5/07/2015 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today announced that legislation to name a post office in memory of the late Sister Ann C. Keefe, SSJ of Providence has taken a major step forward, earning approval from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs (HSGAC).

The committee-approved legislation would designate the United States Postal Service facility located at 820 Elmwood Avenue in Providence as the "Sister Ann Keefe Post Office."

“Sister Ann was courageous.  She dedicated her life to helping those in need and uplifting her community.  This post office, located in the heart of the neighborhood she loved and served, will be a reminder of her enduring legacy of promoting peace, opportunity, and social justice for all,” said Reed.

“Sister Ann Keefe’s passing was a terrible loss for Rhode Island and all of us whose lives she touched.  When Sister Ann saw injustice, she fought it.  When she found someone in need, she did not rest until they had help.  She was a champion of the overlooked and underappreciated, and a tireless advocate for peace,” said Whitehouse.  “I'm glad that we can help to honor Sister Ann’s memory in the heart of the city she loved and served so well. And thanks to Congressman Cicilline and Senator Reed for their leadership in this effort.”

In 1982, Sister Ann joined the team ministry at St. Michael the Archangel's Church in Providence and spent the next several decades working to improve the economic, health, and other urgent needs of the neighborhood.  Sister Ann was deeply committed to social justice and peace, and she cofounded Rhode Island's Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, helped create Providence's ¡CityArts! for Youth to provide students with afterschool and summer enrichment program opportunities, and guided a broad range of community organizations that, for decades, have strengthened Rhode Island and will continue to enrich the community for years to come.

In a letter to HSGAC Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) last week, Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) urged the committee to consider the legislation expeditiously, writing: “We ask for your support in honoring Sister Ann Keefe by quickly passing this legislation.”

The legislation (H.R. 651) authored by Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 29th.  Senator Reed introduced the bill on the Senate side along with Senator Whitehouse.

Now that the bill has passed out of committee, it must be approved by the full U.S. Senate before it can be sent to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.