmare, in 1969, that she was a prisoner at Calvary and about to be executed when Jesus appeared to her and offered to take her place. She refused his offer, touched him on the cheek and told him she would never leave him, no matter what happens to her. She had been married twice and had seven children, living in affluent Beverly Hills, but both her marriages ended in divorce. 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 sold her home and all her possessions, and founded an order for those in her situation in life: the Servants of the Eleventh Hour. Sister Antonia provides not only spiritual guidance to the guards and inmates, but she also helps with basic material comforts such as blankets, toiletries and medicines. The church has since blessed her mission and in 2009, she received the Peace Abby Courage of Conscience Award. She is profiled in the book “The Prison Angel” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan. Sister Antonia condemns crime, but loves the sinners and the victims. Her love and guidance have made a difference at the prison and, as a result, many who were imprisoned there have sought a better life. Mother Antonia Brenner participated in the 1983 Achievement Summit at Coronado, California, nearby the prison in Tijuana, Mexico, and spoke to the Academy student delegates about her inspiring ministry of caring for, and living with, the poorest prisoners in one of Mexico’s most dangerous and squalid jails.

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Mother Antonio Academy of Achievement

God's calling is beyond explanation. May these good works be applauded by all who love God and are called by Him to do His will.

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