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Sisters Announce the Election of Sister Nicole Kunze as Ninth Prioress
Following a period of prayer and discernment, the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, have elected Sister Nicole Kunze, OSB, as the ninth prioress of Annunciation Monastery. Prioress-elect Sister Nicole succeeds Sister Nancy Miller, who has served eight years as prioress. The new prioress will be formally installed on Friday, May 20, in the presence of the Benedictine community and the Federation president. A public celebration will be held Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. in Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel, Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership.
The sisters spent sacred time together, and individually, to discern and hold conversations about the future directions set forth by the monastic community and who might be the sister to provide leadership into the future.
“I am truly humbled and overwhelmed at the faith my community of sisters has placed in me,” says Sister Nicole. “In the days and weeks to come, I will learn more about what this really means in terms of my responsibilities as prioress. I cherish and appreciate the love and support surrounding me.”
Born and raised near Valley City, ND, to Allen and Marilyn Kunze, Sister Nicole is the oldest of three children. She became acquainted with the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery while she attended the University of Mary where she received her undergraduate degree in biology. Sister Nicole earned a Ph.D. in chemical education from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colo. At graduation, she was presented with the Graduate Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Dissertation. She is completing her tenth year of service at the University of Mary where she is associate professor of chemistry. Sister Nicole was honored with the University of Mary Regents’ Award for Teaching Faculty in 2011.
As prioress, Sister Nicole will provide leadership in the Sisters’ sponsored institutions: CHI St. Alexius Health, the University of Mary and Garrison Memorial Hospital. She will serve as president of the board at the University of Mary.
As the spiritual and administrative leader of the religious community, Sister Nicole will guide the sisters in the implementation of their new long-range plan. “I am excited about the directions our community has chosen for the next four years,” she says.
A member of Annunciation Monastery since 1996, Sister Nicole taught chemistry and biology at St. Mary’s Central High School for five years prior to attending graduate school. Within the monastery, Sister Nicole serves on the monastic council, sponsorship council and finance council. She is corporate secretary for the monastery.
Sister Nicole, age 44, is an avid sports fan of the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Mary Marauders. She enjoys walking, riding bike and looking for wildflowers.
“Our sisters came to Dakota Territory to serve the needs of the people and we will continue to serve out of that courageous spirit into the future. We continue to invite women to be open to God’s call in their own lives to become sisters. As monastic women, we strive to deepen our spirituality and enrich the lives of others through prayer and service,” said Sister Nicole.