Sister Nicole Kunze Re-Elected as Prioress of Annunciation Monastery - March 14, 2020
Following a period of prayer and discernment, the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, have re-elected Sister Nicole Kunze, OSB, as prioress of Annunciation Monastery. Sister Nicole will serve as prioress for a six-year term.
Directly following election, Sister Nicole Kunze was formally re-installed as prioress on Saturday, March 14, 2020, in the presence of the Benedictine community and Sister Kerry O’Reilly, president of the Federation of St. Benedict.
Prior to the election, 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 honored to be re-elected as prioress of Annunciation Monastery,” remarked Sister Nicole. “The past four years have been an exciting and challenging learning process. I am grateful for the trust and faith my monastic community of sisters has placed in me for another term.”
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 attending the University of Mary where she received her undergraduate degree in biology. 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. 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 served as associate professor of chemistry at the University of Mary for ten years. Sister Nicole was honored with the University of Mary Regents’ Award for Teaching Faculty in 2011.
As prioress, Sister Nicole serves as the spiritual and administrative leader of the religious community. Sister Nicole guides the sisters in their long-range planning and in the day-to-day life of the sisters. She also provides leadership in the Sisters’ sponsored institutions: CHI St. Alexius Health, the University of Mary and CHI St. Alexius Health-Garrison. Sister Nicole serves as president of the Board of Trustees at the University of Mary. She serves as a councilor on the Federation of St. Benedict council. She completed a three-year term on the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses coordinating committee and continues to serve as treasurer of the organization.
Sister Nicole, age 47, is an avid sports fan of the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Mary Marauders.
“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.