WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congress passed legislation to name a post office in memory of the late Sister Ann C. Keefe, SSJ of Providence, who passed away on January 18, 2015 at the age of 62.
The legislation, which was championed by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse in the Senate and U.S. Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin in the House, will designate the United States Postal Service facility located at 820 Elmwood Avenue in Providence as the “Sister Ann Keefe Post Office.”
Today, the measure was unanimously approved by the full U.S. Senate. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives on April 29th. It now goes to President Barack Obama’s desk to be signed into law.
“I am pleased Congress is bestowing this honor upon Sister Ann. She was a dedicated community activist who really put the emphasis on both community and action. Sister Ann helped spark and sustain numerous community organizations that continue to make a positive difference in so many lives. 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.”
“Sister Ann was an extraordinary woman who touched the lives of so many Rhode Islanders through her fearless advocacy for those most in need and her passionate work for justice and peace,” said Cicilline. “I thank the United States Senate for moving quickly today to approve H.R. 651 so that we can honor Sister Ann’s life and pay tribute to such a great Rhode Islander.”
“Sister Ann Keefe was an incredible faith and community leader whose generosity, compassion and courage touched the lives of so many Rhode Islanders,” said Langevin. “Her legacy of social justice lives on, and I am proud to support this well-deserved honor that will preserve Sister Ann’s name in our state’s history. I am pleased that the Senate passed this measure, and I thank my friend David Cicilline for introducing such a tribute to a Rhode Island hero.”
Sister Ann worked as a teacher and a school social worker beginning in 1970. 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, as well as the Good Friday Walk for Hunger and Homelessness, AIDS Care Ocean State, and Open Doors. Her leadership helped guide a broad range of community organizations that have strengthened Rhode Island and will continue to enrich the community for years to come.