Irma's 'Chainsaw Sister' Had to Google Instructions

Sister Margaret Ann of Miami has become an internet sensation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 15, 2017 9:58 AM CDT

The Florida nun who became an internet sensation when video emerged of her—dressed in full habit—wielding a chainsaw to clear downed trees after Hurricane Irma says she had to look up instructions on how to start the tool. "I actually had to Google it to find out how to start it because I'd forgotten how," she said. "The students have told me, 'Everything is online, sister.'" An off-duty Miami-Dade police officer posted the video of Sister Margaret Ann, principal of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School in Miami, on social media Monday, with the Miami-Dade PD praising her efforts: "Thank you Sister and all of our neighbors that are working together to get through this!" The video was picked up by media outlets, including the AP, and quickly became a global sensation.

Sister Margaret Ann noted her mechanical education didn't stop with Google. "Some people have sent me videos on how to use a chainsaw because apparently I wasn't using it correctly or as safe as I should've been," she told the AP via Skype. People posted warnings online that the nun's loose habit could get caught in the saw. She laughed off the attention, saying her students are enjoying watching her on social media. She also said she was glad the video gave the public a different view of nuns. "The students ... are saying, 'Sister, you're no wimp. You'll get out there and work with us.' And ... that's the way sisters really are. We are not just sitting back praying, or asking other people, or begging for money or anything like that." She said she didn't even mind that she'd become known worldwide as the "chainsaw sister," but that the new moniker did make her laugh. (More Hurricane Irma stories.)

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