The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation honoring the late Sister Ann Keefe, a much beloved Roman Catholic nun and social activist on Providence’s South Side.
The legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., will rename the U.S. Post Office located at 820 Elmwood Avenue in Providence in honor of Sister Keefe.
A native of Warren, Massachusetts, Keefe served for more than three decades as a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Ministry at St. Michael the Archangel on Providence’s south side.
``Over the course of her life Sister Ann Keefe did so much to stand up for the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders,’’ said Cicilline. ``Our state is stronger today because of her dedication to serving others.’’
Said retired RI Superior Court Judge Frank Darrigan, ``It is a very fitting honor for Sister Ann Keefe.’’
Sister Ann Keefe found more than 22 community organizations, including the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence, Providence CityArts for Youth, and AIDS Care Ocean State.
``Sister Ann touched so many people with her quick wit, smart opinions, and an abiding love of life,’’ said Teny Gross, executive director of the institute. ``She had a deep faith in justice, nonviolence and building the beloved community where everyone had a role to contribute.’’
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., who worshiped for many years at St. Michael and was a close friend of Sister Ann Keefe, has sponsored an identical bill in the U.S. Senate. It is pending before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.