The Beaverton campus of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon has been split into two ZIP codes by postal officials. The Sisters are working to fix the problem.
BEAVERTON — Imagine the challenges you would face if the U.S. Postal Service told you that your home was going to be divided into two ZIP codes. That’s what has happened to the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. Under new ZIP codes, which took effect July 1, the SSMO campus now operates in two different zones. Maryville is in one; the SSMO convent and all of the other sponsored ministries are in another.
SSMO representatives say it has been hard to get definitive information on who made the decision and how it was made. They have asked the office of U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici for assistance. SSMO Ministries Corporation President Sister Adele Marie Altenhofen and SSMO Superior General Sister Charlene Herinckx are scheduled to meet with the Beaverton Postmaster on Friday.
“We believe that the people who made the decision didn’t realize that the property is one campus and what the implications would be,” says Sister Adele Marie.
Some of the impact would parallel what all businesses face when a ZIP code changes: notification of stakeholders and changes to business materials including letterhead, envelopes and business cards.
But the implications of the SSMO Ministries Corporation operating in two ZIP codes is larger.
“As scripture says, ‘A house divided just can’t stand,’" Sister Adele Marie says. "Two different ZIP codes may give the impression that the ministries have moved or are separated from the Sisters’ values in some way. Since the sponsored ministries of the Sisters continue to share the same geographic location, I believe the ZIP code differences could cause great confusion for our constituents — students, residents, families and vendors alike.”
Sister Charlene says the Sisters have lived in Beaverton since 1891, long before zip codes and before most of the city as it exists today.
"Once postal officials have a better understanding of the implications of their decision, we hope that they will honor our request to once again be one campus – and one zip code,” she explains.