Originally Published: September 17, 2017 6 a.m.
The Florida nun who became an internet sensation when video emerged of her — dressed in full habit — wielding a chain saw 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 ... ,” Sister Margaret Ann said. “The students have told me everything is online, sister; just ask the question online.”
The nun, principal of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School in Miami, said her mechanical education didn’t stop with the Google search.
“Some people have sent me videos on how to use a chain saw because apparently I wasn’t using it correctly or as safe as I should’ve been, so I’m learning, too,” she told The Associated Press in a Skype interview. Many people posted warnings online that the nun’s loose habit could get caught in the saw.
An off-duty Miami-Dade police officer posted the video of Sister Margaret Ann on social media Monday. The Miami-Dade Police Department praised her effort, saying: “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 laughed off the attention, saying her students are enjoying watching her on social media. Some have even asked for her autograph.
“People are driving by and saying, ’Thank you, sister, thank you,’” she said. “So I think it has been really good for our community, and I understand that the video has really gone worldwide, so that’s kinda funny.”
She also said she was glad the video gave the public a different view of nuns.
“The students are telling me, they are saying, ‘Sister, you’re no wimp. You’ll get out there and work with us.’ And that is really the way it should be, 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 the fact that she had become known worldwide as the “chain saw sister,” but the new moniker did make her laugh.
“If it’s going bring back good memories for people, and we all learn and grow, it’s good,” she said.