mother antonia

sisterantonia_final for print“Let me see your tattoos, and I’ll tell you all about your life,”

says Mother Antonia,the 85-year-old Roman Catholic sister who has made a Tijuana prison cell her home for the past 34 years. Her ability to describe in detail the ink trends of the men who live in La Mesa State Penitentiary—from the crucified Christ over their hearts to the numbers on their faces indicating their gang affiliations—reflects her deep understanding of their lives, their suffering, their dreams, and their intense “longing for belonging.”