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In Loving Memory of Sister Edith Selzler - May 23, 2014
Sister Edith Selzler, 67, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, passed into eternal life Friday, May 23, 2014, at the monastery. Mass of Christian burial is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Monday, May 26 in the Chapel of Annunciation Monastery.
Visitation begins today (Saturday) at 4:15 p.m. at the monastery and continues until the time of the funeral. A wake will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Chapel of Annunciation Monastery.
Sister Edith (baptismal name Blanche) was born Oct. 18, 1946, in Strasburg, N.D. She was the first of six children born to Pius and Katherine (Allan) Selzler. The family moved to Bismarck when Blanche was a small child. She grew up in Bismarck and attended Catholic schools from grade to graduate school. In the elementary schools she had Benedictine sisters as teachers and was impressed with their sense of community and hospitality. She also remembered the kindness and wisdom of her eighth grade teacher and believed she played an influential role in her eventual decision to become a member of Annunciation Monastery.
In 1964 she entered Annunciation Monastery and when she became a novice in 1965, she received the name, Sister Edith.
A gifted educator, Sister Edith started her teaching career in elementary grades in Catholic schools in the Bismarck Diocese. She earned a master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Aquinas Institute, Dubuque, Iowa, and taught theology for 25 years at the University of Mary particularly Scripture and World Religions. She also opened the world of Benedictine history to new members at the monastery. She taught in the permanent diaconate program and was director of the Office for Charity and Justice for the Bismarck Diocese. She was a member of the monastery’s liturgy committee.
With a keen intellect and memory, Sister Edith was often relied upon when information was needed about such subjects as Breuer architecture, Scripture, liturgy, stories about the sisters and current events. Her ability to recall many and varied pieces of information and attention to detail was impressive.
Blessed with artistic talent, Sister Edith loved to create stunning hand-crafted items. She was always creating not only with her hands but with her heart and mind as well. She was an excellent graphic artist and for many years designed a beautiful Easter candle for the monastery. Her liturgical designs can be found on parish bulletins, and on many monastery invitations and special event programs.
Steeped in Scripture, Sister Edith had an intimate relationship with God. Her life as a monastic sister overflowed with prayer. Her faithful presence at community prayer and Eucharist nourished her. She was a gifted writer and often wrote reflections for Lent, Advent and special occasions. They all contained rich nuggets of spiritual inspiration.
One of Sister Edith’s greatest gifts to those who loved her was her ability to live with cancer for 11 years with grace, dignity and humor. It was a journey she made with God at her side. “I found peace in a surrender to whatever would come; what would please God would please me,” she said.
Sister Edith is survived by one sister, Cynthia, Grand Forks, N.D., and two brothers, Wayne (Ishana), Los Angeles, Calif., and Brian (Debi), Bismarck, and the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery.
Memorials may be made to Annunciation Monastery.