May 4, 2016
The Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, have elected a new prioress, Sr. Nicole Kunze, OSB. Sister Nicole, 44, 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 at 1 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 Sr. 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, to Allen and Marilyn Kunze, Sr. 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. She is completing her tenth year of service at the University of Mary where she is associate professor of chemistry.
As prioress, Sr. 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.
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, Sr. Nicole serves on the monastic council, sponsorship council and finance council. She is corporate secretary for the monastery.
As the spiritual and administrative leader of the religious community of 43 sisters and one postulant, Sr. 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.