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As any sports fan knows, there’s nothing more agonizing than falling out of the loop during a live television broadcast. Signal is spotty in Sister Miriam and Sister Mary’s home, and there is no cable in the convent. Once, Sr. Miriam recalls, a service outage left the pair forced to venture to Buffalo Wild Wings to catch the Bengals game. Over a plate of onion rings, the sisters shared in tears, laughter, and, most importantly, joy.
This celebration of joy through widely shared interests, professional sports being just one, has skyrocketed the two nuns to relative Twitter fame. Sr. Miriam, otherwise known as @OneGroovyNun, has a Twitter bio that reads: “Lover of Jesus, sports, reading, beauty and coffee,” all of which are shared in prominence on her feed. Sr. Miriam tweets about “whatever’s interesting in the church, whatever’s interesting in the world.” Perhaps most amusingly, her friend Sr. Mary, goes under guise of anonymity through her account. Though Sr. Miriam tries primarily to lead her 16 thousand followers to an “encounter with intimacy,” she admits that, “When Sr. Mary shows up, my Twitter feed blows up.”
Sr. Miriam published her first tweet on the day that Pope Francis was elected, but she didn’t realize Sr. Mary’s natural instinct behind the camera until she took a candid photo of her friend, face obscured, watching football in the convent. The joke picked up steam, she explains, when Sr. Mary tipped over her chair in frustration followinga Kansas City world series loss. From there, Sr. Miriam’s most notable tweets have included a #PopeBars rap lyric, a trending hashtag after a photo of Pope Francis gesturing with a microphone went viral, and, of course, a photo of Sr. Mary watching Lady Gaga during the SuperBowl.
On multiple occasions, friends, fans, and members of the clergy have tried to pin down Sr. Mary’s identity. Sr. Mary, however, revels in the anonymity, innocently denying such accusations. Mastermind behind the mystery, Sr. Miriam, calls Sr. Mary her “Wilson,” the tactfully obscured sitcom neighbor in Tim Allen’s Home Improvement, and the comic relief in her Twitter feed. When questioned on the reasoning behind the secrecy, Sr. Miriam laughs. “I don’t even know,” she reflects,“I just wanted to protect her identity.”
“It’s a fun thing that we do for people to see that we’re normal people,” Sr. Miriam explains of her account. “Obviously we pray every day, and that’s part of our life, and we love it, but we have all these different areas of our life,” just like any other pair of friends. “It shows a different side of sisters that’s not so serious, or so stern,” Sr. Mary adds. “Because a lot of what people know about religious life is from the movies.” And although these sisters haven’t joined the choir, they sure do have a strong voice, a strong influence, an inclination for fun. Authentically, quite the Sister Act.