Nun fires up chain­saw to aid Irma cleanup

The Prince George Citizen - - SPORTS - Lind­sey BEVER The Wash­ing­ton Post

In the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Irma, a nun – dressed in her habit – fired up a chain­saw and went to work, clear­ing trees from a Florida road­way.

Sis­ter Margaret Ann, prin­ci­pal of Arch­bishop Cole­man F. Car­roll High School in Miami, said the street from her con­vent to the cam­pus was blocked Monday by downed trees, forc­ing driv­ers to steer onto the side­walk, where they were slid­ing in mud and de­bris.

Al­though yard work is not some­thing the sis­ter would typ­i­cally do, she said, she walked out to SW 104th Street wield­ing a roar­ing power tool – and pray­ing for those who were af­fected by the storm.

“Peo­ple were kind of stop­ping and tak­ing pic­tures,” Sis­ter Margaret Ann said Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

She said one of them was an off-duty Miami-Dade po­lice of­fi­cer, who cap­tured the mo­ment on video and posted it Tues­day on so­cial me­dia, where it has since been shared tens of thou­sands of times.

The video shows the sis­ter wear­ing gloves, slic­ing through tree branches on the side of the road.

Sis­ter Margaret Ann told The Wash­ing­ton Post the of­fi­cer told her, “You know, the po­lice will do this.”

“I said, ‘Well maybe so, but it will take a while – and they have more im­por­tant things to do, re­ally.’ “

Sis­ter Margaret Ann said the high school, which has about 300 stu­dents nes­tled up next to the Ever­glades, was not spared from the storm.

She said it suf­fered sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to its cool­ing tower, bleach­ers were blown over and sev­eral acres of trees were de­stroyed.

The Miami-Dade Po­lice Depart­ment did not im­me­di­ately re­spond Wed­nes­day to a re­quest for com­ment.

But here’s what the depart­ment had posted on Face­book: “One of our off duty of­fi­cers was happy to find Sis­ter Margaret Ann of Arch­bishop Cole­man F. Car­roll High School pitch­ing in by cut­ting trees to clear the neigh­bor­hood road­ways. As we re­cover from #Hur­ri­caneIrma, these acts of kind­ness re­mind us all that we are #OneCom­mu­nity in #Mi­amiDadeCounty! Thank you Sis­ter and all of our neigh­bors that are work­ing to­gether to get through this!”

Sis­ter Margaret Ann, who said she spent about three hours Monday morn­ing help­ing to clear the neigh­bor­hood road, noted that the re­sponse to the video has been over­whelm­ing.

“Sis­ter you ROCK!!” one per­son wrote on Face­book.

“God Bless You Sis­ter Margaret Ann, rockin’ a chain­saw – like a boss – AND in full habit [al­though you may want to think that one over for safety]!” an­other said.

Many peo­ple ex­pressed con­cern that she was wear­ing loos­e­fit­ting cloth­ing while op­er­at­ing the saw.

“Prayers are great, but prayer ac­com­pa­nied by ac­tion is pow­er­ful,” one per­son wrote be­neath the post.

“Hum­ble­ness at its best,” one added. “Prayers for her and all thru out the world of tragedies and love.”

The sis­ter said peo­ple have been reach­ing out to the high school as well, say­ing, “This is great. This is what peo­ple need to see. This is re­ally what the Catholic church is all about.”


Sis­ter Margaret Ann holds a chain­saw near Miami on Monday. Po­lice said the nun was cut­ting trees to clear the road­ways around Arch­bishop Cole­man Car­rol High School in the af­ter­math of Hur­ri­cane Irma.

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