When a nun at a Catholic high school on the outskirts of Miami saw downed trees blocking neighborhood roads in the wake of Hurricane Irma, she decided she didn’t want to wait around for the government to do the cleanup work. Instead, she grabbed a chainsaw, and with little to no experience ever using one, slashed a path through the destruction.
An off-duty Miami-Dade Police Officer spotted Sister Margaret Ann, principal of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School, working hard to get life in her community back to normal. The officer captured photos and videos of the nun at work and posted them to Facebook as a way to praise her actions and the actions of other neighbors helping each other out.
The response across social media was tremendous.
Her school gave her a shout-out, writing on Facebook, "We are so blessed to have her and the Carmelite Sisters at our school. We are proud of the example they show for our students and other members of the community every day," according to NPR.
Commenter Kevin A. Reed wrote, “Prayers are great, but prayer accompanied by action is powerful.”
Amada Duran said, “Blessings sister!!! You are just great and amazing person, I wish I could be there with you and help everybody around. [Love and prayer emojis] from mesquite /Dallas tx.”
Susan McVay added, “Sister with a chain saw...there's a rock song in there somewhere... May God bless and keep her and all the folks recovering from Irma.”
Numerous commenters, though, noted the danger of using a chainsaw while wearing a habit.
But David Gann replied, “God will keep her safe from getting her caught up in the saw because he knows her heart. It is an act of helping and loving the community. amen thank you Jesus.”
Eggert Edwald added, “Somebody made a comment that she was not handling the chainsaw correctly. I was raised ‘do the best you can and after the day you can go home proud.’ That is all we ask for, she rocks.”
After the story of the nun went internationally viral, Sister Margaret Ann was interviewed by CNN. Asked about why she grabbed the chainsaw to help out, her reply was quite simple.
"There was a need, I had the means, so I wanted to help out," she said. “We teach our students: Do what you can to help other people, don't think of yourselves.”
Please continue to pray for those involved in the recovery efforts and for those still feeling the effects of Irma as it moves through Tennessee and surrounding areas. In other hurricane news, here are some lies you shouldn’t believe about Irma as fake news makes its rounds.